Friday, October 31, 2008

Hope Deferred

Hope deferred makes the heart sick...

Such is the feeling of many families in the Ethiopian adoption program this week. We were informed that significant changes are being made in the way adoptions are being processed in Ethiopia. This is due to concerns about the number of children being adopted internationally and also an increase in efforts to ensure that all adoptions that are completed are done so in an ethical manner. The biggest effect this has on us is an increase in the time between when we get our referral and when we get approval to travel. (The timeline they were giving us before these changes was 3-5 weeks. They haven't said exactly by how much the timeline will increase, just that it will increase from the numbers they gave us before.)
The biggest hardship about an increase of this sort is that once you have your referral, you have a picture and a name...a face and a name to your child, whom you now have to wait possibly over five months more to meet, knowing that a lot of milestones are being passed and that your five month-old infant will be nearly a year old before you meet her. Many families facing this change already have their referrals and have been waiting a number of months already. Please pray for them!
I recall seeing these sort of changes taking place not long before the Vietnam program closed. After coming so far, I'm so worried that it will all be for nothing. Please pray for us too -- that we may hold on faithfully for the conclusion of the proverb....

...But desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Referrals are coming so fast these days, I can barely keep up. If I've calculated correctly, we are Number 8 on the waiting list now. This is both incredibly exciting and a little terrifying. My husband compared it to having early labor contractions. (Which we've experienced, with our second-born. I had contractions from Week 26 to the very end, tempered only by medication and bedrest.) While we're so very excited to have our little one sooner rather than later, its really rather scary. We feel really unprepared! We've been encouraged all along by the truth that God's timing is perfect, but that was when we felt like things were moving too slowly. Ironic, isn't it?

One of the most pressing issues is of course finances. We've been putting off fundraising endeavors, thinking we had all kinds of time. It was also a nice excuse because hubby and I are both big babies when it comes to asking for help, in whatever form it might be. (ex. Our eldest's school walk-a-thon. I barely got up the courage to ask the grandparents for donations, let alone anyone else!) I enjoy making jewelry and had big dreams of maybe turning a bit of a profit with it for the adoption. I don't think its going to happen. There simply isn't enough time in the day with two little ones, Bible studies, and the usual everyday crises. All is not lost, however, because we do have other ideas, probably to be unveiled in the next month.

The news of so many referrals -- and the corresponding realization that our little girl has likely recently been born -- also brings a twinge of sadness. It is no light thought to consider that such an availability of orphaned children implies a large amount of tragedy. When considering an international adoption, one is often plagued by much criticism about adopting outside one's own country. After all, aren't there children in need of homes in the United States? Certainly. And shouldn't children be left with their own people (ie countrymen) to be cared for? Of course, if it is feasible. When one considers the huge need in a country like Ethiopia, however, one cannot help but realize that there is a sense of crisis there. All these little babies being united with families who are able to meet their needs and love them...there are so many! And where else would they go? Okay, I'm done preaching. I don't know that I've made much sense anyway!

Let me just say that we are SO EXCITED to be a part of this journey. Next week I'll likely be posting about the painful slowness of the process -- next month will mark the third anniversary of our application to adopt -- but tonight is one of those nights when we're barely keeping ourselves from jumping on the beds. (Gotta be a good example, you know!) Number 8 -- YIKES!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Single Digits?!

Ack! After being so depressed this week over the adoption, I took a much-needed break from the online AGCI listserv and my obsessive blog-stalking. I didn't even check my email, because I knew our bi-weekly update from our case worker would be there. Tonight I finally gave in and checked my email...and found that there had been two more referrals! (And some long-awaited travel dates!) Now instead of being depressed, I'm about to pass out! I think we've reached single digits, baby!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

New Number - Official and Otherwise

We received our bi-monthly number email yesterday. It was no surprise to read that officially-speaking we are....

But we also know that, given this week's referrals, unless something goes awry, we are actually....

Monday, October 6, 2008

Time Out, Grumpy Bunny!

That's the name of one of my boys' storybooks. And that's what my husband told me when he came home to find me stomping -- well, more like thud-clomping -- around the house in a huff.
Why was I so flustered? Because one -- no, wait -- two -- no wait -- three* families received their referrals today!

But isn't that a happy thing, you ask? Absolutely! But when you read rumors of referrals on your husband's laptop downstairs, but don't know the addresses of the AGCI blogs by heart because they are "cookied" into your favorites on your own laptop, but your laptop is upstairs and meanwhile the timer for the brownies is going off and your toddler is literally hanging off of you -- and, oh, did I mention you're on crutches? -- so when you finally actually get upstairs you have to wait like forever for your laptop to start up, then one starts to go a little nuts! Okay, well, at least I do.

All that to say: HOORAY for Amy, Angela, and very likely Aubrey! And their respective husbands, too, of course. Many, many, MANY congratulations on your referrals!

We were told that THIS week would be the week we would get our OFFICIAL wait list numbers, which are only determined once all prior referrals are accepted/approved. We are pretty darned certain our new number would be 14. However, said number would very likely be obsolete before we even get it, because of these three* pending referrals! That would put us (unofficially) at Number 11, folks. Crazy, crazy stuff!!

*Still waiting to be corroborated. :)