You can probably tell from the title, but this post is going to be my musings on the adoption process so far. It's kind of funny because we are still in such a discovery phase of adoption, but I feel like I have learned and grown so much since we first started talking about adopting internationally. Some questions have come up this week that have really made us think about our future with this process and I think (little by little) we are gaining some answers. So, unless you are really, REALLY interested in what's been going on in my heart, you might want to skip this post!
I have always been intrigued by adoption. I think intrigued is a good word for it...I have always been fascinated, yet was pretty sure it would never be a part of my life on Earth. Of course, I know that it is always a part of my spiritual life as I was adopted into my Heavenly family and certainly chosen by God (which is what adoption is really all about, right?). But, I really thought that it would end there.
I knew that Trevor wanted to have kids, but that he wanted me to bear them and wanted to have them biologically. I was great with that, and we have been SO SO SO blessed with our two beautiful children (have I mentioned how much I LOVE those two?)! After the birth of our amazing (yet very colicy) baby boy, Trevor lovingly told me that we were done having children. I went back and forth about it, going through every emotion possible about the fact that I was done having children, yet not feeling like my family was complete. In retrospect...and this is just one example of how God works in ways that I cannot see and I have to totally KNOW that His plan is so much better than I could imagine...I believe God closed Trev's eyes to having anymore bio children because He knew it would be virtually impossible to get me away from the idea of bearing any more. Thus began the process of paving the way for adoption to creep into our lives.
In early November, Trevor came home from church one morning (I was home with a sick kiddo) and nonchalantly said "There are a lot of adopted kids at our church!" I answered that yes, there were, but quietly wondered if there had been an awakening in his heart. The answer to my question came quickly as Trev began to search the Internet about international adoption and we began some conversations about adopting domestically vs. internationally, 1 kid vs. 2 kids, which country, independent vs. agency, etc. etc. We contacted our friend, Tiffany Jett, who had adopted from Home of God's Love in Taiwan and she got information for us on another mission who adopts to couples who have other children, His Hands Taiwan. http://www.hishandstaiwan.org/ee/index.php We began to research and make some contacts and found that they had a long waiting list. We were placed at the bottom of that waiting list on February 9th, 2010. And that is where we sit. We have continued to keep up with them through their website, the adoptive families' facebook pages and blogs, and correspondence with some of those families. But, as far as we are concerned, nothing is moving for us there.
So, being the impatient person that I am, and wanting to make the most of the time I have while on Summer break, I recently contacted someone to ask about home studies. I knew we didn't want to begin ours quite yet, but wanted to gather the information and paperwork so that it could run as smoothly as possible. Instead of getting answers, though, I was met with some questions and one that really stuck out in our minds: "Are you locked into that group or are you interested in adopting anywhere?" Wow! After being on the waiting list at His Hands and dwelling on adopting a Taiwanese baby for 4 months, I really thought that we were done searching for where our baby would be adopted from. But, this question reopened the conversation between Trevor and I. (An interesting note: Trevor had just mentioned this to me the Saturday before my correspondence with the home study lady. Hmm....) Anyway, after talking and praying about it, I agreed that we should probably continue our search in a non-Hauge country so that we could adopt independently, but I was totally at a loss as to where to even begin to search.
That conversation and decision took place last Wednesday and then a couple of events quickly took place. On Thursday afternoon, I was swimming at my friend, Tina's parents' house and another friend, Candice (who I haven't seen in probably 6 months) was there. She didn't know anything about us adopting, so I was telling her about it and about where we were in the process and she told me that her neighbor, Miranda, had just come back from Africa where they are adopting their 2 year old little boy. She said that the process had gone quickly and had been inexpensive. I asked her to have her neighbor contact me and she said she would.
On Friday (here is the part that had to be God's intervention), I brought my kids to Chic-Fil-A (yum! yum!) and who was there but my friend Candice...twice in two days...really?! She asked me if Miranda had called me and I told her no, but she said that she should be calling soon and, incidentally, she just happened to be in Chic-Fil-A! So, I went to her table and introduced myself and she told me that she would be calling me soon. She called the next day and we talked for a long time and she gave me some amazing information about their adoption. She and her husband contacted the orphanage in Ghana, Hohoe (pronounced Ho-hoy) Christian Orphans' Home
http://www.hohoeorphanage.com/, in March, received an almost immediate referral, and went for their first visit the end of May. They are expecting to go get their son in August or September. The whole process is going to take 6 Months!!! I could barely believe it!
So, this is where we are. We are praying, and praying, and praying for clarity about our next step. We are weighing our options. Taiwan seems like we could be on the waiting list indefinitely, where Africa could be very quick. Taiwan would be a baby, where Africa would be a 2 or 3 year old. Taiwan requires 1 trip, Africa is 2. The amount of money is comparable either place. There is no obvious decision and I know we just need to wait for God to move us in one direction or another. Until then, we will wait on the Lord and meditate on these Psalms: 5:3, 27:14, 33:20, 37:7.
Adoption truly is a journey with no easy answers, a lesson in patience, a process that will inevitably bring us closer to our Savior and open our eyes and hearts in ways we never thought possible and we are so blessed to be a part of it!