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Our Referral Day

We were matched with our children!! … and  it was completely surreal.  We had become so familiar with waiting that the moment we thought the wait might be over, well- we didn’t really know what to do with ourselves.  Here’s the details behind the days leading up to hearing those jaw dropping words!


Wednesday July 18th– we were on vacation at Seaside with Mark’s family, just enjoying the beach.  That night Mark called me to come read this email that our agency AGCI sent us in regards to this waiting group of three biological siblings.  They were considered waiting because no one was currently home study approved to bring home three siblings… (He later told me the moment he saw their photo he knew they were our children!)  I saw the photo and gasped- “three!!” For a split second I thought- wow- that might be tough… but that thought was fleeting and I immediately saw the beautiful side of raising these three precious babes together.  Deep down we immediately wanted to reply- YES!!!  But we backed up- spent some time in prayer together and felt the Lord’s peace to in fact fervently pursue them.


Thursday July 19th–  Our agency said they would begin contacting interested families so we sit, and wait, and wait… and wait some more.  We spent the entire day trying to “quantify” if we were going to be the chosen family based on a few specifics our agency found valuable in terms of the children’s placement…  Nothing.  No word.  No returned emails or phone calls.  My heart starts to sink a little… I wonder, “was our gut wrong- are we not their forever family?!“…


Friday July 20th– We head out to breakfast at the family favorite spot “the Donut Hole” … I am double pocketing both Mark and I’s phones to insure I don’t miss a call from our agency if there is one to be received.  While waiting in line Mark saw an email come through saying they’d be calling us a little later… “what does that mean!?!?”  we wonder… is this the “sorry, but they have been matched with another family” call or the maybe, just maybe the call we’ve waited two years to get?!


We got seated and not even three seconds after the words “We won’t hear anything this early” come out of my mouth, the phone rings.  We dash out to the parking lot to try and get better reception.  Standing there on the sidewalk my knees buckle under me and I hear our case worker share that we are the family they are referring these beauties to!!!  Mark is gently hollering- motioning at me- “what??!!  What is she saying!!”  I’m trying to listen to our case worker and tell him at the same time we got the referral- my head was spinning!!  We get a little more info and plan to sit down and go over all the details later that day… and the rest is history.

…Below are a few photos documenting the trip we’ll never ever forget and the morning we got word we were going to be parents… three times over.


We fly out Friday to head to Ethiopia to meet our three babes (Boy 5, Boy 3, Girl 3 months), and I think my heart just might burst out of my chest.  We are so excited we can hardly stand it!!  I’ll try to make updates while we are there, but given the spotty internet I can’t make any promises.  (Our children will not come home with us on this trip, we’ll travel again in a couple months to finalize everything and bring them home.)


When we first started paperwork back in 2010 and we were trying to decide if we felt equipped to bring home siblings I remember reading Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up…” obviously this isn’t talking about raising children, but it stuck with me none the less and I saw the beauty in siblings having one another in this journey.


So since then we’ve prayed and prayed for siblings, telling ourselves… “it’ll really be ok if we aren’t meant to get siblings… a single child would be just as wonderful” deep down still desperately praying for siblings…  and what does the Lord do, blows us away with three!!  Will it be hard?  Unbelievably so… harder than I can comprehend, (Ask me two weeks after they get home if I’ve slept, showered or eaten!)  But will it be beautiful- without doubt.


In all of this I’ve caught the tiniest glimpse of how great The Lord’s plan is… so much greater than mine.  Thank you Lord for choosing us to be the parents who get the honor of being the vessels You will work through to bring healing and joy to their hearts.  We long to be your hands and feet.

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” Psalm 115:1




  1. YAAAY! I’m so very excited for you guys! Safe travels!

  2. Yahooo!!! What a fabulous story & so wonderful that Mark’s family could share that landmark moment with you guys!!! I am tearing up now thinking about it 😉
    We are so excited for you guys and the way God has chosen to bless you – through 3 children!!!

  3. Beautiful!! You may be overwhelmed at first ( and sometimes forever 🙂 But if any couple can handle it it’s the two of you!! Those sweet “babes” are so blessed!

  4. Shannon Sawyer says:

    August 8, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    WOW! How blessed these children will be/are to call you Mom and Dad……can’t wait to meet them!

  5. Congratulations! I know it will be hard but if anyone can handle this you two can! What wonderful parents you will be! Our prayers are with you as you make your first trip to see your babies!

  6. I am so excited for you guys! Reading your story brought tears to my eyes as I remembered the day we got the call about Michelle and Anna. You guys are going to be great parents! “Children are a gift of the Lord… How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Psalm 127:3-5 🙂

  7. Rachel!!! I am so happy for you and Mark! What an incredible journey you are about to embark on and I admire your patience and faith throughout the past two years. What a blessing! Can’t wait to hear all about your trip and see photos of your babies!

  8. That is such an awesome story! I can’t wait to meet them! You two are going to be incredible parents!