i was in my friend, kerry's, kitchen getting lunch ready for her three little people as she was at the hospital for the morning. as i pulled the bread from the pantry, my cell phone rang...
"hello?" i answered.
"allison?" the kind voice on the other line asked.
i responded, "yes, this is allison."
"hi allison. this is patricia. you're not behind the wheel of your car, are you?" she asked with a giggle in her voice.
it was at that moment that the world around me disappeared. patricia is our case worker at our adoption agency, and i knew there could only be one reason she would randomly be calling my cell phone.
i think i blurted out something to the effect of, "no, i'm not driving!! why are you calling?!? do you have something to tell us?!?!?!?"
she spoke with a quiet excitement (or maybe she just seemed quiet in comparison to my increasing voice volume) and said, "i've got a little baby for you. he's only one month old. he's tiny, but he's such a cute little guy. would you like to hear more about him?"
before i could scream "YES! YES! YES!", my phone beeped to let me know that i had another call coming in. i glanced at the screen and saw that it was josh, so i frantically said, "AAGGHHH!! can you hold on just a second please? josh is beeping in."
i clicked over with a gigantic "HELLO?!?!?" and josh said, "hey babe, what's going on?" i could tell that he had no idea patricia had been trying to get in touch with us so i squealed, "i'm on the phone with patricia. she's just about to tell me about our baby!!!!!!"
as i spoke those words to my precious husband, who i've walked hand-in-hand with through this long, sometimes difficult process, i lost it and the tears started flowing.
josh and i hung up, i clicked back over to patricia and said with a pitiful, crackly voice, "ok, i'm back. please tell me everything."
she spent the next few minutes telling me what little is known about our baby's birthday, his birth family, the circumstances surrounding his surrender at the orphanage, and his medical history. thankfully i had grabbed a pen and paper and was writing down every word she said or i promise you that i wouldn't be able to recall more than a couple of points from what she shared. that moment was too incredible and overwhelming to have been able to grasp it all.
because he isn't legally ours yet, i can't show you pictures (oh, how i wish i could) and i can't even tell you much detail about him. but i can share this... he was awake and alert in all of his photos from the orphanage, he was wearing a pittsburgh steelers(*) onesie and a diaper, both of which looked almost comical on him because of how big they were. but his gargantuan getup is because of this: he weighed 4.4 pounds the day after his birth and last week during his medical exam, he was only up to 5.5 pounds.
*families are asked to take orphanage donations when they go to pick up their little ones, so i'm imagining that he was wearing a onesie that was donated by a football fan here in the states. ;-)
i've said from day one of this process that as hard as the paperchase and the early waiting are, i was guessing that the waiting that comes after a referral -- after there is a precious face connected to the baby you've prayed for for so long -- would be so much harder. and i had honestly been a little surprised throughout the day today that i didn't have that huge rush of needing to have him in my arms.
but then we sat down for our time of prayer tonight.
josh began by praising the lord for the great works he has done in our lives this week (there's even more than this amazing news) and he gradually turned his prayer toward asking god to protect and provide for our baby in specific ways. before i go any further, though, you need to know this one little tidbit: josh had asked me months ago when we quietly decided on what the baby's name would be to not refer to him by his adopted name but to stick with calling him "little man" or "the baby".
after some of the bumps and bruises we've felt over the past year in trying desperately to get to "the baby", it was just too real to call him by his name. it felt too possible that he might slip away from us.
so as josh sat tonight with me on his right arm and every other square inch covered in little people, he began praying, "lord, we ask you to please protect judah tonight. give him enough to eat and please provide him with someone to hold him and rock him. father, please comfort our son, judah, and help him to know that we love him and that we're coming to get him soon."
judah alexander lewis.
in following with the same way we've named our other children, his first name means something special to us ("to praise") and his middle name is after someone in our family ("alexander" is josh's middle name). what better way to say to judah that the lord graciously crossed our paths and allowed us to adopt him into our family, much in the same way that the lord has adopted us into his.
once i finally stopped -- stepped away from the delightful madness of 493 phone calls, emails, and facebook messages -- it became real. hearing josh pray for judah by name for the very first time in 20 months crumbled the wall i had gradually built up to protect my heart from the pain of not having him and the fear of not ever getting him. in the utterance of a single name, my mind flooded with pictures of his face as my heart crumbled with a longing to tuck him in tonight.
we have a son in ethiopia. be still, my heart.
i will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and
will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high. -psalm 7:17