What a crazy day. We woke up this morning, had breakfast, got ready and prepped ourselves for the staffing/interview. We arrived about 30 minutes early. They were running just a little late, so the anxious feelings grew. We started our interview around 12:30 and finished about 2:15. Everything seemed to go really well, but it being our very first staffing, we didn't have a frame of reference. We went back to the hotel and couldn't stand just sitting around. We went to Chick-fil-a for a late lunch. Jackson prayed, asking God to give us the children and for it to be a quick answer. As we finished our meal (about 3:20), the phone rang. Stephen answered the phone and went outside to talk. It was Lauren from the staffing. "Stephen, would you be available for a pre-placement visit at 4:00? Your family has been chosen as the adoptive resource for the children."
After tears, squeals and jumping around in the middle of Chick-fil-a, we quickly returned to the hotel and grabbed a few things and headed out to meet the kids. As we were walking in the building, we noticed a little boy walking down the sidewalk and we heard him say, "Who are those people?" Such a sweet little voice and little did we know that it was our 4-year-old son. They led us to a visitation room where the kids, along with the foster parents, were waiting. After quick introductions, we were left alone with our 8-year-old daughter, our 7-year-old daughter and our 4-year-old son. The 4-year-old immediately warmed up to Heidi and climbed up in her lap. The 7-year-old was very "tough" and reserved. The 8-year-old was shy starting out. After showing them our family lifebook, we started asking simple questions to hopefully help them get a little more comfortable. After switching shoes, pretending to be each other and co-telling stories as a new family, they became very open and talkative. At the end of the visit, the foster families returned and the kids showed the family lifebook. They were saying, "This our bedroom." "This is were I will go to school." "I will be sleeping in the top bunk." I can't believe how unbelievably blessed we are. We will be staying for the week. We don't know what the timeline will be for us to bring them home, but we are hoping that at the end of the week, they will be hopping in the vehicle with us to move to Kansas City. What an amazing day! Continue to pray for us and the newest Mattinglys and we get to know each other over the next few days and that the powers that be will allow them to go to their new home by Christmas.
Stephen, Heidi and Jackson