Over the last 9 months our communication with our agency has been through an 'inquiry coordinator'. Funny enough our inquiry coordinator is also named Holly. She has been very helpful in answering questions, and finding out the answers to a lot of questions that I've asked that she didn't know.
Once our first big payment and packet of paperwork was received, we were assigned a case worker. We were assigned to a woman named Brandi. On May 31st I had my first phone conversation with her. She was kind enough to arrange a call with me after hours so we could talk about the new information (lengthened wait times) before we left for two weeks on vacation the next morning. We had the big decision to make about whether to continue with our application or pull out of the process.
She happened to call my phone while I was doing some last minute shopping at Target. I found an area in the women's clothing that wasn't busy and sat down on the floor and talked with her for over an hour. After I got off the phone I just sat there on the floor of Target and cried. Given, I was very sleep deprived that day (only 4 hours in the previous two nights combined)...but I was also overwhelmed with the decision we had to make. This is one of the biggest decisions of our lives and I wanted to be sure that I was doing the right thing.
During Mark's and my vacation we had two weeks away from work, kids, and responsibilities. We were able to have some conversations and sort things out and made the decision to proceed with the adoption. We believe that we are doing the right thing, and pray that it turns out the way that we think it will (us bringing home our baby girl).
So! While on vacation we also received an email that our caseworker Brandi was departing the agency and we had been reassigned to a new caseworker named Toni. I have yet to speak with her, but plan to this week.
Yesterday (June 25th) we finished our application to a local adoption agency (WIA) approved to do our home study.
The other exciting thing that happened yesterday was that I told my mom about the adoption! I originally had planned to have family over for a get together/party to announce things after we turned in our dossier and had a wait-list number. However, since we already ended up needing to tell Mark's parents and with the added wait time the whole thing was feeling like it would be anti-climatic to make a "big announcement" with that big of a wait to follow. So, I decided that we would just slowly start letting people know about our journey. No big, official announcement...just several conversations explaining the journey we are embarking upon to those we care about.
The way that things were brought up with my mom was pretty funny though. Noah knows that we've mentioned that maybe someday we would adopt another child, and ironically he has had a keen interest in Africa much longer than I have. One day while Mark and I were on vacation he told my mom that he had prayed to Heavenly Father and He told him that our family was going to adopt a baby girl from Africa. Now however accurate this story is remains irrelevant to me. The fact that my son recognizes that he can go to his Heavenly Father in prayer to ask a question, and receive an answer is a beautiful thing to me. And surely Noah has picked up on tid-bits of conversation or interest about Africa that we didn't recognize (we've tried to be very discreet). So, when my mom told me this "funny" thing that Noah told her I replied that he was right. She looked really confused. Really confused. I told her really, that we had submitted paperwork and were going to be adopting from Africa, specifically Ethiopia...and then we spent quite a while catching up on all the background of how we got to this point. It was such a relief to tell her. And she helped me feel better about the age gap that there will be between her and Max. Maybe it will be a good thing in the end.