Posts Tagged ‘referral’

“As it happened….”

November 20, 2010

(Thank you, Jane)  As it happened…. we read the new report on the same little chunk of darlingness from Cali, Colombia.  She is healthy, happy and hearty.  The new pediatrician was favorable of the new report and helped us with where to go from here.  Her final statement to me was, “Make your decision and wait for your miracle!”  Oh, I loved that… almost as much as “As it happened” which means God has been Jehova Sneeky again.  Always working on our behalf, knowing what’s best for us and our family…. beyond what we can imagine or think.

We accepted the referral for Nora, but she has asked us to change her name….. but we don’t know if she means her first name, or middle name or last name.  So we don’t really know what to call her at this point.  “Zaza” still pops out because a nickname of 3 years….. sticks.

We were at peace with the decision and figured we would travel to get her on Jan. 15th when the Colombian courts open again.  But NO!  We are traveling THIS Thursday… yes, Thanksgiving Day, to go get our little girl.  I’m in shock.  Real life shock where you have to take a nap because you can’t figure out what to do first.

A friend of mine showed up today with her notepad.  She said she would decorate our house for Christmas while we’re away and she needed instructions.  She also is going to pick up my newspapers and keep my coupons up to date while I’m gone.  This is a true friend!  Another friend showed up with huge cookies.  That’s a true friend too.  Meet the basic needs in times of stress.

AHHHHHHH! We leave in five days!  So, I’m re-doing Nora’s scrapbook, since the original photos are outdated.  I ran and got my hair cut and colored, since we need to take a close-up photo of Rick and I and we’re not supposed to change our hair before we meet Nora on FRIDAY!  She is attaching to this photo on Monday!  My wise-cracker of a daughter looked at me yesterday in the height of excitement and frazzledness…. bed head, no make-up and sweats… and said, “We should probably take your picture like this since this is more likely what she will see every day.”  Very funny.  Very true.  But not going to happen.

OK, I’m off to count suitcases and see if my boys have pants that fit them.  Prayers for peace to reign in our home would be much appreciated.


Unbelievable… Inconceivable… WOW!

November 20, 2010

Last Wednesday, while I was minding my own business out on a wedding-flower-choosing adventure with my sister and a friend, my cell phone rang. The area code was 817.…. Texas. More specifically… Gladney Center for Adoption. I flipped open my phone (I know, old school) and jumped out of the parked car.
Yes, it was our case worker. Her first question, “Is Rick home?” made my guard go right up. I’m not getting my heart broken again by some darling little girl with a big toothy grin and black hair and pleading brown eyes. I will be WAY more cautious this time. I will not be swayed by darlingness. I will wait for the pediatrician’s report. I will not send her pictures to my family. I will not announce her name on Facebook. I will not frame her picture and bring it to Neighborhood Group. I will not get attached before we accept the referral … in writing… and I will wait until it’s faxed before I crack open my heart to my new daughter.

OK, that’s everything that went through my brain in the nanosecond that passed between our case worker’s question and my answer, “No, Rick is flying today.” Call me a chicken-hearted-lily-liver, but I’m trying to hold up a brave front guarding my tender-orphan-loving-soul.

Her first sentence had me extremely curious. “I don’t know how to start this phone call because I’ve never had to make a call like this before…..” I didn’t even respond…. just stood in the Glendale Thrift Store parking lot with my mouth hanging open. “We’ve hit a snag. Your file went back to Bogota but ICBF is asking you to reconsider Nora’s referral.” Still no response from me…. as my heart started quivering. “There is a new report available and we are wondering if you are open to us sending it to you. We are suggesting that you send it to a new international adoption pediatrician.” She read some of the report to me…. and finally my amazingly brilliant reply came out, “WOW!” Yep, that’s all I could manage at that moment.

NOOOOO! It’s the S A M E little black-haired cutey-patootie squeezing her way back into my heart.

If you are an adoptive mom, you understand that I was useless the rest of the day… totally distracted and staring into space… looking for some sky writing from God. My husband called right as I hung up with our case worker. I rattled off the whole scenario in 30 seconds and he asked what I told them. “I said, ‘Yes, send it.’”

Later that day he called and mentioned that there was a debate going on that evening at a local college that he would like to attend. I wasn’t too compassionate at that moment. I half yelled “NO! You need to come home and you need to bring food!” No, I hadn’t thought of dinner. I hadn’t thought of anything other than the strangeness of our circumstances. Do they normally ask parents declining a referral to reconsider? Do they send your file back to the national office and THEN ask you to reconsider, only to send it back to the same region again? And the inevitable question that we might not ever know the answer to, Why would this happen to us? To her?

So that is where I leave you, dear reader, in this Colombian adoption saga….……..

Plans Gone Awry

November 14, 2010

In my perfect little world, I was sending out adoption/thank you/Christmas cards this year.  They are all addressed.  Since the decline of our referral in October, I’ve realized that they will not be sent until 2011.  Another year when I don’t have the heart to send out Christmas cards.  One of our family members is missing!  How can I send incomplete family pictures?  I cannot.  And that is the end of that.  I might do an email update for curious minds and those whom we only correspond with at the time of Jesus’ birthday celebration.  Then again, I’m sure many would be thrilled to get a Christmas card that is a few months late…. that is complete.

This morning, while whipping up Grandma’s Swedish pancakes, I put in the first Christmas CDs of the season.  Not a child came downstairs that did not comment on the yule tide tunes…. and we had two extra childs too.  :o)  BUT, then Third Day’s song came on…. Merry Christmas.  The lyrics came dribbling out of the stereo of another Christmas when your child is not home.  Good grief.  This is not GOOD grief…. this is SAD grief!  Talk about killing me softly with his song!

Staying positive is my goal this holiday season.  But, for heaven’s sake, this is the FOURTH Thanksgiving and Christmas without our baby girl.  My only hope is that we get the referral before Christmas and I can hang her Precious Moments First Christmas ornament on the tree because I’ll know her birth year!  Oh please, oh please.

RSVP - Lakinzie Collector Doll

On Saturday in a hearty attempt at garage saling with my husband… I did find another Groovy Girl doll for my little girl.  It’s the little joys that keep me going right now.


November 1, 2010

This past week I realized that I had not gone into Zaza’s room since we declined the referral on the 18th.  After mentioning this to my husband, he suggested I venture back into the golden-yellow oasis of flowers and butterflies and tea sets and dress-up clothes.  So I did.  Bravely, kind of.  Can you be sort of brave?

To my surprise, our son Keeve had moved back in during my absence.  His trombone, music stand and he has a bag of his personal items… more commonly referred to as his bag of junk… that scooted back in there and made itself a home.  (Hey, it’s better than a bag of hair… anybody seen Fever Pitch?!?)  It is a remnant of his days when he slept in the purple bed.  It’s a huge lime green with purple polka-dots gift bag that is ripped down one side.  We simply never found a home for that stuff when he moved back into the big bedroom with his brother.  It’s a good collection of stuff too: a photo of his friend Connor’s orange cat from California, an Iron Man mask, a few magic tricks like the disappearing penny and the three red balls that turn into two, and many hockey cards, some pucks, a few cardboard guitars, marbles and twist-tie necklaces that were made while shopping in the produce section of Walmart.  Good stuff!

I’ve never understood the “closing of the nursery door” that so many childless parents go through, until now.  I get it… a teeny bit.  Nora’s picture is still standing on my desk in a pale green frame.  At first, I didn’t even want to look at it, but my husband suggested that we keep it up as a reminder to pray for her and her forever family.  She keeps staring at me.  Reminding me that we said no.  I’ve also come to realize that if we received her referral later in life with none of our kids left at home, we would have accepted it.  That soothed my soul, somehow.  We weren’t saying NO to her.  We were saying NO to right now with these three children still in our care.  That soothed my soul too…. somehow.

In the dark of the night, I admitted to my sweet husband that I feel like we’ve gone through nearly four years of adoption emotions, upheaval, paperwork and disappointment to come out with a big fat FAIL.  F!  I have felt like it’s all over now.  We didn’t win.  We lost.  Game over.  I’ve been avoiding the adoption topic in my mind for two weeks.

In reality, we just hit yet another bump in the road to our little girl.  But I’m not fully back on the bandwagon yet.  I did venture off to a new Bookman’s store in Mesa and found two full shelves of adoption books that I’ve not read yet.  (This is what I do in the adoption low periods… I read tales of successful adoptions… reminding me that orphans do get forever families…. mommies do get to kiss soft cheeks… eventually.)  I narrowed the pile to five and then to three books.  I actually found a book about a family from San Jose, California (where I grew up) that adopted a five-year-old girl from Colombia!  It brought many fears and tears to the surface, but it did prepare me a little bit more for our eventual travel… to our daughter.

Ironic… I think not

October 23, 2010

This has been a week of ups and downs, trials and tears, blessings and a birthday.  When my life gets busy I don’t spend much time reading the 1850’s prairie fiction stories that I love.  I should, they help me escape and relax.  As the tension in my shoulders/neck was building before our adoption referral, I made a decidedly wise decision to make time for pleasure reading.  After perusing the NEW section at the library, I came home victorious with two brand new books from authors I haven’t read before.  It does my heart good to find new authors who write well and can keep my pages turning with interest.  

One such book was The Promise of Morning by Ann Shorey.  The cover sucked me in.  Pretty blonde girl with tendrils floating in the prairie breeze… olive calico dress… front porch laden home behind a field of cadmium blooms.  The plot had many twists that I didn’t see coming, which I prefer.  Nothing worse than predicting the entire story right from the get go.  Last night I was within reach of the final chapter…. anticipating what happened to Aunt Ruby… wondering about the mysterious Mrs. Bolden… and hoping Ellie would find her self with-child.

Then BAM!  The story took another unexpected turn that hit a little too close to home for me this week.  The circuit riding preacher finds a little brown-eyed, black-haired, 7-year-old orphan on a dock in Ohio.  Yes, I thought of Nora…. our daughter of 72 hours.  He brought her home to his family and she stayed close by his side, for fear of abandonment.  {sigh}  She brought with her a bundle of clothes with a lavender sachet and a well-traveled doll…. get this… named Nora.  Yes, I couldn’t believe it either!  The same name as the brown-eyed, black-haired, 7-year-old referral we received a week ago.  Through a sequence of events the reader also learns at this point in the story that Ellie, the main character, is a nickname for Eleanor.  We had passed around the idea of naming Nora Eleanora after my mother’s middle name, Eleanor. 

Ironic, I think not.  Yes, Lord, I will continue to pray for Nora and her forever family!

72 Hours of Joy

October 19, 2010

Yesterday was quite possibly the saddest day of my life.  After receiving the referral of a little darling girl on Friday we were all in LALA Land and giddy with the anticipation of our little girl coming home next month.  My husband and I went out and bought a few more items to take with us to Colombia, and a few to send ahead: coloring books, disposable cameras, size 6 rainbow undies and a cheap plastic photo album.

Months ago I painstakingly made of list of possible International Adoption Pediatricians who could review the medical history of our referral.  I mean really,….. how do you pick someone on the other side of the country, whom you’ve never met and will most likely never meet, to give you some of the most important information that you’ll ever receive in your whole life?  Well, as a good Type A student, I made a list.  I always make lists.  For this adoption I’ve made lists of things to do, things to buy, psychologists, social workers, immunizations, clothes to pack…. so quite naturally… Int’l Adoption Pediatricians.  I emailed 8 or 9 of them and scrutinized their responses.  I had the list narrowed to two, but was highly in favor of one doctor who had four internationally adopted kids himself.  He’s been there, done that.  That tidbit resonated with my soul.

Before I made my decision, I emailed a local friend who has three children by adoption and asked her who she used.  Miraculously, out of all 627 possible specialists in the USA, she named the same doctor who topped my list.  She paid the man the highest praise for the work he did for their family.  So I was good with that. 

Fast forward to this past Sunday, when I sent him the files we had received with our referral.  After reading the 40 pages with our untrained, naive and somewhat rose-colored-glasses-covered eyes, we questioned the money needed to have the files reviewed.  But I read the email a second time that came from our case worker, suggesting that we have the medical info reviewed…. and I sent off the wad of money and the files. 

Yesterday was Monday and Rick was off of work, thank God!  The doctor called us back around 11:00 am and proceeded to give us the worse possible news that we absolutely did not want to hear.  He had not seen a child more needy than this one in all of his ten years reviewing files.  Several times he apologized for being the bearer of bad news, but remarked that there was no cheery way of looking at this.  It all boiled down to two comments that he made, that I scribbled down on my very worn out adoption notebook.  Our number one priority is the preservation of our family.  Secondly, the odds are overwhelmingly against us for success with this child.  Heartbreaking news.

As the 45 minute phone call wore on, I became increasingly quiet and my husband finished all the responding for us.  Tear stains dotted my lavender t-shirt and I sat in my green birthday chair in our bedroom wondering, Why in the world did we get matched with this poor little child?  We certainly couldn’t harm the relationships that we’ve built over the last 17 years with our three children.  We couldn’t put them at risk.  We couldn’t wreck our family by trying to save this little girl, whose chances of being saved were slim to none.  After prayer and discussion and tears, we declined the referral.

My thrify-minded husband said, “That phone call was worth every penny we paid that man!”  And it was. 

I suppose we’ll never know, this side of heaven, why that darling little girl with black hair was ours for 72 hours.  But she was and we loved her whole heartily.  We pray she will be placed in a home with the resources to aid her healing and steer her through adolescent and the teen years.

We are still at the top of the list and a new referral should come in 3-4 weeks.  I don’t know how much more of this I can take!

I Do Have Other Kids

September 23, 2010

Austin has been the focus of several blogs lately, but I feel obligated as a mother who teaches fairness and non-favoritism, to mention my three other children.  And for the record, when I kiss each one of them “Good night” I whisper in each one’s ear, “You’re my favorite, don’t tell the others.”  It’s a ritual of motherly love… that they are all well aware of… but each one secretly believes it’s true!

Larisa is my mini-me, except the blonde, blue-eyed version.  People say she looks like me, but the only resemblance I see is our teeth.  She is 16 and has spent all but two years of her life in my 24/7 care.  She went to kindergarten and first grade, but we have homeschooled her all the way to her junior year of high school.  And we still love each other.  Amazing!  Spending so much time with your mother makes you more mature than the other 16-year-old girls who spend 50+ hours per week with their giggly, boy-crazy friends.  It’s a proven fact of life.  She is a joy to be around!

Currently, Larisa is knee-deep in Chemistry and loathes it, unfortunately.  She is taking other classes too, but Chemistry is her ball and chain this year.  She’s not a math lover, to say the least.  I’ve been teaching her Algebra… and math was my favorite subject in high school.  It’s so logical.  It’s right or it’s wrong.  There’s no predicate nominatives or split infinitives to mess with your mind!  However, teaching Larisa Algebra has almost made me not like math anymore.  But we will be victorious.

Keeve is my huggable, thoughtful, slow-paced child and our musician.  Currently he is taking piano lessons for the third year and is playing the trombone in the elementary school band.  That is the only class he has ever taken at a school.  He was 11 the first time he darkened the doorway of a public schooling establishment.  He’s there for 45 minutes, twice a week, and he’s handling all the peer pressure quite well.  Keeve is also the only Crosby child to sport braces so far.  He’s bearing that burden like a champion!  The change in his teeth and jaw shape in a mere four months is nothing less than amazing!  Keeve is also my baby boy.  He’s the one who will be the most displaced when our Colombian princess gets home to stay.  We’ve had many a talk with Keeve about this and he’s OK with the whole deal.  He prays faithfully for his little sister each night for her to have a bed to sleep in and someone to love her and feed her.  It’s precious.


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We have only four more days in our wait for our referral call for our little girl from Cali.  Please see my adoption blog for stress-related information:  Here is the extent of what we know about our daughter at this point:  she lives in the Cauca Valley, in Colombia.  She is 5 or 6 years old.  She is an orphan.  She speaks Spanish.  That’s it.  Here are my educated guesses about her at this point:  she has black hair, olive skin and brown eyes.  She is tiny for her age.  That’s it.  Here are my hopes about her at this point:  that she still has all her baby teeth.  She has dimples.  She loves to giggle and snuggle.  Someone has lovingly told her about the love of Jesus. She likes to sing and dance and play with dollies.

TOMORROW I could have all the answers to my questions about my girl!  The suspense is killing me!

I’ll Start this Thing….. Tomorrow

August 21, 2010

Yes, I’ve been MIA for five days.  My roommate from college (c. 1985) came with her family from Manitoba and visited us this week.  We have not seen each other since 1995… and between the two of us, we had one child at that time.  Now we have six kids and this was their first meeting.  I always wonder how two families will mesh but I assumed the kids would do just fine as they are flexible, well-behaved, socially aware children.  (Bahahahahaha!)  They did do remarkably well and hope to see each other again.  A successful and fun time was had by all.

Their youngest son was eight-years-old and it reminded me all over again how different it will be to have a little girl running around our house.  Our youngest is 11 and he’s so mild-mannered and quiet, we forget he’s here sometimes.  Seriously.  The dream third child, in my humble opinion.  As we near the adoption referral (sometime in September it will arrive) I’m having great fear and trepidation, as most adoptive parents do at this point in time.  It IS like nearing the end of a pregnancy…. but with the unknown feelings of the first pregnancy.  With my second and third births, at least I knew what to expect.  With international adoption, it’s all a big unknown.  Yes, I’ve been reading blogs of those who have gone to Colombia before us, but there are so many unanswered questions… some that will never have answers… and I’m supposed to be OK with that?

As with most upcoming events that will change your life forever, my mind is almost entirely preoccupied with Zaza’s referral, her “Gotcha Day”, our travel and her arrival in our family and home.  That’s a good thing, except that there are three kids here who need to start homeschooling ….. soon…. and I don’t feel like it.  I’m thinking it’s not a good thing when the teacher doesn’t want to start school.  Kind of like when the preacher doesn’t want to go to church.  I guess this is all part of growing up….. doing things you don’t feel like doing because it’s the right thing to do.  I’m still working on learning that lesson.  At this late date in the homeschool game, I’ve never been this unprepared.  (The singing goat’s song “Be Prepared” from Hoodwinked keeps haunting me.)  There are at least three, if not five, books that still need to be ordered.  That doesn’t include math.  I haven’t even thought of math until this moment.  {sigh}

So, with today being Saturday, I’m going to pretend that I’m still a carefree soul in the summer of life…. and enjoy my last day without lists.  Tomorrow I will make lists… and Monday I will begin working on checking off those little boxes I love drawing next to each item.  It’s quite therapeutic.   Goodbye summer; hello homeschooling!  (I must embrace my calling.  I must embrace my calling.  I must embrace my calling.)  OK, I think I’m ready.

We are Number ZERO!!!!

July 29, 2010

YES!  Long awaited news from our adoption agency this morning!  We topped the waitlist and our file is now being sent to the region in Colombia where Zaza is waiting for us!  Whooooo HOooooooo!  We should have a referral in 30-60 days!  With pictures… and her real name… and pictures… and sizes… and medical info… and pictures!  I’m thrilled! (to say the absolute least!)  This means we will travel in late Oct. or more likely November!  She’ll be home for Christmas!!!  Another stocking hung by the fire with care.  Another Precious Moments Christmas ornament to buy and hang on the tree!  Another little angel home for Christmas!  Another place setting at the dinner table… little size 4 panties in the wash!  Oh, I can’t believe we are so close now!  Finally, I can buy ruffles and bows again! 

I know it’s a little wierd, but my secret hope is that she will still have all her baby teeth… even at five years old.  We have missed out on so much so far, but I trust the Lord will restore what has been taken and bless all our years ahead.  At least in my heart I know that we have prayed faithfully for Zaza for the last four years.

With this great joyous news came fear and trembling too.  Oh,… my….. word!  This November it will be four long years that we have awaited Zaza’s homecoming.  But now that it is actually here, it is a little frightening!  So much to do!  So much to do!  My mind will have a hard time focussing on anything else now for the next four months!