I don't think I have properly slept since Thursday night. Maybe it is my body's way of preparing for this precious little girl. This past week was difficult for our entire family. As noted in our previous post, Jim lost his parents and a sister 40 years ago Friday in a tragic car accident. He was 3 years old at the time and was not able to experience the love and nurturing his parents provided for his older siblings (8 of them). His oldest sister raised him and did a wonderful job. He is a remarkable man and a wonderful husband and father. This time of year is tough on him as he reflects on this experience. The week was also difficult for me as we are preparing to move our oldest off on his own (he graduated in June from high school). Additionally, I am on my second reconstructive shoulder surgery and desperately trying to recover (I was mugged in Ireland at a conference last year and unfortunately they got the best of my shoulder...but not my purse :) Anyway...it did not seem that the referral fairy was going to visit and I was feeling pretty blue. I just sat down to ice my shoulder and watch a little CNN. My youngest son was letting the dogs out for me so I could rest. Then the phone rang....
For a split second, I thought "let it ring, it can't be Gladney". Thank goodness I looked at my cell phone....817. I threw the ice off my arm and started screaming at my son. Natalie (that sweet girl) was on the line. She said "Laura, I have your referral". I responded, "seriously, you have to be kidding me". From that point on it was a blur.
Unfortunately, Jim was at work. He is a physics professor and was on the top of a roof installing a climate monitoring system for NASA. I let Natalie know that he was unavailable but I would try to reach him. Simultaneously, Nikolaus was calling Jim to tell me we got a referral. We discussed our options (take the referral alone and share it with him later or wait until Monday morning when we could be together). WHAT DO YOU THINK THE DECISION WAS. Of course, we took the referral and what a wonderful experience it was.
Our little girl is so beautiful. She is 7 weeks old and overall very healthy. She has the most precious smile. Her story was difficult to hear but the presence of God throughout her young journey is apparent. Emotionally, I was all over the board. Crying, laughing, praying, and grieving all at the same time. Our hearts are so full of love already it is overwhelming at times. The rest of the evening was filled with printing pictures, calling family and friends, and rejoicing.
So....what we thought was going to be a difficult week ended up being the most blessed. Now, instead of my husband only reflecting on his loss on July 23rd, he can also remember that it was the first day he saw his precious little girl's face. We took her picture with us to church tonight and offered our prayers to her birth family, the Gladney staff, and all who have touched her young life. It was a peaceful experience knowing God is in control and will care for her until we can be with her. To top it all off, we had a guest priest tonight from where?....Africa of course:)
As we continue to process the events of this week, I physically feel a part of my heart opening just for her. I look forward to the day that it will be filled and complete and we become a family of 5. God Bless - Laura
PS...If anyone reading this post is traveling soon, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org We are anxious for additional pictures and the possibility of sending our little princess a care package.
Friday, July 23, 2010
I just want to add one additional post tonight. My husband Jim lost his Mother (Catherine), Father (Clair), and Sister (Betsy) 40 years ago today. He was 3 years old. His sister Pat took him in and raised him to be the man he is today. On that same day 40 years later, he saw the beautiful face of his new daughter half way around the world. If anyone has any doubt about how great God is, the events of today should leave no question - Laura
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I must say that being in one of the top positions on the FBI List is by far one of the most emotional rides I have been on. When the phone rings, I just about stop breathing. By the end of the day I look like I belong in a strait jacket. I even went to the health food store for some calming tea :) Didn't work...... Thanks for letting me share - Laura
Monday, July 19, 2010
Hopefully, 7 will be the lucky number for us. After stalking the blogs this morning, I was surprised to see that we are "unofficially" #1 for a girl 0-6 months old. I pray every day that we will see her face soon. Just the thought of knowing that she is in the Gladney system somewhere and that some of you who have traveled recently may have seen her warms my heart and provides me a sense of peace.
We have had a busy month otherwise. My oldest is getting ready to set out on his own soon. We are in the process of searching for an apartment for him and getting his paperwork together for full-time work until he goes to community college in the spring. Nikolaus is preparing to go back to school on August 11th. He will be moving up to junior high and wants to make sure he "looks good" for the move. You gotta love the egos at this age..... He will also be going to football camp an starting basketball practice for the travel team.
Jim and I are both working on summer grants, writing, and analyzing data (what fun). I will keep the blog up to date and as soon as I hear something you will be the first to know.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Where are the referrals.... I know I am whining (just a little). I had surgery last week on my shoulder and have nothing to do but sit and think. I am unable to type for any length of time and summer travel plans had to be rearranged. Too much time is a dangerous thing for me. I wake up and go to sleep wondering... Will we get a call tomorrow, next week, next month. Currently we are "unofficially" #3 for a girl 0-6 months.
I am desperately trying to stay in the moment but it is not working very well. I guess I should try to find a project (other than paying bills) to keep me occupied :)
Congrats to all getting court dates before the rainy season. We will pray that all goes well.