Friday, May 6, 2016

a [less vague] update

I'm not good with decisions with open-ended answers. Like, maybe it would be good either road I take or maybe it wouldn't. The kind of decisions where people always add, "There's no blanket answer for this kind of thing." No. I hate those. I'm not great at making decisions anyway and then you through in the "no right or wrong, just make a decision," and I'm out. Gone. Done. Dead. Bye.

So, I'm here to tell you a story since the last time I wrote the vaguest blog post ever and begged and pleaded for prayers and insight. To all of our friends who wrote and e-mailed and left comments and personally messaged and texted me, I just want to say a giant thank you. Your words and prayers and encouragement meant so much to us and I've read over every message so many times over the past few weeks.

Earlier this month Evan and I applied with the agency that we had chosen last year. We loved them, she loved us, she was encouraging, they're a Christian organization, blah blah blah. Well. We are aware of the long wait times for adoption in Ethiopia and were expecting a couple years from now until we bring our babe home. But the response from my beloved agency was that actually we'd be waiting five-to-eight-years and she highly recommended we choose another country because that adds over $10,000 to our adoption fees.

And I had a meltdown.

Which is an understatement.

Sorry, Evan.

I don't want to trash this agency but things kept happening that kept upsetting me and I kept getting question after question deflected and ignored and so I just stopped responding to all e-mails. And that's when I wrote in my daily devos that I needed to get out of the way because my humanity was causing some problems. I mean, I was seriously considering calling it all off because suddenly, even two-years sounded infinitely far away and I just suddenly felt exhausted by all of it. And I am like the most positive person about this and I just did not know what was wrong. Well, besides that everything was wrong.

Side note, I don't expect to have a meltdown and freak out and be on the verge of quitting every time something is a little hard on this journey. Sometimes all of life happens at once and the beginning of your dreams do not go as expected.

So. I searched online for an entire morning and found so many precious waiting children all over Africa. And I wanted them all. And most kids are on the waiting list because they're older or they have serious health problems and they haven't been matched with a family. But I found a little boy from Ethiopia, age three, who was on the list and I just fell in love with him right then and there. Except for that I was like, "But Maddox! But birth order! But help!" (Which is where my last blog comes in and I was basically like, "Dear God, send someone to tell me exactly what to do but don't let them know what they're telling me. Amen." And God was all, "No.") So, for a few days, Evan and I entertained this idea about adopting out of birth order. And I read 500 blog posts about it. And reasons for it. And reasons against it. And every. single. one. said, "There's no blanket yes or no. You gotta do what you need for your own family." And I'm like, "BUT I DON'T KNOW." Yelling. Yelling at all these people who can't just see into the future and know that some 27-year-old adopting mama will someday visit their blog and need a specific answer to this very issue.

And I prayed long and hard about it. But the only thing that I kept feeling over and over and over again was, "You aren't the only one who can save him." And I realized that I had this god-complex about this sweet little boy, that if I did not adopt him right this very second, he was going to die and it would be my fault. But we live in a broken world and there will be instances where the orphan will die before the chance of adoption. Or maybe a family gets a referral and has a picture of their brand new child and then something happens. Our world is broken and your good intentions and my good intentions cannot protect anyone. And so, we had a phone call with a social worker and she told us that it's incredibly hard to find a home study agency who will even allow adoptive parents to disrupt the birth order. And we knew as we ended the call that it isn't us who will be adopting this sweet boy. And he's on the waiting list and I hope and I pray and I'm begging God to send his family to him.

But meanwhile, this little boy was on the waiting list of another agency. And this agency has more options for us. And they only take a small number of families so last summer, when I was doing all that research, they were closed because they didn't have anymore spots for Ethiopian families. And now they need families and we're on the list. So, we're switching agencies and besides making decisions, telling people "no" is my least favorite activity so now I have to do that. Pray for me because I would rather eat dirt than tell someone no or that I changed my mind.

So, what's next for our journey?! We've turned in 99% of our homestudy documents. The documents alone have taken us the better part of two weeks and we still have some training to do and a home interview to complete. And then we'll move on to the immigration paperwork and submit more documents and do more training and pay more money and then we're going to check the waiting child list again. Because there are currently a few younger children on our agency's list. And we'll either move forward with a waiting child or we'll wait for our referral. If we move forward with a waiting child, we'll owe about $17,000 right off the bat. The hardest part about adopting a waiting child is the money due so insanely soon.

We'll keep you posted because who knows, maybe our child will be placed on the waiting child list in the next few weeks. We're going to just trust that God's plan is wider and bigger and better than anything we could ever imagine.

You can check out our new prayer request page if you'd like to know more specifics! I'll update that frequently. Thank you for following our journey.