Adoption Update – Referral Page

“She woke each morning with a glow of hope,
not because a new dream had been born,
but knowing the one she carried
inside her heart would last.”
-Jodi Hills


They came bearing desserts, y’all. :-)


They swooshed right into my living room, with their sweet desserts and sweeter hearts, and they helped me pack up t-shirts all the livelong (Tues)day. :-)

T-shirt Packing Party

Some of them are friends from church, and some of them are friends from the neighborhood, but you better believe I checked ALL of their backs for wings when they left our house that day. ;-) #angels

Kevin’s mom came back the next day to help us pack up the remaining shirts…

The Lettered Cottage | Tshirts

…and I’ve been making 2 trips a day to the post office ever since!

The Lettered Cottage | Tshirts | Cow Doorbell

I’ve got 4 hamper-loads to go, but for those who ordered, you can expect to see a package from me in your mailbox soon! Thanks SO MUCH again to everyone who placed an order! XO


Okay. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to share one, but are you ready to hear about our latest adoption update? :-D

It was such a fun one last week!

Our caseworker, Meredith, called around 10am. Kevin and I were eating drive-thru breakfast in our car in the parking lot next to Dillards at the time. It’s kind of our thing if we’re out and about. We choose our (warm) car over (always freezing) fast food joints almost every time. We usually park somewhere scenic, but that particular day we were in a bit of a hurry, so an almost-empty Dillards lot next to Chic-Fil-A it was!

I mashed my speakerphone button with a quickness and in leaned a little closer to Kevin. Meredith told us she was going to send us an email, and asked if we wanted to stay on the phone with her while we checked it, or if we wanted to check it and then call her after we had read it. We decided we wanted to check it and then call her back.

A few seconds later, and a few seconds apart, these all-caps words popped up at the tops of our email feeds:


 If you’ve adopted a child you know exactly what those words mean. If not, in short, a referral page is a document that includes photos and information about the child you’re adopting. Kevin and I have heard about these things called “referral pages” ever since we started our adoption journey, so to see those capital letters staring back at us on Friday (April 4, 2014) was so surreal! We already knew most of the information they included on our boy’s referral page (it was very basic info: name, how he ended up at Three Angels, how he’s doing developmentally, and a tiny bit of medical info), but it was so neat to have it all laid out on paper. There are three photos of him on the page- two we had already seen on Three Angels Facebook page, and one we had never seen before. Needless to say, we’ve been staring at that one A LOT since Friday! He is just SO sunny, y’all! :-D

We called Meredith back, and after a fun chat about our boy, she went on to tell us that she had received word that a decision has been made by IBESR about how to proceed with consentment letters, but that she didn’t know what that decision was at that point. So, our prayer this week is that the in-country orphanage director at Three Angels will have a successful, information-filled meeting about how they’ve decided to proceed with consentment letters, and that Meredith will hear from him about that this week. 


Until then, each morning continues to bring with it a fresh glow of hope. A hope that encourages me to focus not on the when, but on the Wonder. :-)

PS- To follow along with our adoption timline click HERE, and for adoption updates between posts, join me over on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram!

Instagram Pic_Lettered_Cottage

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required


  1. says

    How extremely exciting!! :D Things keep moving along – before you know it, that little guy will be home with you guys!

    P.S. I think I missed it – do you have a shop link for the t-shirts? Can’t remember if it was a one time thing, or it you’re continuing to offer them :)

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Mary! It really has been such an exciting adventure! :-D
      We don’t have a site for shirts set up yet. That was really just kind of a trial run so that we could get a feel for how things would work (or not work). We’re talking with some folks now about some possibilities for the future, so I’ll definitely keep you posted. Thank you for asking about that! XO

  2. Stacie says

    We just adopted our boy in December, so I know the joy in your hearts. Good news coming soon… so exciting! :)

  3. Melanie says

    I’m not sure seeing REFERRAL PAGE is suppose to give your readers teary eyes but this one did. I log on every morning hoping to get an update about your adoption and I am just SO SO Happy for you both. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  4. Nan says

    CONGRATULATIONS, Mom and Dad! What a blessing to have that sweet face to see you through the remainder of the process! Best wished to you guys!

  5. Alicia W. says

    I get so excited every time I see an adoption update posted. I am so happy for you! There are prayers sent for you and your family often. Adoption is such a beautiful gift for everyone involved. God bless you.

  6. Pam says

    The pictures of all those t-shirts just made me smile. I am so happy that the piles were huge and the trips to the post office were many. Bless all of them and the lucky people who receive them. And bless all of your joyful helpers.

    Anxiously waiting to meet your beautiful child. Prayers for your hearts.

  7. says

    Oh that’s such wonderful news! An answer to prayer. So happy for both of you, and for that sweet little boy who is soon going to have some of the best. parents. ever! :)
    Got my shirts this week, so glad they were on the “top” of the pile! :) Love them.

  8. Daniele Conlan says

    I have followed your blog for a few years (as well as other sites related) I have never commented on any prior to today. I have been checking everyday to see your adoption updates, and today’s brought me to tears of joy. I have 3 children, although they are not adopted, I still remember dreaming about them, anticipating there arrival and holding them for the first time. This is something we all share no matter how they come to us- I can’t wait to hear that you and Kevin are packing your bags! While I don’t know you personally, I do know that a lucky little boy will be getting some great parents. Sending prayers from California,


  9. Peggy says

    Big congrats Layla and Kevin!! It truly is an exciting day when you receive your referral (done it twice!)! ;0) Can’t wait to see a photo of your little boy!

  10. says

    I was just thinking about you earlier today, and wondering what was going on. SUCH GOOD NEWS!! I am really excited for you. Isn’t it a blessing how God can take people who don’t know each other, and probably will never meet this side of heaven, and put them in each other’s lives to pray and to share?? I think that is SO COOL!!! Anxiously awaiting a FAMILY PHOTO!!! Blessings!!!

  11. Debbie V. says

    I’m so excited for you and Kevin concerning your latest adoption news and can’t wait for ya’ll to meet your little fella and bring him home! I missed out ordering one of your shirts, so are you going to take more orders again soon?

  12. Deb C says

    Hi Layla and Kevin :)!
    I am sooo happy for you!
    We received our t-shirt yesterday. I had ordered one for my hubby :)
    We are the parents of three, two blessed us through adoption :). I was so happy to support your t-shirt venture, my husband knows “this is project I can support!”. Much love and prayers as you continue this journey.

  13. Karie says

    So so so very happy for you both! How exciting your week must be with this wonderful news. This special little guy will have so much love!

  14. says

    I am so happy for you!
    Isn’t it exciting how God intertwines lives? Your baby will be here before you know it! You know adoption must truly be close to God’s heart….after all, He adopted us into His family and He calls us His children.

  15. Sandra says

    I can only imagine the joy you and Kevin feel after reading that email. I’m so happy for the two of you! I cannot wait to hear more and to see pictures of your little man. Sending hugs your way! :)

  16. says

    That’s WONDERFUL news!!!
    And I LOVE my t-shirt by the way! It’s the softest cotton and so comfortable! What an amazing group of women to come help you package them all and what a great order too, it looks like!!

  17. says

    Got both of my T-shirts and I’m actually wearing the blue one right now! :D Love them! It’s a blessing to be able to be a tiny part in helping precious children and their parents get together. Really happy to read your adoption update!

  18. carolyn says

    So HAPPY for you guys!! This is such and exciting adventure. I keep checking your adoption cost thermostat in hopes of seeing an uptick. Will you update us soon? We are pulling for complete funding ASAP!

  19. LizB says

    So happy for you guys! I know the adoption road is not always the smoothest, but it is so rewarding! Wishing you all the happiness in the world. You will be awesome parents :)

  20. says

    What an exciting email! I can only imagine how joyful it is to see his face….it will be magnified by a million to see it in person!
    PS I received my shirt and have it on at this very instant!! Love the color, design, and comfy-ness of it! Thank you :)

  21. says

    I recognize some of those beautiful angel faces!! What a blessing it must be to have those wonderful Pike Road Ladies as your neighbors. You and Kevin deserve every ounce of joy that and blessings that come your way. Congratulations on overcoming this next milestone! Prayers for you guys!
    (And hey to Jenny, Kathy and Gayle! #angels is right!)

  22. says

    Wonderful post! So many joyous things to share…good friends, your shirts being packaged up, supportive blog followers, and amazing news about your litte one. Have a wonderful week! Yahoo! God is good!

  23. Donna Doble-Brown says

    Layla, I finally have started back to work after over two years . . . Is it possible to still order a shirt???? I so would love to contribute . . . Otherwise could I just send you a donation? Let me know . . . I’m so thrilled that all of you (both families) will know the joy that I know first hand from being a parent . . . . Sending lots of love and light to you all . . . . :)

  24. says

    So exciting! We didn’t do international adoptions, but we know friends who we were so excited to celebrate with when they got their referral pages! So fun!

  25. says

    Oh, Layla, thank you for the update!
    I love following along on adoption journeys. Lisa Harper is days away and her celebrations on Instagram are contagious.
    I’m so happy for all of your families to finally be together in God’s perfect timing!

  26. AShley says

    Got my t-shirt on as I’m reading this post! I love it and am praying for you both, and for your “sunny” boy! Can’t wait till you bring that baby home!

  27. Kim A says

    Got my shirt Monday!!! Thank you! Love It!!! Hope this adoption does not drag on. Seems to me if they want these kids to go to good homes and have the proof they need, why do they drag their feet and continue keeping these kids in orphanages for longer than necessary. Just saying. Hope your next communication will be even more joyous.

    • Layla says

      Great! Thank YOU, Kim! :-D
      And I agree, I want to go get my boy NOW! That said, the reason our process is going to be long is actually because they want the kids to go to good homes, and it takes many months to get all the “proof” they need. There are (many) interviews, background checks, home studies, medical exams, psychological exams, court dates (in Haiti), Embassy dates (in Haiti) notary appointments, passport and Visa printings, observed socialization visits, etc, etc, etc. There are LOTS of steps involved to ensure everything is done correctly and legally- and as with any legal document or process, each step take can days weeks or months to complete. Haiti is also in the process of transitioning to becoming a Hague accredited country, which is AWESOME! Our caseworker told us that normally countries have to shut down for an entire year to make the transition to Hague (and start fresh with an actual set of rules in place), but that she was recently told that Haiti would be the first country to not have to shut down! :-D #hallelujah And while there are many (important) steps left in our process, we’re so thankful to know that everyone we’re working with has our boy’s best interest at heart….and that we get to visit him up to three times while we wait! :-D XO

  28. Jamie says

    Awesome news! I pray you will continue to get great news this week. I was so excited to get my t shirt in the mail today. Thanks for sharing your daydream and encouraging others to follow their own dreams. I hope to remember my goals and dreams every time I wear the cute blue shirt I received today!

  29. Sylvia says

    I knew it would be good news when I read that you “mashed” a button. Hope you were drinking some sweet tea while reading the email. Your little sweetie will be with you before you know it.

  30. Deborah says

    Layla and Kevin, I am beyond excited for you both. 4-4-14 really was a special day and blessings upon you all.
    It will definitly be our prayer for you this nexr week. Continuing to pray for all the adpotees and so looking forward to receiving my t-shirts.

  31. says

    Oh I’m SO excited for you, I just teared up at the thought of seeing photos of the real-life kid that God picked out for you!!

    We submitted our application through Lifeline for a Haiti adoption last week, but it sounds like things are changing really fast there now, and Three Angels has a waiting list, so we’re praying about whether to proceed in Haiti or whether this is a closed door there, and our kiddo is somewhere else. :) I can’t wait to see our own referral page, so I’ll just live vicariously through you! Yay!

  32. Susan says

    I got my shirt in the mail today! Eek! Its precious!
    Me and my sweet honey are praying for you and your sweet honey on this adoption journey. Much love from Arkansas.

  33. Reba says

    This is great news. I am so happy for you as you are one step closer to bringing him home. God bless you.

  34. Mary Melley says

    You are so lucky to have so many helpers, I received my shirt last week and have already worn it :) I love it so much! I think it would be a great gift for a high school/college graduate, the message is cute but very inspirational too!! Good luck to you and many blessings!!

    Mary :)

  35. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says

    Oh, I bet you wanna just kiss Sweet P’s little face!!!!!
    God Bless your hearts!!!!!

  36. says

    Wow! I got all teary eyed reading this how exciting to know for sure who your little one will be. My husband and I are praying about a country to adopt from and will God-willing be starting the process in the Fall. How did you come to the decision to adopt from Haiti if you don’t mind me asking?

    – God Bless

  37. Venita says

    I seldom comment, but reading this post made me just so happy for you! I can see God’s hand in your life and it reminds me how much He and His Son love each one of us. Good things are coming, and I can’t wait to read all about the journey.

  38. Linda says

    oh Layla I am so very excited for you both! I will pray it goes super quick for you! by the way where did you get that cute bell with a cow on top? I need one, I love cows!

  39. says

    I received my t-shirt and it is soooooo soft. Love it. Now I will have to hide it so my girls don’t take it.

    Also…I signed up for Kevin/Shootfly courses and am enjoying them too.

    Good luck on your adoption…the little guy is a lucky one.

  40. Tiffany says

    Oh sweet Layla!!! I have followed your blog for a long while now and many times I have wanted to write a comment. But for last few weeks I have found myself watching each day for adoption news. I found myself worried about it. I know as a mom myself, the awaiting of a baby is truly wonder filled and I am so thrilled at your news of the referral. I cried with joy as I read. Just know that so many people are rooting for you…. So many prayers and happy thoughts are sent your way. You will be a wonderful mother…. It is so evident in the joy you take in the world around you. Never lose that joy!!!! Motherhood is such gift. And believe it or not, as the years pass, the joy just multiplies! Sending you lots of love and happy thoughts!!!

  41. Lorrie says

    So very happy for you two! I love the adoption updates. It makes me cry every time. I will be buying both shirts when you get a site set up, but we were packing for a move and hubby left for his job in Seattle and left me to sell the house in Southern California and take care of the four kids, so I had just too many things going on then. I look forward to when they will be available again. Both have messages that certainly apply to our lives right now. Many blessings your way!

  42. Tania Russell says

    How exciting!!!!!!!! I’m just so happy for you both, and am so looking forward to seeing photos of the sweet P with you guys!!!! XO

  43. Gilda Mata says

    I missed purchasing a shirt but would love to buy one if you change your mind about making more.

  44. Cindy Chapman says

    I love my shirt. The color is vibrant. It’s as soft as can be. And, I just love the message “Don’t Give Up Your Daydream.” Great job, y’all!

  45. says

    You are a wise girl to focus on the Wonder. What a beautiful phrase.

    But I have to think…….next Easter, you’ll be deciding what your little guy will wear to church. And of course he will look so sunny!

    That’s a lovely thought.

  46. Jessica says

    I’m not in a rush but just wanted make sure my shirt didn’t get lost in the mail or something. I haven’t seen it yet so thought I would check to see if they all have been mailed and should have been received or if you are still working on it? Thanks!

  47. Karen Smith says

    Layla, I got the shirt (Here I Am), gave it to my daughter, and she wore it to her church’s Saturday night service that night! She loved it! Thank you & God bless you both.

  48. Wynne says

    yay!! such an exciting day! today is actually our 2 year anniversary of getting c+a’s referrals! a day we will NEVER forget!!

  49. says

    Congratulations on your referral!!!

    When we received our referral (for an 8 year old boy from Ethiopia), we didn’t stop staring at those pictures until we got the update the next month…then we stared at those for a month…and, so on!

  50. Gaela Lashley says

    Just got the “Here I am” t-shirt. Thank you soooo much! This is for my son’s 22nd birthday and it arrived faster than I thought it would. :) Y’all are the best!

  51. Erica Newby says


    I would LOVE to chat with you some more. My husband and I are in the process of also adopting from Haiti. We are almost ready to submit our dossier and just finished our psych eval last week! We received awesome news that our homestudy is completed and has been accepted by the Arizona court system! YEAH! One big thing completed!
    I have been reading your blog and keeping up with your news via IG as well. So excited for you guys! I pray that the process will speed up, as God wills it!

    Many blessings to you and your husband and your family :)


    • Layla says

      That is so exciting, Erica!!! Congratulations!!!
      Please keep me posted on how everything is going, and I will be sure to keep doing the same. It sounds like things *might* actually start moving again soon! #FingersCrossed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>