The subject line in my inbox read "Good News."
My heart pounded and tears started filling my eyes as I clicked through the email to Bethany's website to read the message.
I knew without reading, but I needed to read for it to be true.
"Good Morning Amanda,
I'm thrilled to tell you that [we] received [news] today on your case...the SA Central Authority has approved of the match between you and [Hannah*]. So exciting! ..."
I passed through moments of disbelief and shock and thankfulness and elation before shakily digging out my phone to begin making calls.
Waking mom from her teacher's summer slumber.
Interrupting dad's business trip continental breakfast.
Breaking into my sister's morning routine with the kids playing in the background.
Putting a pause on the first tasks of my boyfriend's workday.
Then there were texts and emails to send and colleagues to share the good news with.
I said it again and again until I believed it - until a peace, a thankfulness, a sense of relief - passed over me. "Good news. Hannah is officially going to be my daughter."
There are lots of next steps to be taken.
In the next week or two, I'll receive the official referral with her school reports, medical evaluations, background information, etc. There's immigration paperwork to be done and travel plans to be made. The home study update to be completed. And little things which need to be done around the house.
We will also finally get to tell her about the adoption - to tell her why I left South Africa almost fifteen months ago. To tell her that all this time we've been planning and working. To tell her we've been praying and believing. To tell her we are going to be family forever.
It's the moment I've dreamed of. The moment I've prayed for. The moment I've believe for.
This is the moment when the last fifteen months all become more than worth it.
This is the moment of waiting fulfilled.
I will keep posting updates here as we know more about timelines, etc., but in the meantime, thank you for your prayers, thank you for your support, thank you for believing in Hannah and me, a family.
*Hannah is a pseudonym. In order to protect her identity until she is fully and legally mine, I use "Hannah" in all online activity regarding my someday daughter and her adoption.