As I continue to recall our story I have to praise God for what looks like the end of our adoption journey. A week and a half ago we received a referral for a precious 4 1/2 year old boy and a 2 year old girl, brother and sister from Ethiopia. We are so excited and thrilled to see the possible fruit of a long labor. Thank you, Lord.
3 years ago, almost to the day of this referral, we began this journey officially. We started the paperwork with a wonderful agency, Evangelical Child and Family Agency in Wheaton, Illinois. Our first step, once we were excepted by the agency, was to work with our social worker to develop our homestudy. Wow. It took us about 10-12 hours of interviews and visits to complete. And recalling everything from our childhood experiences to how God brought Val and I together to our present family situation in front of a "stranger" was quite daunting. Things did get easier as we went and we actually enjoyed talking through those times and even got to know things about each other that we didn't know before. We completed the interviews and were ready for the next steps. We had to complete some basic training and then we started looking for children. Our goal at that time was to adopt a sibling group domestically. We didn't feel led to foster care, so we were just looking at waiting children (children whose parents rights are already terminated). What an eye opener. We never expected to have to look for children on the internet. But that's what we had to do and we were excited. There were hundreds of waiting children, many of which fit right into our age and health criteria. So, we (mostly Val) scoured the websites. We had our home study sent out many times. And . . . Silence. Not a single phone call. We were shocked. Eventually, we did find out that often social workers will receive hundreds of homestudies. This was the case time and time again. So, our hopes of a quick match vanished. Several months went by - nothing. We were very discouraged. How could there be all of these children in need of a home and none for our home?
In the midst of our discouragement God had other plans for us.