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Our Referral Story – We have a son!

Our referral story…written on 2 different days…to document one of the most precious times in our entire lives—Our Journey to our precious Isaac

Written on April 7, 2010 (Wednesday)…

We just walked in the door from Traverse City Michegan. Suitcases finally down. All are sleeping in our home. As this momma does NOT like to fly—I’m just not a frequent flyer…but the hubby convinced me that since it’d been almost 2 years since I left the house with someone else keeping the babies (thank you Gigi!)…that it was time. Sooo—off we went. Rich said he had a meeting or two (which really means 6). We left on Tuesday at 6am and we would be gone until Wednesday at 10pm. Short trip—but just right for this momma who doesn’t like to leave her kids!

Traverse City is where Rich does a lot of business as he writes energy insurance for energy, coal and gas companies. And while Rich went from meeting to meeting—I had much needed down time. My heart had been tugged and pulled and just stretched to and fro lately in our adoption wait—and this getaway…my heart needed. Little did I know what turns where ahead…

In between meetings, Rich and I would grab coffee—and of course I snapped pictures…and even found an adorable hat shop—where I literally played for an hour with a nice old man who was quite the hat lover. I bought 3. One for yours truly to wear when I don’t have time to wash my hair—one for my dear Mama Judy who is in the midst of growing her hair out from chemo—and another for my Laney-loo who has her first tea party THIS Saturday. All…very important reasons to own a cute hat;). There was a lot of down time for me in the hotel too waiting on the hubby to return…so there was time to model my hat for myself…

Admit it—it’s an adorable hat…and you need one on a bad hair day too!

THEN…Rich invited me to join him for lunch with a crew of 5 clients and my instructions were to “tell funny stories”. OH…THE PRESSURE OF BEING FUNNY. But…it was done successfully. (In case you were wondering—I shared the honeymoon story about the bear and Rich picking up hitchhikers AND the recent story about him accidentally burning down our fence. CLASSICS.)

THEN…we went window shopping. AN OLD PAST TIME. You know with kids—not a lot of window shopping…sippin’ coffee and walking with your honey takes place…but we were having so much fun! Here are some of our favorite finds…

And a few pretty things…

We even played in a local toy shop…here is Rich learning to fly a model helicopter…

See where ole heli ended up…

And then—our time was over. But it was perfect—much needed—and the hubby and wife had rested and reconnected. We went to the Traverse City airport (SUPER SMALL) and I got frisked because the security was bored there. Thankfully, they just checked my hoodie. All clear. Then…we boarded the plane—where my panic and fear of flying quickly set in. Yes—I have FEARS. And I seriously, seriously, seriously, seriously struggle with flying. BUT–because I love my hubby, I board planes. As soon as we sat down, my phone rings—and STINK it’s our agency…which if you have adopted you know getting your monthly update call is what you WAIT for…and I had to let her go! “I’m so sorry K, we are literally on the run-way…I will have to call you back when we layover in Detriot.”

A couple of things about this flight. I don’t like to hear 2 things that have just been brought to my attention. And I never like to hear them together prior to take off. 1) We are experiencing a technical delay and 2) Ma’am, you are sitting in an emergency row seat. In the event of an emergency are you comfortable sitting here? (WHAT A DUMB QUESTION!) In the event of an emergency, ma’am I’m not comfortable PERIOD…including sitting here. The pilot comes over the speaker and says it’ll be 45 minutes until take off. NOW…45 minutes of torture to wait to head into a turbulent flight. Great. Ok, totally taking my mind off this and calling K at our agency right back. How fun that she was the one who answered when I called—and how fun that she actually answered and wasn’t on the phone. I was DYING for our new numbers…hoping we were finally, finally, finally SINGLE DIGIIIITTTTSSSS! (Single digits, people…single digits—something we adoption people LOVE being in on the waitlist!)

And to my shock and surprise—sitting in seat 8D, I got a response that I didn’t expect…

Andrea, I’d like to talk to you about a little baby boy…

First, when have I gotten to spend 2 days reconnecting with my husband before something big happened in our life that we needed to connect on?!

When am I actually sitting RIGHT beside my husband WHEN AGCI CALLS?!

And for the last 2 days as Rich was in and out of meetings, I wondered why in the world I was there—yet I had such a peace we needed to be there together…and now it was all making sense.

For the next 20 minutes seated in seats 8D and 8C, Richard and I heard about a perfect, sweet, beautiful baby boy. YET…we were on a RUNWAY with no way to look at pictures to help woo us…just my beloved and me…the facts and history…and a decision that seemed so clear. Our caseworker told us she would email medicals and pictures, and we told her we’d find a way to look over everything once we landed in Detriot and touch base with her then if we had more questions. And we took off—turbulence and all…we were off…

The plane shook—it was a windy day…and I made finger imprints in Richard’s hand as I held it tightly. My fear is flying. Richard’s is health unknowns. And without disclosing too much, our little man has many unknowns. And the Lord planned perfect timing for us to talk about them—together. (Had I NOT gone…I would have been home alone and it would have been hours and hours before Richard got home. I would have been tempted to tell friends and family…I would have ached for him to hurry home to just know what he was thinking! The Lord knew this and made a way for us to go and be together—and even more perfect to have a 1 hour flight to discuss THE CALL (I can’t believe I just wrote those words…I’ve dreamed about writing that forever!) As we held hands–I realized the Lord truly IS OVER OUR FEARS. The Lord is over our son. The same God who can guide that plane in the palm of his hand is the same God that can put His hand on my son and heal his malnourishment or any health problems he might actually have.

We landed in Detriot. Richard went one way for sandwiches, and I went one way for a utility plug. I couldn’t wait to plug in my battery zapped laptop and read our caseworkers email and see pictures. Richard got there–and we agreed…that although we still were not 100% on where and how the Lord was leading us—that this very well could be OUR SON and we wanted to treat it as such…and being that I always wanted pictures of us seeing his face for the FIRST time we decided we would grab a stranger if we could get the internet to work. SOOOOOO…we paid the $10 network connection fee at the airport and we had 59 minutes and counting to play. We read through the details of the email again…and then I sought a stranger who looked kind enough to take our picture of seeing our son. It was funny because I stopped a couple walking by, rambled about Ethiopia–our adoption—and how they JUST sent his pictures for the first time and we wondered if they might take a picture for us. I think I scared them at first because when I said, “Excuse me, are you guys in a hurry some where?” They said YES! But they asked why and when I told them…they got so excited and were no longer in a hurry;). Funny people!

So…we opened up the pictures—and we saw our Isaac for the very first time…

B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. (forgive the facial expression…this is me trying to smile and not to cry at the same time!)

We sat there and looked at those pictures forever…and we actually ALMOST missed our flight home because we didn’t hear the announcement!!! We were too busy gazing at his picture and reviewing medicals and history again and again. With no time to call family and friends—again, we had the opportunity again to just talk about this with one another. PRECIOUS time. This, my friends, is one flight I will never, ever, ever forget. The turbulence on this flight was WORSE. Horrible. But I had ZERO fear. Yes, a miracle. I had nothing. but. PEACE.

On this flight—we laughed, we dreamed, we doubted, we cried, we fought, we forgave…just a few emotions in the air with our feelings. But I also fell in love with my husband all over again as he held my hand and said, “Let’s trust the Lord.” And the tears came. I looked out the window with tears running down my cheeks…thinking of unknowns…thinking of our life…thinking of our Isaac. Thinking of those that need a mommy and daddy. That need someone to fight for them. And then we started talking about our son. Our Isaac. And we were already beginning to see him as ours. As I listening to my husband talk, I was reminded of the years I prayed that he would want to adopt one day. And here he was—bragging on his big-eyed Ethiopian son…and saying things I will forever, forever, forever carry in my heart. Today reminded me why I married him, why I love him and why I’m on this journey of following the Lord through anything and into anything with him. We are in this together…and I can’t wait to tell our children in the morning…that they have a baby brother—named Isaac.

Written on April 8, 2010 (Thursday)…

We woke up this morning like it was Christmas morning…excited and ready to tell our children about their precious baby brother…

Our children (minus baby Frank) meeting Isaac! from Andrea Young on Vimeo.

Parker thought Isaac was a funny little guy and all Laney could say ALL day and every time she sees a picture of him, “He’s SOOOOOOO cute!” I agree Laney-bug! I agree!!! We are now in the scurry of getting the pediatrician to review everything and regardless—we are excited to move forward in bringing home our son. Sure–there are unknowns. But aren’t their always?! We are completely smitten and in love and we will do anything to bring home our son. We can’t WAIT to hold him in our arms for the FIRST time!

Looking back–it all now makes perfect sense. It fits together like a perfect puzzle…a quilt our Father in heaven has been weaving since the beginning of time. In August, I wrote this post (click here) and this is WHEN we felt a sense of urgency to BEGIN our journey! And this my friends, IS WHEN OUR SON WAS BORN! We had already added some special needs on our home study—but in December and January we felt pressed to call our agency and tell them we REALLY FELT CALLED to a special child. I kept asking “Are you SURE there isn’t a special needs baby boy—I feel in my heart he has already been born!” Our sweet caseworker assured us there was not YET—and to continue to wait and trust Him. And in February—our son arrived at Hannah’s Hope (our agency’s orphanage). Remember how the Lord pressed Lent on my heart this year?! Remember how I said over and over and over this Lent season how this year for Lent was special and like no other for our family?! Well–guess what day he arrived at Hannah’s Hope??? ON THE VERY FIRST DAY OF LENT! Guess what ornament we placed on our Lent Tree on this day? A mountain and a mustard seed! On this day–we talked about having FAITH…and if we have faith the size of a mustard seed—we could move mountains. On this day—for our Isaac…the Lord moved a mountain. A baby who seemed hopeless was rescued and saved. And in a couple of months—he will be sleeping in a beautiful plush nursery, hearing hymns sung to him each night and surrounded by more love than (I am convinced) any baby has ever known.

There are SO many other things that make this story soooo perfect for us. And we know–beyond a shadow of a doubt that this child—IS OUR SON.

On the day our son was rescued—is the VERY day I wrote these words of Warren Wiersbe:

Jesus provides all that we need. He is our burnt offering, and we must yield ourselves wholly to Him.
He is our meal offering, the seed that was crushed and put through fire, that we might have the Bread of Life,
and we must feed upon Him.
He is our drink offering who poured Himself out in sacrifice and service,
and we must pour ourselves out for Him and others.
He is our fellowship offering, making life a joyful feast instead of a painful famine.
He is our sin offering and our guilt offering, and He bore our sins on His body,
and paid the full price for our sins.

Praise be to God—our Father in Heaven—who sacrificed His very own son—YET…HE IS RESCUING MINE! My hands are lifted high today! I praise His HOLY NAME! And to think—it even gets better than this! What did I do to deserve such love??? Absolutely NOTHING. He did it all—so I might rejoice, worship and truly LIVE. Thank you Lord for rescueing my son…and I pray for the day I can finally, finally, finally hold him in my arms!

Please pray that all the cards will align perfectly to get us in court quickly so we can bring home our son who needs nourishment and care quickly. Pray our FDL form comes THIS WEEK or EARLY NEXT! Pray for His will to be done—and for us to cling to Him for the rest of our journey. And of course–pray for our Isaac’s health. He is 8 months and 10 pounds—and he needs us to come get him quickly so we can fatten him up and give him all the special care he needs. Thank you my sweet sisters and brothers in Christ for being along for the ride. We love you all…dearly.


Rachel Bell - April 8, 2010 - 4:01 pm

That’s GREAT news Andrea! So happy for you guys and can’t wait to see a picture of the little guy!

Becca Harley - April 8, 2010 - 4:13 pm

oh my friend – I have tears of joy running down my cheeks for you. What a blessing Isaac is already to your precious family. and what a blessing you all will be to him. We are fervently praying that your FDL comes now and that your Isaac is home in your arms soon. Oh, how I wish that I could be at the airport when you arrive! Praise God for His perfect Plan, perfect Timing, and His perfect son that He has given too you.
Huge hugs (and tears) from NY,

JonesEthiopia - April 8, 2010 - 4:16 pm

Beautiful. Like I told you a long time ago, the timing is always perfect, as is the child for your family.

Amy Kirk - April 8, 2010 - 4:18 pm

Praise The Most High God!

Amy Kirk

Melissa Lazzara - April 8, 2010 - 4:19 pm

AAHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Congratulations!!! I’m so excited for you & your precious family!!!

Tracy - April 8, 2010 - 4:21 pm

Congratulations! What a wonderful (and unique)referral day story!

Heidi - April 8, 2010 - 4:25 pm

CONGRATS!!!! YEAH God he always has the perfect timing! Praying for you and your next steps! I just love reading your story! We leave next Wednesday for Ethiopia to get our little Jonas. Just so excited for you!

Christina - April 8, 2010 - 4:32 pm

Thrilled for your family! Prayers for smooth sailing (and flying!) as you complete the journey to bring your precious boy HOME!

Gini - April 8, 2010 - 4:36 pm

Wow–what an awesome, awesome story! An even more awesome God. Love it!!!! Thank you for sharing your story–can’t wait to watch it all unfold. 🙂

Jenny - April 8, 2010 - 4:42 pm

what a GOD story! i love it! i’m so so happy for you guys!!! praying for everything to go quickly and smoothly from here on!

Lauren - April 8, 2010 - 4:46 pm

That’s the most beautiful story! I can’t wait until we get to see pictures of your little guy! I’m praying for everything to come together smoothly so that you can get him home ASAP!!! 🙂

Katy - April 8, 2010 - 4:50 pm

Horray! Rejoicing with you today!

cris - April 8, 2010 - 4:51 pm

My heart felt congrats to you. Love your story how God is writing it.



Janelle Rychener - April 8, 2010 - 4:57 pm

Wow!!! God is so amazing! What a great story!! Can’t wait to hear the rest. :O)

Sarah - April 8, 2010 - 5:07 pm

Andrea, I am new to your blog and new to adoption. The experience you have described here is what is in my heart. We just started down this road, but the sense of urgency to get started RIGHT NOW is an outstanding feature. My daily prayer it that we would stay on God’s timetable, whether we get our baby sooner OR later. We just want the child He has chosen.

I will be praying for you in these next months. May the Lord Jesus continue to grace you each step until you bring your Isaac home.

PS. I love the story of Isaac in the bible. What an appropriate name!

Marci - April 8, 2010 - 5:17 pm

He is so GOOD !!! What an Easter story brought into all of our lives….and now you can scream from the top of that mountain…Alleluia…your son Isaac,will soon be in your family surrounded by love ,yummy food and great prayers. what JOY !

Kindra - April 8, 2010 - 5:19 pm

God is in every seemingly tiny detail of our lives. God Bless You as you continue your journey to Isaac. God could not have blessed a more appropriate mom to spread His glory through this story!

Megan - April 8, 2010 - 5:23 pm

Wow! I was SHOCKED to read the title to this post today. I was not expecting it, as I ‘m sure you weren’t either! Such an amazing story of how God truely has a plan for our lives….wow. I don’t know what else to say, but wow. Oh yeah, and CONGRATULATIONS MAMA!!!!! =)

Trudy - April 8, 2010 - 5:27 pm

I’ve been following your journey and are so happy to hear this joyous news. God has watched over Isaac and your family. He will flourish with all your love and care.

Jenn - April 8, 2010 - 5:33 pm

WOW. Wow. WOW! So amazing. So glad to be on this journey together. So thankful for a HUGE GOD who can orchestrate every little detail. Rejoicing with you!!!!!


Elizabeth Smtih - April 8, 2010 - 5:35 pm

This post has me in TEARS! I am remembering the day we got Eliza’s picture. The whole family, including eight month old Shipley, gathered in front of the HUGE television and we opened the e-mail together. We cried at how beautiful and perfect she was. Still to this day, I feel 100% she was meant to be in our family.
Congratulations and love to all of you!

Jenny R - April 8, 2010 - 5:44 pm

Amazing! Wow!!! I am thrilled for you and your family!!! I am totally amazed at how perfectly that worked out for you! Our God is amazing!!!!!

Elle J - April 8, 2010 - 5:59 pm

YES!!!! How exciting and with chills all over I send you a huge cyber hug and congratulations!! Praying for Isaac and praying for the wisdom of God to continue to shine down upon you!! Andrea, how very exciting! I LOVE the vacation-fear-of-flying-perfect-story of hearing your referral WITH your husband. God is so incredibly awesome!!!

julie@Flitterbugs - April 8, 2010 - 6:01 pm

CRYING…SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!! I cannot wait to hear more! What a beautiful story….Praise the Lord! My little brothe has special needs (lots, BIG ones!) My mom has openly told the other 4 of us that if she could just coose one child (obiously crazy and she never would!), she would choose him, Stephen. She said you cannot comprehend the love of Christ until you have a special needs child. A beautiful, perhaps at times heartbreaking, journey awaits you all. Guess you are gonna be heading to Africa after all this summer, huh 🙂 Praising the Lord for you tonight!

Helen - April 8, 2010 - 6:02 pm

Congratulations to the Young Family! Great news and lovely story!

Jenny - April 8, 2010 - 6:03 pm

PRAISE THE LORD!!! Oh my goodness… I can’t imagine how thrilled you guys are!

Ingrid - April 8, 2010 - 6:15 pm

Congratulations- I am so excited for all of you! God is so Good!

Melissa - April 8, 2010 - 6:19 pm

A-MAZ-ING!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing with the world the way God has done an amazing work in your family. Only our AWESOME Father can orhestrate such blessed circumstances…ending of course in your sweet baby boy coming home forever!!!!

Natali - April 8, 2010 - 7:09 pm


Melissa - April 8, 2010 - 7:11 pm

When I saw that you had a referral, I was shocked and so excited. I kind of feel like I have a referral. To have been through this journey with you, it feels so real to me. Wow, people do get a child at the end of this! I will be praying that Issac comes home soon!!!!!

Amber - April 8, 2010 - 7:12 pm

Congratulations, Andrea! I can’t wait to hear more…and see pictures of your amazing family “reunion” soon! Love you, girl!

emily v - April 8, 2010 - 7:31 pm

SO overwhelmed with joy and excitement for you!!!
Come home sweet Issac, come home soon!

Jennifer - April 8, 2010 - 7:37 pm

What a BEAUTIFUL story!!! Thanks for sharing!

Shelley - April 8, 2010 - 7:42 pm

I am so excited for your family. I am praying for your little Issac and everything goes fast to get him home. What an amazing story! The Lord truely does move mountains.

Kelley Brown - April 8, 2010 - 8:51 pm

YAY!!!! Andrea, I am SO thrilled for ya’ll!!! Didn’t you sometimes feel like the Call would never come?? The details, the circumstances of the call, the significance of the dates, just everything makes me in awe of how God worked the details together. Your post brought tears, and I can’t wait until I see your son in your arms!!!! Can’t wait to see pics and hear more…. love you!!!

We’re leaving Hong Kong in a few hours to fly to Kunming, and it will be wild to be just minutes from our little girl and yet not be able to see her yet. I love traveling this journey of adoption together……. much love!


Leigh - April 8, 2010 - 9:02 pm

This is beautiful and wonderful and perfect AND SO OBVIOUSLY FROM GOD! I love it! praying everything goes so smoothly and that your precious Isaac will be in your arms very very soon!

april - April 8, 2010 - 9:07 pm

oh my word Andrea…i am SO EXCITED for you guys! Love the pictures and video and guess what…i did not even realize it that you were naming your song Isaac…guess what…that is our top pick right now if we get matched with a boy! How exciting is that! SO happy for you! Congrats!

Tiffini - April 8, 2010 - 9:08 pm

Amazing! What a special story. I LOVE how God weaves the details together in a way that only HE can do. Each detail, so precious, so perfect, planned by God from the beginning of time. Praising the Lord along with you today. I understand the uncertainty that comes with health issues. God will provide.

Vanessa - April 8, 2010 - 9:38 pm

Praising God with you today friend!!! I’m so excited for you all and your new little boy. I know during the wait, we all feel like – come on already, but then when you get your referral for the perfect child, you realize that the timing was perfect and that you have the perfect child – only God could orchestrate (sp?) it! What a beautiful story!

Hugs to you!!

Troy - April 8, 2010 - 10:18 pm

That’s an amazing God story, Andrea … CONGRATULATIONS!

LORD Jesus, we thank you for baby Isaac and Your provision in his life already. We thank you for bringing him into this family. Lord, I pray for Isaac’s health, Lord, that you would surround his body and protect him … allow his body to process the formula and get the nutrients it so dearly needs. Jesus, I pray for His heart … that you would start the bonding forming in it so that when they meet him SOON, the attachment will be so strong from day 1! Lord, bring him home soon! I know you have amazing things planned for his life.

It’s in Your Name that we pray and believe


Kim - April 8, 2010 - 10:32 pm

On Andrea! I am flooded with tears and praising God for you today precious friend. I am so excited for you and your precious family. God worked the same way with such recognizable timing (in the rear view mirror) with the twins adoption. Every date (despite the seemingly endless delays) ultimately revealed His perfect timing. I love all the details that lead to Isaac’s referral call and how His plans were for you and Richard to enjoy this moment together. Just. The. Two. Of. You.
Thank you sweet friend for allowing us to sit front row and witness His mighty works!
We are all blessed by your testimony!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

Kelli Ross - April 8, 2010 - 10:54 pm

What an amazing post. Tears of joy for you and your family.

We are a AGCI family also!
God Bless

missy - April 8, 2010 - 11:09 pm

i’m not sure the chills i have will ever go away! what a beautiful story. how sweet of god to make it clear that this is YOUR boy. i remember when you posted about the wrestling you had over a waiting child. how perfectly it has all been woven. god was the one waiting…waiting to bring you all together. and how sweet it will be to bring your dear isaac HOME.

Sallee Couch - April 8, 2010 - 11:34 pm

Congrats!! Praying for all to be quick to bring your sweet baby home!! God is Good!! Praise HIM!!

Shannon - April 9, 2010 - 1:14 am

Oh Andrea…just opened up your blog and just about fell out of my chair! Tears of joy are running down my face! What an AMAZING story that only He could write. You have been on my heart so much lately…prayers are being sent!

Anne Marie - April 9, 2010 - 2:53 pm

Lots and lots of prayers being said for you and your precious family!!! What a story!! Tears in my eyes!!

Nikki - April 9, 2010 - 6:37 pm

Wow!!!! Amazing what happens when you don’t check a blog for a week! I’m so excited about your news, your sweet new son… God is so, so good! Congratulations!! 🙂

tara - April 10, 2010 - 8:15 am

I have been following your blog for a while. I am so happy for your family and am praying everything falls in to place so you can get Issac hope quickly. God Bless You! Tara

Jackie - April 10, 2010 - 11:16 am

Andrea- I am sooo thrilled for you!! I love to read how God weaved this story together. Just as you have trusted Him to provide your son in His time… trust Him to take care of all the details. He cares about every one, even down to the smallest piece of paperwork.

I can’t wait to read the rest of your story… about God’s faithfulness, and His provision. I’ll be praying for you and all the details that are to come!


Lisa - April 20, 2010 - 12:13 am

Wow Andrea; it’s so true that God is all-knowing! How he gave you a sudden urgency, the details of your Lent story… he is such a God of details it’s incredible, and so wonderful to hear from another real-life story! Praise God for his kindness to Isaac and your family. Blessed to be a blessing.

[…] I was OVER-JOYED to hear our case-workers voice that day (if you missed that entry, you can read it here). I didn’t really share much about his referral at the time–other than he was severly […]

[…] I hear therapists say, “Well, he’ll always have a harder time physically…” and I catch myself wondering before even going to a neurologist what his underlying cause of his hypotonia might be. I keep asking, “It COULD be NOTHING–right? I mean, you can JUST have this right with no underlying cause?” NOW…REWIND WITH ME TO THAT PLANE RIDE BACK IN APRIL… […]

[…] we got your referral call…(you can read about that joyous day here)…we said YES in our hearts LONG before we ever saw your face…I’ll never forget […]

[…] If you would like to reminisce with me you absolutely must journey with me down memory lane by clicking on the sweet airport run-way call HERE (yes–I was ON an airplane runway when THE call came!) I will NEVER forget that phone call and […]

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