On Friday, September 3, 2004, the word was out among March DTC-ers that referrals for that month had been FedExed from CCAA that morning. We Americans had to endure a three-day holiday weekend while we waited for news about our new children. On Tuesday the 7th the posts started hitting the March DTC Yahoo Group - referrals were in, and everyone was sharing news about their new little ones. I was on and off the PC most of the day - Hannah and Rachel were probably wondering why Mama was acting so strangely. By 4:00 we had still heard nothing. I called Jennifer, one of the other moms in our agency's DTC batch and asked her if she'd heard anything. She, too, had seen all the posts, but had not received her referral yet. She decided to call our agency and speak with her social worker. Apparently, her SW was not "in the loop" about referrals having been mailed and received, and basically thought Jennifer was nuts to expect a referral after only a five-month wait (wait times were a bit different then, hmmm?). By now, it was about 5:00 - too late to harrass, er, I mean contact our SW. So I had to suffer and wait all night (and bring poor Al right along with me). I called Bethanne (our SW) at exactly 9:00 a.m. the next morning and left her a message. I decided to leave her my cell phone number so I could get out and get my mind off referrals (OK, it didn't work, but it kept Rachel and Hannah occupied while I slowly went nuts).
I took the girls to Teacher's Tool Box in Carol Stream to pick up homeschool supplies. The girls enjoyed the VeggieTales video they were showing in the kids' area, and I browsed through all the great materials. Before I realized it, my mind was on something besides our referral, and suddenly, my cell phone rang. It was Bethanne. Finally, some answers!
But instead of explaining to me why Sunny Ridge had not received referrals for our batch, she instead said, "Well, are you ready to hear about your new baby?" In an instant, I checked on Hannah and Rachel to make sure they were still enjoying the video (they were), and sat myself down on the floor amid shelves of Bob and Larry merchandise with a pencil and paper, ready to take down all the information. Pretty soon, I needed a tissue, too!
Qiu Li Huan, female, born February 19, 2004, 6 1/2 months old, in Yangxi, Guangdong. Bethanne also described the Chinese characters of her name so I could go home and look up their meaning. That's all the information I was able to get until everything was translated, but it was enough. Our Abigail Lihuan was ready to join her new family!