I don't want to say everything just yet, as there are still a lot of legal steps to navigate, but I will provide you with some limited details:
She was born in Ethiopia and was adopted by a family in the U.S. about 2 1/2 years ago. For varying reasons, the placement did not work out. She is currently living with a great social worker in the Midwest.
We have spoken extensively with the Social Worker in charge who has also sent emails back and forth between us and the current caregiver, as well as the girl.
This week we plan to start talking more about the logistics. We have spoken briefly with our lawyer, as have the current adoptive parents. We also spoke with her current adoptive parents today, and they feel excited and positive about this match. Our tentative transition plan is to travel the first week in April and spend about a week there. The agency has developed a transition plan that would span over the course of six days so she is not abruptly introduced to us then driving across state lines.
We are told that she is very excited and, after looking at our photo book, says we're "adorable." Of course we think the same of her! She is absolutely beautiful. We are also awaiting word from her regarding the color of her room. We said we would paint and furnish it in advance, but she could help decorate it when she gets here, which she is excited about.
She is currently being home schooled, so we plan to stay home with her the remainder of the year and then enroll her in public school in the fall.
I know I haven't answered many of your questions - How old is she? Where does she live? Can I see a photo? And I promise to answers those in time, but I am being intentionally vague to protect her at this time. You also may want to know what happened in her past and why her current placement didn't work. And when it comes to her past and her history, I am going to keep that private. That's her story to tell if and when she's ready.
We know this won't be easy, but we are excited and ready to provide her with a stable environment where she can heal. We will also stay "in line" for our Ethiopian adoption, and she is excited to travel back to Ethiopia with us one day.
You may also be wondering how this all happened. Were we matched through our domestic agency? The answer is no. This all happened because of this blog. An adopted friend though our international adoption agency's yahoo group had commented on a blog entry of mine, and a friend of hers had seen this on facebook. She then sent me a friend request, and when she received a profile of this girl, she forwarded it to me (and we instantly fell in love).
We were actually sitting in the Ethiopian restaurant in Pittsburgh, celebrating Valentine's Day (in the same city and same weekend Sean had proposed), when we read her file and saw her photo for the first time. From our understanding there were 10 families very interested and considered, but the social worker (and the girl) felt we were the best fit. We got the official call on Thursday letting us know.
I want to thank all of our friends, family and co-workers for being so supportive through this so far. We will continue to need your support and prayers throughout this process.
I also have to thank Lindsey (http://almcrock.blogspot.com/) who introduced me to Kim (http://alittleloveinyourheart.blogspot.com/) who introduced us to our future daughter. Lindsey and Kim are both adopting from Ethiopia. Kim actually has referrals for FOUR children and I know they both could use your help, so check out their blogs for ongoing fundraisers.
I am also thinking of making this blog private in the near future. It's bittersweet because the openness has allowed me to form new friendships and networks of people, but I also don't want to expose this teenage girl's life openly on the internet. I will be thinking more about this...
Overall, to say we are excited would certainly be an understatement! We knew God had the perfect plan for us, and we recently thought it would be an American teenage girl; though she is an American citizen, and though this is a domestic adoption, we are amazed that God led us to an Ethiopian beauty. I would not change the last two years for anything, as this is exactly where we are supposed to be.
May he grant you your heart's desire and fulfill all your plans! - Psalm 20:4
More updates to come...