For most of the two weeks since our referral I have been in a state of shock. We were not expecting a referral in July. We definitely were not expecting siblings. I don't think we were actually even expecting children - after so many months of paperwork it had begun to seem that the paperwork was the whole point, and to see pictures of real, flesh-and-blood little boys was completely astonishing.
I came back from vacation with my brain running at half-speed. For the first few days home I did almost nothing, just shut myself in the house, finished the home repairs I had started before vacation, and generally hid from the world. I couldn't study Amharic. I didn't look at their pictures.
People talk about bursting into tears during their referral call or at the first sight of their future children. I didn't. I got a little teary-eyed when my mom's voice wavered talking about the boys, and when T's mom sent out a fundraising appeal for East Africa with a new, personal urgency. I choked up a little when our friend said that if we ever needed it, she would be available to take Buki, and when people I've never met exploded with joy across the internet. I have been really, really grateful for the love and support of so many people. But I was in too much shock to really feel my emotions.
Until Monday, when we got this email from a family member: I know that you will be required and want to make multiple trips to Africa to complete your adoption efforts. [ ] and I would like to put some smooth air under your wings and pay for all your airline tickets.
That was the tipping point. Everything that had been building up came out at that moment. There's crying, and then there's all the air rushing out of your lungs, leaving you gasping. I sobbed reading the email, and I sobbed again in the bathroom accessories aisle at Lowe's where I was meeting T after work (and suddenly everyone who had planned to buy a bathroom fan remembered that they really needed a lug nut on the other side of the store). These boys will be LOVED. They will be loved so much, and by so many people. We are truly, truly lucky to have the family and friends that we do.
After that I was able to start studying Amharic again. And I'm filling out our visa applications today.