Friday, February 18, 2011

So Here's the Deal

Sometimes when great  amazing things happen you can wrap your head around it.

Sometimes...not so much.

Sometimes you are prepared to be shocked.

aaaaaaaaaand sometimes you are knocked over the head, tumbling around in a silly daze, wondering "what just happened"???

Sometimes when you are witness to a miracle you think somehow, quietly:
"Yeah - I'm sort of not at all surprised."

aaaaaaaaaand sometimes are surprised.

We have been surprised.
If a baby fell out of the clear blue sky into our living room, we couldn't BE anymore surprised.

Actually: that's almost what has happened.

Beginning of January ~ we sent papers to China.

 by Mid-January~ all of that was over. China had requirements we could not meet.
We would not be adopting from there.
We wrote about that here.

Late January~ by the time that last post was written, we had already been
invited by one of the agency's who had gone to bat for us to consider another program.

****Light Bulbs!****
All those blogs I loved!
All those people I had been following!
All the people I blog-stalked who had kids from Uganda!
My sister had been to Uganda and immediately I remembered all the pictures I had seen her bring back...
all the stories...
all the faces...
and we started to fall in love with it.
A place we could visit to our hearts' content in years to come.
A place that welcomed Christians to adopt.
A place hungry for the Word of God.
A place we could pour back into in years to come, where our child could retain roots.
Sense entered the scene.

So I went to the conference.
Feb 4-6.
It was so, so GOOD.
Fellowship, teaching, information, sweet worshipful times.
Just Wonderful.
I met tons of cool gals.
One cool gal I met was named Arlene.
Arlene lives in the same town as me.
Arlene says: "Oh, I know Someone Else who lives in our town.
She adopted from Uganda, too."
I get the Someone Else's name.
(We'll call her Gigi.)
I get home.
I call Gigi the next day.
"Hi", I say into her answering machine, "I'm Esty and I'm hoping to adopt from Uganda.
I heard you had adopted from there. Let's be new BFF's."
(That was the basic gist of it anyhow.)
Gigi calls me back.
She's skeptical.
Why was I calling her again?
Who had given me her name?
What about Uganda?
"Oh, ummm", I stumble, trying to keep it breezy, "You know, I met Arlene, she said to call you so..
you know, I am."
Easy Breezy.
We talk.
Gigi shares finally that she's not only an adoptive parent.
She also knows of a little girl in Uganda who needs a home.
The little girl is 2 years old.
She's available for international adoption.
She's truly orphaned.
Gigi has been waiting for God to lead this little girl's family to her for 2 weeks.
And then I called.
Gigi wants to know if we are interested.
(insert dumfounded look here)
"We want the child who needs us as much as we need her," we say.
Gigi tells us "Just Pray. And I will, too."
We pray.
"God? We've never had neon lights from you before but this would be a great time. Right, God?"
The next day we talk lots more with Gigi.
We tell her "Yes, we are feeling like we will want to move forward but can't see pictures, can't know details about her, are having a hard time committing to an abstract thought"
At the end of all the talking, Gigi shares:
"Oh, by the way. She's not 2 years old.

Just like that.
Suddenly I am terrified someone will get to her, scoop her up and take her away from us.
How fast can we get to her?
Who cares if she's healthy?
Who cares what she looks like?
We have found the child who needs us as much as we need her.
So, our daughter has come to us.
Out of the clear blue sky, it seems.

She is OURS
It's unorthodox.
It's literally the Fastest Home Study on the Face of the Planet.
It's Lightening Fast.
Nothing will motivate like an infant who needs you!
We have 1 excellent reason to HURRY UP.
Our little girl is waiting.
It's not a question of "if?" anymore but "when?".

...........however, here's the thing.
It also feels like being in an OB waiting room with alot of pregnant ladies who are all in their 3rd trimester and I'm about 45 minutes pregnant, surprisingly being the one rolled back to the delivery room.
It's not at all equal.
Prospective adoptive parents do alot of comparing - it's all we have to guage a "pregnancy" by since there's no growing belly.
How do you quantify "waiting"?
How do you make it "fair"?

You just can't.

Next week 2 things will happen:
#1): Our Home Study (everything collected about our family thus far) will head>>>>>
to Texas
for US Immigration to clear us to bring home an infant from overseas.
#2): Our Dossier (fancy name for Home Study + a bunch of other stuff about us) will head>>>>>
to Uganda
for our Ugandan attorney to get our case ready and prepare our little girl's passport to come home to us.

If you are excited for us:
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Now start praying!)

If you are feeling resentful of us:
We get that. It's totally allowed. Been there ourselves.

If you are confused about all this:
That's okay, too. It's cute.

-----------------whew. That's one heck of a story. And it's the Reader's Digest version!
If you read it all, you get some sort of Blog Reader Award.


  1. YYYYYAAAAAAHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's one of the greatest stories I've EVER heard!!!!!! Shoowee - and to just think of our "little" conversation just TWO weeks ago!!! Man - God IS ssoooo stinkin' good! Etsy - we will be praying for you. I can't wait to hear the ending of this sweet story...and to see pictures of your African princess. I'm just grinning from ear to ear and about ready to pop!!! Much love from Atlanta.

  2. Amazing - simply amazing!! ...Bu God's like that. He just is isn't He? :) Praying!

  3. Hey Esty (and fam)! It's great to hear your story through your perspective since I have heard it through GiGi already:) How amazing! Welcome to the Uganda adoption family!!! It is such a fast program and I have the same thoughts about knowing other families have waited longer. But I have seen so many other families come home with their children and thought "man that will never be us! We'll never get there!" and here we are...hopefully leaving soon!!

  4. ESTY!!!!!! I'm laughing, crying, jumping, packing....When do we leave? Oh yeah, this is just your journey...I'm just living vicariously. SOOOO happy for you. God's timing is perfect. Can't wait to see pics of you with your sweet girl. Any idea when you'll travel, will you take the boys?

  5. I am so happy to hear all of this. Please keep us updated. Praying for the journey.

  6. So happy for you guys! Love you lots, B xxx

  7. Whoa!!!!! CRAZY Esty!

    I'm speechless--can't wait to hear more details. So excited for you and your family and overwhelmed by how clearly God works!

    Thanks for sharing--I would love to catch up soon over the phone!

  8. I just don't get tired of reading/hearing this story!! Praise the King who never tires of giving good gifts to His children!! Can't wait to give your little princess a kiss. :)

  9. I'm just so excited for you and thrilled beyond words how God is working with your family & this precious angel from Uganda. God is SO good. Praying for everything to continue to go lightening fast! LOL And I'm here for you 100%. Supporting you every step of the way.
    Love & Hugs! Enjoy this fast ride. :-)

  10. Oh, I can't wait to hold her! I am so, so, so excited for you guys! Esty, don't you dare say this isn't fair! You know God had this little girl picked out for you from the beginning of time, and that is why your heart has been longing for her for like FOREVER! I am so excited. Take tons of pics the first time you see her, okay? I want to see that smile on your face!

  11. No surprise here, Downes family. Just unspeakable joy. GO GET HER!! Love to all of you! And congrats too! Amy and Charles

  12. I'm so happy for you! Have I said that lately??! Our Zoe's BFF can't get here fast enough! Love you and your precious family.

  13. I read EVERY word and it makes my heart so happy! We'll be praying!

  14. My heart is anxiously waiting in anticipation for you to hold that beautiful girl in your arms. Praying faithfully!

  15. I just had to comment. I found your blog through FB. Your story is NOT so unusual as God creates the miracles in life to bring families together. And it's beautiful to watch. Five years ago our hearts were broken after the loss of our son and out of the 'clear blue sky' - I've said it a thousand times just like you, I got an email saying 'baby boy due in two weeks'. We didn't go thru an agency to find our son here domestically 5 years ago so we're deteremined that God will lead us to our son in UG indepedently. Congratulations on your new addition! What a joy.