It's 8 days until Christmas - December 17th to be exact. Let me start by painting you a picture of our day.
We woke up in a lovely condo in Park City, Utah; threw on some warm clothes; and stepped outside to eat some bright, white, fluffy snow. We hopped in our rental Jeep and headed to breakfast downtown. Looking throughout the windows of a delightful cafe, we saw snow covered roofs, stunning mountains, skiiers boarding the lift, and evergreens dusted in snow. Talk about beauty!
We looked in awe, and Lilly Grace repeatedly asked if it was pretend or real (also referring to it as sand, as she confuses sand and snow). God's creation is truly remarkable. While gazing at the scenery and eating a scrumptious breakfast, we were talking about how today is Samuel's birthday. We were sad that he wasn't spending his birthday with his forever family, but thankful that this should be his last birthday as an orphan.
In the middle of breakfast, we received a call from our wonderful social worker, Beth. She said she had some good news - the ICBF had approved our family to adopt precious Samuel! We have been waiting for weeks for our dossier to be approved, so we were elated to discover that our dossier had been approved AND we had been "matched" with Samuel. This is all just verbal and e-mail communication. We're still waiting on it be officially be in writing, and due to the wording, we aren't 100% sure the dossier was approved. But we are fairly certain that the dossier and match were approved.
Immediately, we called and texted our families, who were all so encouraging and eager to meet this precious boy. A common question has resounded from almost everybody: What's next? The next step is to receive an official letter stating we have been matched with Samuel. The tricky part is that Christmas and New Year's are around the corner, so this could take a few weeks to receive. Luckily, the in-country team is really pushing for it to happen quickly. Lastly, we will have some paperwork to do and have approved here in America. It takes on average about 6 weeks, but Brent has some connections to some folks in DC who have volunteered to do all they can to cut this time as much as possible. Then, we will be making arrangements to go to Colombia for 6-7 weeks and bring our son HOME!
Yes, Christmas still is 8 days away, but we got our Christmas wish - an answered prayer. We are much closer to having Samuel forever. We have felt your prayers, and are thankful to everyone of you who have prayed. Thank you for the encouragement, and please continue to pray.
Merry Christmas and God Bless You!