On Saturday April 6, I received my completed home study in the mail. 8 pages all about me with approval to adopt a girl from birth- 2 years old from Uganda. I placed 2 of the originals in the waiting grant and I-600A packets to send off on Monday.
On Sunday night, April 7 I got a call from my social worker.
"Tarsha I know your pretty sure your daughter is birth-2 and you are approved for that age, but I have a little girl I'd like to tell you about." I listened as she told me a little 4 year old girl's story. Then she said she is available for adoption immediately.
My mind began racing.
My heart did too.
This is so soon.
I just got my home study yesterday.
I'm not approved for age 4.
I'll have to pay to get my home study updated.
I don't have my USCIS approval.
I don't have the funds raised yet.
This is so unexpected.
I wasn't even starting until July!
Hello God, what do you have planned for me?
But my heart and mind also knew that I needed to pray, take this slow, get all the information, pray some more, and do what I could without trying to make something happen. My head/heart (read God) said if this is your daughter, then you need to inquire about the process to change the home study. That is the only task you can handle right now. So I did. And like only He can do, within 48 hours of the call, I had my updated home study in hand. Free of charge! :) I had only received her medical information and some basic paperwork thus far, so I had to wait 2 more days for her complete info.
On April 11 I got an email from my social worker. It included all the information I needed to ACCEPT THE REFERRAL!!! It also included 2 photos. :)
Her name is Imani Ruth. Imani means faith in Swahili and Ruth means compassion for others. :). She is a beautiful little girl with BIG brown eyes and full lips! She has hair, which appears to be in small twists or braids. She has beautiful African features and skin color. I can't share her whole picture yet, for confidentiality reasons, but believe me, she's beautiful. :)
And now I wait. I sent out the I-600A, a petition to adopt an orphan. I have received a text from USCIS that they are in receipt of it and have passed it on to the appropriate department. I have also received a date to be fingerprinted. This is baby steps in the process, which can take upwards of 8 weeks, but steps forward none the less. I applied for a grant to help fund this amazing experience. I have been paper chasing and currently have 18 of the 20 requirements complete for my dossier, which will be sent to Uganda ASAP.
I'll post more as it becomes available. I'm a bit numb. I'm elated and excited and feeling very blessed, but I am also protecting my heart and mind for the wait. Sure it may only be four-five more months, making my whole process 8-9 months, which in the adoption world is actually quite short, but its four-five months I miss of my daughter's life. She is no longer an idea, but a face with a name and a story. She's in a children's home in Uganda with at least 24 other children. They are doing their best to take care of her, but its not the same. So please, be praying for her little heart and mind to be prepared for the changes that are coming, and that it feels fast for me!
Adoption is beautiful and heartbreaking. Its beauty from ashes. Its bittersweet.
Thank you! Thank you for my health, family, friends, job, home, and all the little things I'm guilty of taking for granted every day. Thank you for the new gift of a daughter! Thank you for the journey you had me on this past year to prepare my heart for her. I'm in awe of all the times I asked you what you had planned for me, only to hit what I thought were road blocks. Nope, just detours to Your plans for us. Thank you for this process and the peace I feel as I do the only things I can as Imani's mommy. Paper chasing isn't coloring and looking at her picture doesn't come close to hugging her close and whispering "I love you little lady."
Lord please be near my little Imani Ruth as she spends her last months in a children's home in her birth country. Put smiles on her face and protect her from hurt. Prepare her God. Prepare me. I beg.
Imani's Mommy :)
P.S. I'm a homeowner (x2 now!). I signed yesterday. It was a bit anticlimactic, because I already live here, but exciting none the less. Imani's room is top priority! :)