Referrals were pretty much at a stand-still and we were feeling so distraught over not having a referral yet. We had waited for this child since November of 2009 when we first began the adoption process. I remember thinking if we didn't get a call by noon that Friday, we were out of luck for getting a referral. God showed up that day in a big way when we received a call at nearly 3:00 p.m. and our case manager began her sentence with... "I want to tell you about a little girl. . ." Melt my heart!
Ellie was 14 months old when she was referred to us. She had been in the orphanage for nearly a year . . . waiting for final paperwork so that she could be referred. She was considered 'too old' for couples who were interested in an infant... but perfect for our family, since Faith was about 7 months old. I wonder about her paperwork hold up, etc., but then I remember God had this figured out WAY before we did! We were so incredibly lucky to have gotten pictures of her from the time she was 3 months old -- all with our referral. It's amazing to have those pictures of her -- especially for her baby book I'm working on.
Faith is 19 months old right now and I am almost reduced to tears when I think of her being in an orphanage, without a family for this entire time .... Ellie was 20 months old when we brought her home and she had never had a family of her own. But, to see her now, you'd never know it. In just 5 months, she's come so far.
When we first visited her in December of 2011, we were told she wasn't social, didn't speak and preferred to be alone. We were also told she really didn't like to play with her peers, was selfish, and seemed to be depressed. We were told to have her hearing checked because they thought perhaps she may have hearing problems, which would explain why she wasn't speaking at almost 2. Most of the pictures (although adorable) showed a very sad, very shy little girl who never smiled. We knew when we met her, our journey was going to be far from easy, but we knew this was the little girl who God chose for our family.
|September 2011 Referral Picture of Geneme (Elliana)|
But can I tell you something . . . you should see her now. She is speaking, she is singing, she loves playing with her peers, she smiles from ear to ear, loves to be where the action is, and she is super smart. She just needed a family -- someone to love her -- someone to believe in her -- something and someone to call her own. She is our daughter and she is forever.
And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. Matthew 18:5