Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Fork in the Adoption Road...

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)
This verse has been so true in our family this past week.  For three years we’ve been pursuing adoption from India.  It’s not an easy process while living here, which is why it’s taken us so long to figure it out.  Recently, we felt like we had a handle on everything we needed, were applying for police reports and gathering other paperwork.  We were ready to apply before May. 
Through a series of events that led us to a home study provider in India, we were directed to look at a different agency.  This agency informed us that India was getting more strict about the size of the families adopting from here.  Since we have three kids already, they were doubtful that we’d be accepted by the adoption authorities here.  We checked with a couple of other agencies, and they said the same thing.  We  were just about six months too late...
After lots of tears, we realized that the path we thought our adoption would take was not what God had in mind.  This was hard for me... as a mom, I’ve been picturing this little Indian girl in the orphanage, what it would be like to go pick her up and bring her home, introduce her to her brothers and sister, take her to the playground the first time, begin to teach her to speak English and eventually to read... how looking out the window to check on the kids at the playground would soon get more difficult because I couldn’t just look for the white kids anymore! : )  Trying to remove the Indian girl from those mental images and insert a girl from who knows where was really difficult...  
In addition to this loss, we just were at a loss of what to do now.  So much time and effort spent in pursuing India.  Door in our face.  Now what?  Where in the world do we look?  We began looking at agencies and programs and countries.  So much information, so much to read.  After days of this, we’d looked at Bulgaria, Honduras, Costa Rica, China, Thailand, Kazakstahn, Taiwan, Ethiopia, Russia, Hong Kong, Haiti.  Just about everywhere in the world that programs are running or used to run, apparently. : ) It was difficult to find one that we qualified for that also worked for us.  It basically came down to Ethiopia.  We aren’t infertile.  We don’t make $60,000 a year.  We don’t want to wait 24 months or more for a referral.  We would prefer a child under 5.  Ethiopia.  Also, because we live overseas, it complicates things further.  Through connections with other friends that have adopted from various places, we kept getting referred to one particular adoption agency.  We’ve researched them and spoken with quite a few families who’ve had great experiences adopting from Ethiopia with them while living overseas.  
So, at this point in our journey, we feel a bit defeated and tired of doing so much of the leg work ourselves. : )  This agency totally knows what they’re doing, and I’m not really up for trying to figure it all out again.  I’m totally fine with getting an email that says, “You need to get these documents and do this next.”  Fine, I’ll do it.  We pay you, you make it happen.  
So we’re in the process of looking over their application and deciding on a home study provider.  We’re hoping to get our application in before May, have our home study in May, and get the dossier done before then as well, if possible.  Once we get all our documents in, we can expect to wait 12 months or so for a referral, hopefully not more.  We’ll have to travel twice to Ethiopia, which I’m actually kind of excited about. And the second time when we pick our child up, we’ll have to go straight back to the US for awhile.  That’s okay with me too. : )  
So, here we go.  We’re about to put in an application and a lot of money.  We’ll be committed.  Scary, but exciting! : ) 

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