Tuesday, November 10, 2009


We received our referral yesterday. I had been up since 7am Florida time looking at the computer every few minutes. We had gone to breakfast and came back around 9:45 to get the rest of our belongings then head to the shuttle to the airport. We have been in Boca Raton, Florida for a long weekend. God ended our trip with an email that I have been dreaming about for quite sometime. I actually dreamt about it yesterday too, but my dream was that we didn’t receive the referral email.

So coming back to our room, I open my email one last time. I start taking care of a few things while waiting for it to load. My phone rings. Heidi, another adoptive mom, calls. I tell Ryan to “ANSWER IT!”. He does and says “It’s Heidi.” I had a wave of emotion come over me because I know the reason she would be calling would be because the referrals had started to come. I had asked for someone in our group to call me because we would be traveling most of the day on Monday. (Thank you so much Heidi for calling!!!)

I run to my computer and look. Sure enough, at 9:13 am (4:13pm Kigali time), the Minister sent us our “Adoptee Matching File.” I immediately open the email, see the letter from the minister, continuing to scroll down to see a picture. A beautiful picture of a sweet little girl. She is dressed in a white flowy dress and sandals that are too small for her feet. Her hair is cut short, real short. Her eyes are beautiful. A deep brown that have a shine. She has full lips and sweet little cheeks. I say to Ryan “How old is she, what is her name?” We scroll back up to the letter from the Minister. Ryan finds her given name. Emotions over take me at this point and I am so excited that I can barely stand it. Even as I type this my heart rate is accelerating and I am getting all excited again.

Her name is Grace (Rwandan Name) Smith. We will call her Gracie (Ryan says that he will call her Grace but I have a feeling he will end up caving and calling her Gracie too). She seems to be around 3 years old. The file with her details didn’t come through. I am hoping to have that information soon. Ryan has spent some time trying to figure out how old she is. She was pictured in front of a brick wall. He thinks the bricks are 2.5 inches tall and she is about 11 bricks which would be 36 inches. He then went online to look at growth charts and says that according to the charts she could be around 2 years old or up to 4 years old based on age and percentiles.

We are both overjoyed with our new daughter. Ryan is quietly showing his excitement and I am bouncing off the walls, dancing, clapping, smiling from ear to ear. This is one of the moments we have been waiting for for almost 13 months. This is the moment were we become parents of 3 children. This is the moment when God has completed our family (for the time being).

We are not allowed to post her picture until she is legally ours, which will hopefully be in a few weeks. Here is a picture that I took yesterday. I took a walk by myself down the beach. I prayed, watched the waves crash, and was in just awe of His creation. I wrote all of our names in the sand....here is HER name.

*this picture was taken on the beach at Boca Raton...before we knew who she was.


Bon Bon Mom said...

What an incredible post! I can't wait to see and meet little Gracie Smith. SO exciting!

Lori said...

Sooo excited for you! Praise God!

Regan said...

I am rejoicing with you. What a great story. Thanks for sharing!

Jenn said...

Congratulations! What a beautiful story. We are praying that all of you can have your babies home for Christmas.

Susie said...

I am SOOOOOO happy for you. Was God waiting for the "I" day - Introducing was such a good title :)

May yesterday's joy carry you through the next round of waiting - you are in the home stretch!

steps directed said...

Praise God!!
We are so thankful and happy for you. We will continue to pray for you and little Grace. May the Lord bring her into your arms soon!

4-more said...

PRAISE THE LORD FOR GRACIE!!!! Sharing tears of joy!!!!

KLTTX said...

Congratulations! What fabulous news. I am enjoying reading about the referrals from all of the waiting families. Looking forward to having that experience in a year or so.

Suzanne Watson said...

YEAH!!!! Congrats Ashley. I can't wait to see pictures. We're praying for a quick court date.

Scott Hulsey said...

CONGRATS!! I am happy to hear about your addition to the family. I know the blessings will flow both ways as she enters into the Smith family. We will continue to pray for your family.
The Hulseys

Romans 8:28- And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Rachel, Bryan, and Corban said...

I don't even know you---but have always planned to adopt from Africa--and have recently decided Rwanda specifically. I grew up in East Africa as a missionary kid and have been following all of you Rwandan adoption families blogs obsessively. I am crying with joy and praying for fast court dates!!!
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." Prov. 13:12
Congratulations and many blessings on the rest of the journey!

Alison McLennan said...

CONGRATULATIONS! I can't stop crying every time I hear about one of these precious little souls finding a family. Praise God!!!