Right after I got off work, I got another call from a social worker letting me know that the baby had arrived. It was a girl who seemed to be in good health, but maybe born a few weeks early. I called James to let him know, and we agreed to talk more when I got home. As I drove home, I started thinking about reasons that might keep us from adopting the baby girl. Thankfully, God had provided the money to pay the adoption/legal fees - so that wasn't going to stop us. We were going to use James' bonus and part of our tax refund to have a roof built over our patio, but the contractor who came to take measurements never got with us regarding an estimate. God knew there was a bigger plan for that money than a roof! I wondered how we'd ever tell Samuel that we had the chance to give him a sibling that he was biologically related to, but we decided not to adopt her. I asked myself how we would answer the regret that we'd eventually have if we didn't proceed with her. I had no answer. I began to pray and I asked God to make James and I in agreement quickly if this child was to be part of our family.
When I got home, James asked me if I was ready for another child. Samuel was 14 1/2 months old, and I would never have planned to have my children that close together - but sometimes God has other plans. I told James that I don't know that I'd ever feel really ready, but I was willing to add this baby to our family. We called the social worker that was on call for the weekend with the agency at 7:36 that night and we told her that we wanted to adopt this little girl.
James asked me what I was thinking of for a name. He said he had a name picked out, so I asked him to tell me first. His choice was Evangeline (Ee-VAN-juh-lynn) Katie. I started to cry, so it was agreed upon. Evangeline is after My dad's mom (Eva Lena) and a parish in Louisiana. Katie is after my mom's mom, whose first name was Katie. Most people didn't know her as Katie because she went by her middle name. Remember what I said above about the agency calling with "good news"? Evangeline means "good news." We are calling her Eva Kate or Eva for short. Evangeline, may God give you the faith and perserverance of the women you are named after. May your mouth ever be quick to proclaim The Good News of our Redeemer.
Saturday morning we got the green light to go to the hospital to meet our baby girl. On our way there, James dropped me off at Babies-R-Us to pick up a little gift for her while he and Samuel picked up lunch for the three of us. I stepped into the store and saw the baby girl clothes. I started to cry. After the four little girls that slipped through our fingers in Ethiopia, we finally had a daughter. Sweet redemption.
We got to meet Evangeline at 1:30 pm the day after she was born. Samuel got to meet her as well.
We had a lot to do to prepare to bring her home. We had to get our homestudy updated, get rid of bed and replace it with a crib, borrow or purchase a crib, meet with an attorney, find a rocker for her nursery, finish child proofing the house and go through Samuel's baby things and pull out things that she could use. The first time we got paperwork together for a homestudy, it took us six months to finish it. We could not bring Eva home until our homestudy was updated. We got everything that was in our control done in 6 days! I told James the day we met Eva that it would be nice if we could have her home by Mother's Day. I emailed our small group about our big news the day we met Eva, and they blessed us with help. One family come over and helped us get her room ready and the house child proofed and loaned us some baby things. Another family let us borrow their crib. Another family watched Samuel one day so I could run errands and get her crib assembled. They've brought meals, prayed for us and rejoiced with us. Friends and family served as references for our homestudy update. Our neighbors have been a blessing to us too. A couple of them have watched Samuel for us so James and could visit Eva together while she was in the hospital. Others have brought baby gifts and come over to meet her. Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything you have done to help us bring our daughter home!
The day after we meet Eva, we went to church with photos and videos of her. We had a small crowd of friends gathered around us in between the services while we shared our news and photos. Much rejoicing!
For a few months, we'd had a trip planned to Louisiana for the weekend after we meet Eva. We were going to see my parents in Little Rock too, so we thought it would be fun to share this big news in person. To share our news of Eva Kate, I made this shirt for Samuel:
That is what he wore when he saw his grandparents, aunt and uncle, great-grandparents and his godparents. I got pink photo albums to give to our moms and James' grandmothers for Mother's Day, and I filled them with photos of Eva. We also gave them Mother's Day Cards with photos of the four of us.
|Samuel with his Godparents|
Back in 2009, when we first started the process to adopt from Ethiopia, we were asking for siblings. Now we have siblings, not from across the planet, but from across town. This is a story that only God could pen. Many of you prayed for perseverance for James and me. Your prayers were answered. He does hear our prayers. He is faithful. He will never forsake his children.