Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Story of Referral

On my adoption yahoo group, one of the members asked for those of us who had received our referral to tell how we got the call. I thought I would share my story here.

For those who know little of the international adoption process, your referral is when you are placed with a child. You receive their name and picture and whatever other history the orphanage can provide. This process in the program I am in takes about twelve months. You wait and wait for this call knowing it will change your life forever.

When we had been waiting about ten months for the referral of an infant or toddler, I fell in love with a face. Older and special needs children are not automatically referred. They are placed on an agency's website as a Waiting Child. They must be requested by a family and then approved by the agency for referral. It was a face on this list that stole my heart. Don't ask me why, who knows? For weeks, I kept going back to the site to check and see if he had been referred to a family.

About six weeks later with a nagging feeling that would not leave me, I broached the subject with my husband. "What about requesting this little boy, he is five? They will probably say no. We will have to get re approved from Homeland Security for a child his age. They will probably say no. I feel like I need to ask. They will probably say no."

We discussed all the challenges an older child might face versus an infant or toddler. We discussed how we thought it would affect our current children. But in the end, my husband was willing to let me take a shot. "But Sheila, they will probably say no. Do not get your hopes up." Then he looked at me as I assured him I would be fine. "You already have your heart set on this child. You shouldn't do that, you are going to get hurt. They will probably say no."

I wrote the letter of my life. I used every ounce of writing skill that I had at my disposal. I gave them my husband's number to give the decision. They called. He used every ounce of his debating skills. They wouldn't change their minds. He was out of birth order for our family, they had a policy, the answer was no.

To say the least, I was heartbroken. For my husband to say he warned me made no difference. I just knew in my heart I was this child's mother and he was my son. I knew God has a plan. I wondered if my sorrow was to be used for a purpose. I offered up my aching heart because I didn't know what else to do. I promised to pray for this nameless boy for the rest of my life.

A few days later the phone rang. It was our agency on the caller ID. I knew we were on the top of the list for an infant or toddler by this point. In my dreams this day came with shouts and cheers and excitement beyond description. But there in my kitchen I stood staring at the phone. "No, not today, please not today. I know in time I will want another child, but not today." I was not finished mourning the child of my heart, I could not be happy yet.

When I finally answered the phone with a heavy heart, the director said they had decided to make an exception for us pending further discussion with our social worker. It was my call. It was the call that changed my life. It was the call of my dreams with excitement beyond description.

God did have a plan. He always does. They will probably say no. But in the end, they can't say no if His answer is yes. He will find a way. He always does. In two weeks time, I will meet His yes. I will meet my son, no longer just the child of my heart. He will be the child in my embrace.


  1. Love it! God has a plan always, sometimes He just likes to reveal it at the last minute!! :0)

  2. Sheila!are you home w/ the little guy yet? love you all and so happy for everyone!