Have I mentioned that we are number 1 on the waiting list? That basically means that any moment our agency could call to tell us that they've found our little boy! I think a lot of people are confused and think that there is a specific child already picked out for us. I'm assuming the confusion comes from the fact that we've called him Silas since we started this process. Let me explain...
Here's how it works. When you get to the top of the waiting list within your agency the agency starts to look for files of children that would fit into your family. I say this because our agency will not refer a child to a family that is the same age as a child you already have. So they are looking for a child that will fit in the middle somewhere in our case. Once they have a file that they think would work, they call us first and ask if we are interested. Of course we will scream, "YES"! At that point, they will send his file to us. It will have a picture of him, along with any information they have on him like status of birth parents, where he's from and his medical report. We will have 14 days to pray over him and accept or decline the referral. I can't imagine any reason why anyone would decline a child, but I'm sure it's happened.
So, when we decided to adopt, we initially requested a baby. Most of the children in Ethiopia have names that are difficult to pronounce, so we decided that we would give him a name and keep his given name as well. He would be too young to know the difference anyway. We chose the name Silas. We both just loved the name and wanted this child across the world to be personal to us as we waited on him. Using his name, that we would give him, made him seem more real and close to us for some reason. We would pray every night for Silas, not "Lord, take care of our child on the other side of the planet". Our kids have called him by his name since day one. Everyone that we know ask about updates on Silas. He has a name and everyone knows it!
Fast forward past our very unexpected pregnancy and delay in the adoption, we decide to adopt an older child instead. Then we had the dilemma of knowing that we were getting a child that will know his given name. After talking with several people, that know a lot more about child psychology than we do, we decided to keep the name Silas. We will still keep his given name as well. We will call him by both for awhile and then I'm sure he will get 600 nicknames added to it, just like all my other kids. Seriously, they all have at least 8 nicknames each and will answer to any of them!
Anyway, hope that clears things up. We do not have a referral of a child...yet. When we do get him, his name will be Silas and he's going to be awesome!