After a hectic past few days, I finally find myself alone at the computer for a few moments to share the details of our latest adoption plans--or at least the details known to us right now, which at this point are fairly scarce. But anyway, here goes...
First, many of you know that our two adopted children came home from the beautiful country of Ethiopia almost a year ago! We had talked about adopting again and were already dreaming up fantasy scenes where we (we-meaning the Captain with a few older kids as co-pilots) would return to Ethiopia, bring our 9 year old Ethiopian daughter back to her homeland, soak up the smell of roasting coffee beans, eat lots of injera and wat, and linger for a few days in a place where the daily, the mundane elicit God's awesome presence. Just as our fantasy began to catch up with the reality of starting an application, we were dealt a devastating blow. Some of you may remember me mourning our loss of an opportunity to return to Ethiopia to adopt again.
As noted, I had emailed our agency director to receive information about beginning another adoption. And as noted, the same stinking day the news broke on the Ethiopian government limiting the number of children living in a prospective adoptive family's home.
What was not noted, (perhaps due to a tendency to guard my hand-and heart- closely in all matters of a family nature) was the response we received. We would be allowed to get in under the wire and be placed "on the list". We would simply get our initial application underway quickly and once that was complete we could move at our own pace with the rest of the process. What wonderful news!
So, we waited for our application...and waited...and re-requested it...and waited...and re-requested it again...and waited some more. Finally, it was mid-summer and nothing had appeared. We began to think that perhaps, as is often the case, God had different plans for us. Feeling that whatever happened, God
As you know, however, when God puts something on your heart it never really is put to rest until you have His peace about it. So, around the beginning of September, I began informally polling families whom I knew were in the process to adopt again. Did THEY get an application, I wondered? Or was there some kind of secret gumdrop pass that the second-timers got to use that I was unaware of? The answer was very clear-we needed an application and we needed it quickly. So in late September/early October, I gathered our winding trail of email correspondence and resent it--all of it--to our agency director asking, for the sake of our sanity, if we were or were NOT "on the list" and if so, did we need an application?
She quickly responded and asked, "Do you meant to tell me that you have NEVER gotten the application?" Even more quickly, I responded, "Yes!" She was so extremely gracious (just one of the many reasons we are with the same agency again) and within 24 hours we had our application-as well as three follow-up emails ensuring that it had arrived.
To date, for those who like a checklist: our homestudy has been re-done. Our application has been accepted. Our adoption processing contract arrived a few days ago. Shortly, our dossier paperwork will arrive and we'll begin that process again. And as for a referral or specifics about our newest ark member(s)-well, we've left a lot of those lines blank and will wait for God to fill them in for us. Although, sometime next year, that fantasy trip back to Addis looks like it will become a reality.
Many times, during the past six months, it would have been easy to become discouraged, to doubt, to fear or to question our calling. But our last adoption taught me something. This process has little to do with having all our paperwork ready, fingerprints checked or papers notarized, racing to a deadline we think we should make. It has everything to do, however, with simply being where God needs us when He calls us to act.