In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring Break Day

Yesterday Dave took the day off and we had our Spring Break Vacation all in one day and it couldn't have been better. It started off with a trail run that starts about a 1/2 miles from our house. Then we loaded up and headed to Chik-Fil-A for a free breakfast to negate the run. Then we headed to our big vacation destination - Cave of the Winds. I hadn't been there since about 5th grade and it was even better than I remembered. It was fun to hear Spencer say "Wow" and "Cool" at every turn with such wonder!

Then, when we returned home, our I171H form was in the mail!!!!!! That is the next step in our adoption and a super important piece of paper, which will now need to be notarized, certified by the Secretary of State and sent to Washington. It means that our dossier will be complete and we will be able to accept a referral when the time comes. When I emailed about receiving this document, my coordinator also told us that we are now at #12 on the infant boy list. I don't know if I missed one along the way, or they just haven't posted it yet, but we are one closer (remember that #11 got a referral a few weeks ago).

Speaking of adoption stuff, for all of the panic and craziness the last two weeks, there has been little new information about the new process. From what I have read (which everything is a little different) it seems like they are really trying to complete the cases that are in process now, to relieve the backlog in the courts. When they have pushed through all of those, MOWA will not be completing the same number of letters as they had been previously. However, it sounds like they are not going to set a number to process per day, but just do as many per day as they can, while still maintaining the integrity of the adoption process in ET. So, that is GREAT news. It still means a slowdown, but not a stop. Also, from what I have read, it sounds like the ET government desires that adoptions remain open. So, for now, we are continuing to wait and have a lot of hope that we will be bringing home a baby (preferably a 1-2 year old) in 2011.

Here are a couple pictures from Spring Break Week. A hike in Cheyenne Canyon
Spence and Leah's first time to meet their 2nd cousin.
Cave of the Winds

The Trail in our neighborhood that we get to enjoy, now that we've started running.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Should we celebrate?

Usually after each time we move a spot on the list, I am soooo excited and I get in a mood where nothing can get me down. In light of the instability of Ethiopia's adoption program, I feel like there are some reigns holding me back from my usual excitement. I am still thrilled, but I can feel that I am not allowing myself to get all crazy about it. I am having a hard time trying to figure out where I should sit during these waiting months. Last Friday, I just let myself be sad for an afternoon - feeling the impact of the uncertainty with ET adoptions. But I knew I didn't want to stay there. When I feel bummed and even preoccupied with all of this, I do continue to go back to what I wrote in my last post. I can't always make myself feel or not feel a certain way, but I can know truths about our situation. My God antenna is high right now. So much of what I hear in church or even on facebook, of all places, feels like it applies to me and our adoption. For instance, someone wrote on facebook a quote that I am still thinking about by William Barclay:

"When we pray, we must always remember three things. We must remember THE LOVE OF GOD, which ever seeks and desires only what is best for us. We must remember THE WISDOM OF GOD, which alone knows what is best for us. We must remember THE POWER OF GOD, which alone can bring to pass that which is best for us. He who prays with a perfect belief and trust in the love, the wisdom and the power of God will find God's peace." AMEN!

It's hard to pray, Lord, give me what is best, because all I want to pray is please give me this cutie little baby that I am picturing in my mind.

Anyway, some good news that hasn't been 100% substantiated, but really close, is that MOWA is deciding to process 20 letters per day instead of the initial cutback number of 5. That is a big difference. If that is the case, then things will slow down, but that is totally fine. It's like when you go shopping and come home and tell your husband that you spent $300, so that when you tell him that you actually only spent $70 it doesn't seem like that big of a deal. Maybe MOWA is just using some psychology here?

If you think of it, keep praying for the orphan and adoption situation in Ethiopia. Thanks to all who read this, it means a lot.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Our First Potential Roadblock

It is no secret that the adoption process, whether international or domestic, can come with some serious roadblocks and we just may have encountered one that could seriously impact our adoption. Probably many of you who read this blog are in the process of adopting, so you already know what I am talking about. For those of you who may not know, today begins a giant cutback in the number of letters this governing body that is involved in Ethiopian adoptions will process. To make a long story short, they typically process 40 adoptions per day and now they are cutting back to 5 per day. At first, I thought, "this is bad, but it just means that we'll have to wait a little longer," but now that I am starting to understand the ramifications, I'm thinking that this could be devastating. It may mean that you get matched with a child and then have to wait a year or two before you actually get to bring them home. How would we do that? Part of me is in disbelief about it. I keep thinking that surely this is so ridiculous and so harmful for the children that nobody could actually let this happen. Adoptions simply can't work that way and the program will fail. Parents can't adopt a child that they can't take home. It's not adoption. Naturally, my mind goes to all the what if's. What will we do if this is actually the case? Would we still adopt? Will the program close it's doors?

If you have read this blog from the beginning, you know that I titled it "writing in pencil," because I knew that this adoption could take some serious twists and turns and that we would be holding our plans loosely. Easier said than done at this point. The past few weeks I have been more excited than ever about our adoption, because it seemed like this is really going to happen and we are actually getting close! Even earlier this week we have some dear family friends that emailed us from Kenya, offering to financially support our adoption. That email ramped me up even more, because I saw it as a reminder that God was still walking with us on our journey. So yesterday, with wind completely out my sails, I was stuck in the water, floating in the middle of the lake, asking God to whisper something . . . hoping that this whisper would fill my sails at least a little bit. I went back to the verses in Psalms that led us from fear of adopting, to making the call. It was a verse written specifically for me, in that moment. A verse that answered, so specifically, prayers that friends offered the night before.

It was Psalms 84:5-7. Blessed are those whose strength is in the you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca (evidently a difficult place to be), they make it a place of springs, the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.

There is no doubt in my mind that God enters into adoptions in such a tangible way and there is no doubt in my mind that it was truly a calling from Him that prompted our pilgrimage, so to speak. I also knew that it didn't mean it would be an easy road, but that we will go from "strength to strength" until our journey is complete. As God was whispering comfort from our adoption verses, he began to speak. The verses preceding our adoption verses, say, in effect, our souls ache for the house of God, emphasizing the sacredness and importance of home. Maybe I am reaching here, but it says, "even the sparrow has found and home, and the swallow a nest for herself." God values the home and desires us to not only have a home in heaven, but a home here on earth that prepares us for His great big house. He cares that these orphans have homes. He just does and I have to trust that he will bring one or more into this house, so that they can have a home.

Maybe all of this will just be a little speed bump and not a roadblock after all, but either way, I'll be praying that He has the perfect child for us, in the perfect time.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Number 14

I'll be keeping this one short. We moved AGAIN on Tuesday. We are now #14 for a boy, but with a few in front of us on hold for particular reasons, we are more like #10, for the time being. Now that we are getting closer, it is actually making it harder to wait, but I'm trying to keep it under control - remembering that I'm not in control. Dave thinks that we'll get a referral on March 23rd. I think that is very optimistic, especially for a pessimist. I on the other hand now predict that it will be around July that we get a referral. Neither of us have any clue though. Well, have a great weekend everyone!