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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Like a Freight Train

When I was younger we lived in a neighborhood near Midway Airport in Chicago, in an apartment off a very busy street next to train tracks. This was at a time when the tracks were on the ground. Later, after we moved away, the tracks would be lifted from the ground and made into the El-way for passenger trains. I am unsure if freight trains still travel on the ground through there anymore, but they did when I was a kid.

You can imagine those apartments weren't the most peacefully quiet place to live, between the airplanes barely catching enough air to clear the rooftops, the constant flow of traffic on the street and the trains running past. Literally, there was the track, some gravel, a narrow parking driveway, and then, the front door of our apartment. The distance between the two had to be 50 feet TOPS. I have to say, though, that living near the railroad made for some interesting childhood experiences. A lot of Barbies and GI Joes were decapitated by our play group.

I remember how the tracks would begin to vibrate when a train was in the distance. The sound of the clack, clack, clack would start off so faint and grow louder and louder. As the train neared the lights would begin flashing on the red and white striped road barricades and the dinging bells would ring. Clack, clack, clack the train would keep moving unwavering from it's course while the conductor blew his ear piercing horn. I always felt a huge rush of excitement as the cars zipped past me in a dizzying furry, whirling the air around me.

I am reminded of that same feeling of anticipation and excitement today.

I've heard the clack, clack, clack of the wheels gliding over the rails ever so faintly this week with the news of 5 referrals being handed out through our agency. I was shocked to look at my little tracking list and find out that Dustin and I are further ahead in "the line" [a] than we had imagined. According to my records[b] there are really only two other families ahead of us in line who are requesting a child that would fit into the same category as the child we are requesting and would therefore go ahead of us for a referral. All others are requesting children older than we are or a siblings group or girls. This means that our referral could come very soon.

My pulse raises just a bit at the thought. Butterflies begin fluttering around in my tummy. As the sound grows nearer I begin to anticipate the rush. There is a sort of nervous energy radiating around me and Dustin. To come near us is to be touched by it. We're trying our hardest to contain our emotions but it's SO hard. The girls sense it too. They've asked a few questions about who's gotten a referral and when it will be our turn. We are all wondering when will the referral train roll on through our home and who is the child coming down the tracks with it. Only time will tell.

............. In the mean while clack, clack, clack, clack

[a]The line is something unto itself and could possibly require another whole post just to explain it's intricacies. Just know that it's not like waiting for your food in a fast food joint. Being number one doesn't mean your order will get "filled" first. A family must wait until the child who meets the sex/age requirements becomes available. As kids become available for adoption they are matched with families. Both the child and family have to be a fit for each other. By it's very nature the line is unreliable and can only be used for approximation.

[b] According to my records there are two other mystery families ahead of us in line. We don't know who they are nor the sex/age range of the child they are requesting so they have the potential to be ahead of us making us 5th in line for those requesting a male child 2 years or younger.


Brooke said...

Oh, how very exciting. I am so ready to see his face (for real!) and to hear his hame. Your wait has been so long and to think it is almost over is just relief in itself! Hang in there!

Sassy Granny said...

What a lovely testimony to endurance and patience, the best kind that can only be summoned by the Lord. May the days pass swiftly, and at long last your vision (and ride) be reality.


Zack & Rebecca Caldwell said...

I believe your list is correct! I will let you know if and when I hear anything from Terra....I know what you mean about the excitement!! It is crazy! Oh, and I love the pics of your girls...they are sooo pretty!

Suz... said...

awesome update Jen! I could so visualize and feel your energy through your words. thanx for sharing!

Anonymous said...

It amazes me the details that you and Julie (and other moms/women) have down. Like what number you are in line for referral, how many days its been since you filed etc. Not that we guys don't really care - I love my kiddos and can't wait to be hugging on them soon. But you gals really amaze me with the nitty-gritty details. Thats a good thing.
I am praying again that maybe somehow God might put us all on that plane together, if that is in his plan and our best interest. Who knows. If not we'll all just have to get together when we get back.