her jet black hair is thick as can be.

her smile is subtle, but certainly there.

her eyes beam of grace and peacefulness.

her stature is childishly confident.

in her picture, she is healthy and well.

henna decorates her right hand and arm. probably from a recent celebration.

call me a crazy mom, but her nose looks like that of sam, our middle son.

a bindi {the dot} adorns her forehead.

it is said that for hindus, it's the third eye.

given two physical eyes, the bindi helps one focus inward toward God.

and all the while, not seeing her face, only knowing her name,

my God is reminding me that He has never once taken His eyes off of her.

"He cuts out channels in the rocks, and His eye sees every precious thing...

For He looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens."       Job 28.10, 24

thursday, july 11, the orphanage director got word to us that the referral was ready to be sent.

this would include at least one photo, her medical history, vaccination records, and child study report.


nothing on friday or through the weekend.

to be honest, we weren't surprised.

we were still putting our trust in God, but had very little faith in anything the director said.

our agency reached out to him on monday and tuesday in hopes that he would reply to their email or phone calls.


7:16 am wednesday morning {July 17} the phone rang with an east coast number.

it was her! it was our agency calling. this meant only one thing.

we were getting the referral!

ben rushed home from a breakfast meeting.

i sat in the chair by the window, tapping the top of the computer.

knowing the referral was somehow making its way from india to virginia to california.

i reached over and exchanged the computer for my Bible and journal.

that's how it should have been 5 minutes ago.

oh grace!

 i don’t deserve to be in the moment. to be receiving such news. it is all because He is good and delights in us. He delights in K.

my prayer written in my journal that morning...

{oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever...rejoice! rejoice! he has sent us K's referral. oh thank You, God. thank You. Your hand is strong. You do not delay. You do not forget. You are for our daughter. You are for us. You never fail. You are so good. You give us good gifts and this is an enormous one! there will be many details that we will never know about her childhood up to this point. but one thing is true. You know the details of her life. more details than all the doctors and caregivers in the world could know of her. we're about to look at her file. i just first wanted to give You praise and worship and all my adoration. thank You, God, a thousand times. amen.}

asher surprised me up on the chair. ben walked in minutes later.

together we opened the attachment and were speechless.

our eyes were glued open and affixed to the screen.

particularly the upper right corner where a 2”x2” picture captivated us.

“she is gorgeous.”

“she is beautiful.”

that’s all that left our lips. over and over.

we began to read the little information that is given about her.

her medical records. her vaccines given.

she only speaks the state language. not hindi. not english.

what a gift we can be working on right now to give her. to learn her language by the time we meet.

then to help her learn english as we become a family.

the day moved on for all of us. the boys picked up remotes and bats and gloves and legos.

yet every now and then, they'd ask about precious K.

ben went back to work. to meetings. to coaching calls. yet every now and then, we texted each other overjoyed.

as for me, i said it earlier in a tweet. i spent the day staring at her. maybe a load of laundry done. but my thoughts were speeding ahead to holding her. to looking into her face the day we meet for the first time.

without a second thought, we signed the report emailed to us and it made its way back through cyberspace into the director’s inbox on the other side of the world.

this was wednesday.

we weren’t expecting much more news until word that the orphanage director has mailed the hard copy of what we had received electronically that day.

but he surprised us. and we’ll take these surprises any ole day.

now it’s friday.

all five of us were boarding a plane in the city headed to texas when my phone rang while passing rows 22, 23, 24...

“what?” there was no denying I was loud.

“more pictures?”

our agency was sending us four updated pictures, her measurements and some more news. the email was not arriving in time before we had to power down all electronics.

four more pictures of our precious K. this was worth the ten dollars for gogo inflight wifi.

two of us leaned back over our seats and the other three positioned themselves and the laptop for what was next. it was clear to the other passengers that we were receiving special news 30,000 feet up in the sky.

it became very clear that the 2”x2” picture we received a few days ago was probably taken a few years ago. these photos were taken on friday. just hours ago.

“oh, she’s grown up since we saw her last!”

“she looks more like seven and a half now.”

“she’s gorgeous.”

“she’s beautiful.”

it was as if the director did a little photo shoot with our K. umbrellas in hand. an outfit change.

posing by the flowers and posing by the banana tree.

he sent us her measurements. she’s smack dab in between sam and asher and they are stair steps already.

we’re guessing her as size 6.

and the more news? we were so shocked there were two emails in one week, let along more news.

the more news.

oh the more news!

it’s protocol in india to ask older children if they desire to be adopted. this goes hand in hand with the referral being signed by the adoptive parents.

i never thought for a moment that she would choose the other option, but it was sweetness to the soul to read the news that K wants to be adopted.

now, this doesn’t mean she knows of us or that a family is in process of adopting her. she simply took pictures and measurements and gave her consent for the future possibility.

oh, but we know!

and we’ve seen her.

and we can’t wait to get our arms around her.

here’s what is next:

orphanage director mails the hard copy of the CSR for us to sign, get notarized, and apostilled. we mail it back.

we fill out the I-800A to start her citizenship process. it goes to india and then we receive the article 5 document.

in the meantime, our paperwork goes for state approval {ARC} in india.

once approved, it goes for federal approval {NOC} in india.

once approved, it goes to a local court in the orphanage town for approval.

once approved by the judge, the director begins to apply for K’s passport.

during this time, we begin working on our travel plans.

this process looks easy, quick and simple.

oh if it were! {and we pray it will be!}

the estimated time is 8-12 months.

i hope every step is the minimum of 2 months.

sam is even more hopeful that every step is two weeks!

we keep moving forward all the while rejoicing!

i'm so thankful you're on this journey with us. so thankful.

if you'd keep praying with us:

1. that the director will do everything possible to keep this process moving quickly and smoothly

2. that officials and judges in the process will be free to look over our paperwork the day it arrives to them and respond favorably

3. that our precious K's heart will be ready to receive news of us when the time comes