We had an amazing experience and gift a couple weeks ago that I wanted to share. A couple months ago, I got a call from our family coordinator with our agency, of course my heart started racing at the thought that this was "THE AWAITED CALL". I answered the phone and heard Duni say, "Andrea, do you have a minute,I have a potential referral for you?" WOW, I would have assumed that I would have started screaming and freaking out, but I really felt not a whole lot. I said, "Duni, give me minute I think I need to scream or something." All I can say is that there was this overwhelming feeling that was not settling within me, and it was a little scary. Duni proceeded to say that it was a POTENTIAL referral and she had some things to tell us. She went on to say that there was a six month old little girl, (inserted her name here), and she was beautiful, but had tested positive for HIV. I didn't know what to think. She went on to explain that we were close to the top of waiting for an infant girl and that they have reviewed the waiting families and had chosen us to be presented with her referral before opening it up to the rest of the families. What a compliment, they thought we would be a good family to handle this situation, as well as our location being so close to fantastic medical care. I was so confused, because I just felt this is not my baby, as much as I wanted it to be. I did not know if it was because she was HIV+ or because I just knew she wasn't Gabrielle. I told her I needed to talk to Pete and pray and we would call back shortly. Needless to say, the next 12-24 hours were REALLY difficult. We have a heart for the children with HIV, we had just had a fundraiser several months earlier for AHOPE and our hearts and minds really had been opened; however it just didn't feel right. We prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed. We know sometimes God asks us to do things we are not comfortable with and is scary, was this one of those times? We knew we could do this, but was this Gabrielle and was this the path God wanted us to walk down. After much prayer and discussion, we just felt the Holy Spirit telling us no. I have to say that was a hard call, my heart was breaking for this little girl, I wanted her to have her mommy, but didn't feel I was her. I cried telling Duni that it was only fair to open her information up to others. I said that when she called me, it didn't make sense. Every part of my body was not feeling it. I told her it was like the Holy Spirit within me was saying, "this doesn't make sense, but it will for someone else." I told Duni this. I told her that there would possibly be another mom out there who would see this little girl and somehow it would make sense. I said we would keep asking God and if we felt him leading us to her we would let her know asap. But, I asked that she let me know if this little girl was adopted as I would be praying for her. I prayed for her continuously and she often came to my mind. Then fast-forward to a couple weeks ago. I was talking to a friend who lives here in my town and is also adopting from Ethiopia. She was telling me of a friend of hers, with our agency, who had left for Ethiopia to get their little girl. I thought I knew all of the families who were traveling and knew there wouldn't be any other baby girl adoptions before me, so I inquired further in confusion. After some more questions I deduced her friend was adopting the same little one we had heard about. I asked her if her name was "------". She said yes and I got complete goose-bumps and began crying. She went on to tell me how amazing the story was of her friend. She and her friend had gone on a missions trip this past summer. They visited an orphanage where there were lots of babies, this mom told herself not to get too attached to any one baby as where she was in her paperwork, she knew she would not get referred any of these babies. She still found herself drawn to one little baby girl, she even had her friends take several picture of her with this little 9 week old beauty. Fast-forward to a couple months ago.......the e-mail goes out about the baby and this family inquires about her. When they received the pictures, she immediately realized this was the SAME baby she had seen in the orphanage many months prior. I went to her blog in tears and read with such amazing feelings how this referral made TOTAL sense to this mom. She explained how her little girl was meant to be hers starting back when she held her in the orphanage when she was weeks old and now she had made her way to her as her daughter. All I could think was "THANK YOU GOD for coming full circle and letting me know." I hadn't stopped praying and asking that this baby find her mommy and wondering if we had made the right decision and correctly followed what we felt He was telling us. Sometimes God doesn't let's us wait a long time to show us the outcome of our decisions and sometimes he gives us this gift more immediately. He is SOOOO mighty and SOOOO powerful and He has everything in control. We learned so much through this experience and are so thankful for his gift of just knowing in the end. I also feel like he was telling us that we know our daughter already, no matter how far away she might be. The Holy Spirit within me is helping guide me to her from across the world.
Gabrielle, I already know and feel you as mine in my heart. I thank God for all this time He has prepared you and us. I can't wait to see the picture of your physical beauty, but the picture/feeling in my heart is so much bigger!