These last 2 weeks of waiting have been really hard. While Yahoo/Google adoption groups can be great sources of encouragement and information, they can also be very scary and discouraging. We have been watching an Ethiopia Yahoo group. We never post - we just watch. Hardly a day goes by without something discouraging being posted.
In the midst of the discouraging posts and just being discouraged at the lack of progress we are seeing, we received a phone call from a couple who we know through our Orphan Care group at church. They just wanted an update of where we were at in our process. They were very excited for us and encouraging, especially when they told us that friends of theirs, who live near us as well, had just received a referal for a sib group of a boy and girl from Ethiopia, pretty much the same ages as ours.
This phone call came while Val and I were discussing our overwhelming discouragement and frustration. Knowing that there might be a family we know adopting Ethiopian children and that they live close by was just the shot in the arm we needed. God knew. Isn't he great.
Our story contined . . .
Our newest social worker's suggestion was that we consider making a change in the type of situations we were open to. She asked us to consider domestic healthy infant adoption. We thought about it and prayed about it and decided that since we could do this concurrently, it would be a good idea. But because life got busy, we failed to move forward on it.
Fast forward a couple of months. We receive a phone call one day in November. "A mother is giving birth right now in a nearby suburb, would we like to be one of the families presented to her for consideration?" Wow! We were sooo excited. Of course we said yes. But, we didn't have a family book put together. We would have about 48 hours to complete that. If you are unfamiliar with family books, this is a 10-12 page picture/text presentation of who you are as a couple/family. So we got to work - thank goodness for digital photos. We sat down Thursday evening about 8:00 and at least one pot of coffee later finished about 3:00 a.m. We were really pleased with our final product and had copies to our agency that afternoon. Then we waited. The mother was presented with 5 or 6 families books. At about the same time the birth mother's mother let her desires be known. She did not want her grandson put up for adoption. As far as we know the baby went home with his mom. Ultimately, we know that this is God's best for that baby, but we couldn't help but be extremely disappointed and sad. In fact we were heartbroken.
The day we heard this news was the day we were done with the adoption process. We knew God had a reason for our journey. We weren't sure exactly what that reason was, but we assumed the lessons and experiences and the relationships to date were it. We were ready to be done.
But, God wasn't. The very next day, what do we receive in the mail? A letter stating that we received a sizeable grant for our adoption - which were done with. Now understand we thought this grant had fallen through. We had applied for it and were told that we would be notified in October if we were to receive it. It is now the second week of December. This timing was nothing but God's perfect timing. He knew that to keep us from quitting we needed a big encouragement. This was pretty big.
This grant coupled with a donation offer from a family in our church opened the door in a huge way for us to consider an international adoption. And for the preceding year Val had been drawn to and was investigating Ethiopia adoption. I kept saying that there was no way. We just couldn't afford it. Well, knowing that God had provided this much and being pretty he didn't want us to end our journey yet, we took the plunge and began the newest leg of our adoption journey. Working with our agency we quickly made the necessary changes to our homestudy and received a quick approval from our state licensing office.
Several other pieces like Val's passport and our fingerprinting appointment and approval came through much more quickly than expected. During this time we had chosen an agency to work with for Ethiopia. Our paper work with them moved quickly and our dossier was approved and in Ethiopia by the end of March this year. It was a whirlwind, but we were so grateful at how quickly and smoothly everything went.
And once again we were back to waiting. But this time - not too long. We received a call for a referral - about 2 months later. We were seeing wait times of at least 4-6 months. In God's plan 3 other families turned down this sibling group. We immediately fell in love with this brother and sister sib group. We said yes almost right away. We had their medicals looked at by our pediatrition. Some problems, but only things that you would expect and things that are definitely treatable.
So, now it is almost August and here we are waiting for the next step in this journey. It is so good knowing that God has been putting every detail together for this adoption. He is in complete control of this. He knows what the perfect timing is for this and everything else in our lives. While we are hopeful that this is it, we know He may have other plans. This journey is in his hands. These 2 beautiful children are in His hands.