The scream from the kitchen shattered the silence of the hot and steamy afternoon.
"Jerry! Come here! Come here quickly!"
Oh no, What happened? This definitely did not sound good. Eileen was screaming into the phone and I thought for sure somebody died, or at least got hurt really bad.
"It's Mary from Gladney! We got our referral!"
"What?" "Are you serious? " I asked.
Eileen was screaming and shouting at a rapid-fire pace,
"We have to get Ellie back here! She just left to go ice skating!"
"She has to be here for this! Call her quick! and Call Melissa!"
Jeremiah and James were scared to death. They could not figure out what was going on.
"Your baby sisters, your baby sisters"! she told them.
All this before we even heard what Mary had to tell us. Jonathan seemed to be the only one in control. He tried calling Ellie, but could not reach her. We were yelling at him to call Melissa. He calmly called Randy, who happened to be home, and asked him if he and Melissa could swing by the skating rink and grab Ellie.
Against the backdrop of the emotional upheaval on which she was thrust, Mary calmly proceeded to tell us that God is so good, and that she was truly humbled to be a part of this miracle. She went on to say that she had the great joy in announcing that they found our babies. She told us she had three children for us. Twin girls 5 1/2 months old, and an older brother 2 years and 11 months old. Eileen and I were simply overwhelmed.
"Wait a minute", Eileen said, "Ellie dreamed about this last night."
"She sure did," I said, "We were just talking about it at lunch !"
Ellie told us that she had a dream last night that she had gone to spend the night at her friend Amanda's, and when she got home, we had been to Ethiopia and back and had our babies. She went on to say that instead of the three girls that we felt God was going to give us, we had 2 year-old twin girls and a 5 month old baby boy. In her dream, she was so angry that we went to Ethiopia without her that she vowed not to spend the night at Amanda's until we get our referral. 15 minutes later, Amanda called and invited Ellie to go ice skating. Well, we have been in the midst of a tremendous triple-digit heat wave that cooling off at an ice rink was just too good to pass up. She could not have been gone 10 minutes when Mary called.
It was truly amazing. We were running and rambling and grabbing phones and calling Grandma and Grandpa, wanting so bad to pull up the email that Mary had just sent us, but knowing that we had all agreed we would all be here when we finally got to this day when we would pull up the pictures of the children God sent to us. It is like being a witness to a live birth. You just can't play "rewind" and get the same effect. You have to be there!
So Melissa and Randy showed up with Ellie. Melissa took pictures and Jonathan took video. Grandma and Grandpa were absolutely dumbfounded as they saw a miracle unfold before their very eyes. And miracle of miracles, all of our NC family was here to witness this great event. We are so rarely ever all together, especially on a Friday afternoon! Only an awesome God that has each of our hairs numbered could have orchestrated such a scene.
As Mary told us the history of the children and described each of them, we laughed and realized how well they were going to fit into our family. We saw their pictures and immediately began falling in love with them. Even the little guys got into it.
"This is exciting, God is happy", said Jeremiah.
"This is amazing", said James.
Our new son is 2 years, 11 months old. His given name is Abel(ah-BELL).
We will name him Josiah Abel.
His younger sisters were born on February 15th, two days after we started the process with Gladney!
The first is Selam(se-LAHM)which means peace. We will name her Keziah Selam.
The second is Fikir (FIH-kir)which means love in Amharic. We will name her Keren Fikir.
Aren't they all beautiful?
We are still in shock. We did not expect this call today. We should not have been surprised, given all the wonders God has performed in our lives, but it simply amazes me how God works. Even putting the boy into the mix. We had always felt that God wanted us to rescue three girls. God had other plans. 2 girls and their big brother. Only the other day, I was telling Eileen that 1 boy and twin girls would be nice. This way we could have 4 boys and 4 girls. It would even make the room situation easier to deal with.
So when do we pick up these babies? Since the government offices in Addis Ababa will be closed for the rainy season until September 25, we will most likely travel in October. This is going to be difficult, knowing our babies are there and we are not.
I don't know if I will be able to sleep tonight. If you know me, you will know that I never say that. I never say that because I will fall asleep at the drop of a hat. You can be talking to me and I will nod off. I am so wound up right now and so jazzed that sleep is not even on the radar.
We serve an awesome God that is faithful and so worthy to be praised. If you do not believe that with God all things are possible, then you do not know the God that we know and love. Thank you God! You are so amazing!