Monday, October 29, 2012

The Long and Winding Road.....of Adoption (and Life)

Our adoption journey is one that began many years ago.  It's not one that was begun on a whim (not that one that was born on a whim would be wrong....God works in us all differently).  The road has been long and, for a long time, stretched way, way, WAY out before us.  We are committed to this journey because, for once in our lives, we are being obedient to what He has called us to; not because it's the new trendy thing to do or even because we weren't content with the family that we have.

(Actually, allow me to chase a rabbit say that putting yourself through the grueling process of adoption and THEN raising a child (or children) to boot is a "trend", annoys me to no end.  On a MUCH smaller scale, it would be like saying that having a root canal was a, HEY!, let's all go get one; all the cool kids are doing it).

But I digress...

God placed us on this road to adoption many years ago.  He has orchestrated and directed every step along the path....and we rest in that....most of the time.

Until the moment when a curve in that road occurs....and we can, if only momentarily, not see the road ahead.

There have been a few times in these last months that the road veered slightly to the right or to the left.

Without going into too much detail, we approached a "curve" in the road last week and, as a result, spent the last 5 days or so checking in closely with our navigator.  We want desperately to follow him to our destination (the one where He makes our family complete).  On one hand, we want to stay steadily on this road that He's placed us on and not move ahead of Him.  But on the other, we don't want to put him in a box and think that he can only accomplish this thing in this way...and so, we pray and we seek and He always is faithful in the end, to carefully set our feet back on the road...all the while, teaching us many lessons about ourselves and our need for His guidance, about the people in our life who intercede on our behalf and, of course, about Himself.

We are so thankful.

Monday, October 22, 2012

USCIS Amendment - Check!

As we were heading out the door last Thursday for a quick weekend trip to Chicago (we LOVE that city!), we checked the mail and were thankful to receive our new I171-H.  I mentioned previously that we were applying to expand our age parameter so this is not new news; I just wanted to post for the sake of keeping an accurate accounting of our adoption journey.  The I171-H is issued by the USCIS and, basically, gives us permission/approval to bring a child into the US.  We had originally applied and received approval for a 3-5 year old girl.  Our new I-171H approves us for a 2-6 year old girl.  The process was an easy one and now...we wait some more.  

You'd think, by now, we'd be getting good at it.  (Waiting, that is).  Well, not so much.

Soon we will turn our calendars to a new month and that means that we will get a new update regarding where we are on the wait list.  I hear that there have been two, maybe three (or four) referrals given in the month of October but I only know of one of those that affect our position.  We should be at least #8 on the list as of November 1st.  We'll see if there are any other surprises.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Our Girl

I had lunch yesterday with one of my favorite people on the planet.  She and I have been friends for close to twenty years.  We aren't able to see one another nearly often enough but, when we do, we make the absolute most of it.  Sometimes taking up residence in a restaurant booth for, oh, HOURS.  In fact, the last time that we met, we literally wore out our welcome.  The restaurant closed.  I looked up at one point and realized that the two remaining workers were turning off the "OPEN" sign in the window - OOPS!  That didn't stop us....we moved outdoors and parked it on a nearby bench.  And then, when it got too hot, we got in her car and drove for a bit.

As I was thinking through some of our discussion yesterday, I couldn't help but see God in the details.

One of the first questions she asked was about the adoption, of course.

You should know, this friend of mine, she doesn't just ask basic questions.  And she doesn't want basic answers either.   Her thoughts are deep and when she asks a question, she's not just trying to make nice.  She really wants to dive in and see what's going on.  Not just any old "fine" will do.  I love that about her!

And so she asked how I was feeling about the wait.  She asked if I ever wondered if we heard God wrong or if we had considered just throwing in the towel.

My response to her was something like this:  "Waiting is hard.  It's not something that any of us are good at or want to do but, because I know the character of my God, I know that there is a purpose in the waiting.  I know that there will come a time when I will look back on the wait and I will see and know and understand His timing".

As I shared this answer with her, giant tears filled her eyes.

You see, this friend has three wonderful children.  They are spaced out almost exactly five years apart.  And that was not their plan.  Between each of her children, she suffered several miscarriages.  I used to be able to tell you exactly how many but, at this moment, I can't recall.  It was more than one family should have to bear.

Tears filled her eyes and she shared that she could now see why God made her wait as well and that, in fact, her youngest had recently asked his Dad, regarding the miscarriages, "If you and Mom had gotten to have those other babies, would you have me?".

Be still my heart.

And they were able to say to him, "You know, buddy, that's the thing about God....He knows so much more than we do and He KNEW that YOU were the one that was supposed to be our boy".

God knows the one that's supposed to be our girl....and though there are times that I wish I could do something to shorten the wait, the truth is that I wouldn't want any other girl but our girl.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

And, it's off.....

The process has been, shall I say, pretty anticlimactic but, nonetheless, it is noteworthy.....

Today, we mailed out to the USCIS office, the paperwork needed to amend our original request to adopt a 3-5 year old girl.  We have asked that the age of the child we are considered for be expanded to a child from the age of 2 to the age of 6.  The process required our home study agency to issue an amendment to the original home study.  We submitted this new amendment, along with a copy of our original home study, a copy of our original document of approval from USCIS (i171h) and a letter with specifics regarding the changes that we wish to make to USCIS and, we've been told, should receive a response rather quickly.

Once the approval is granted/received, our agency will "officially" change our parameters on the wait list.  It will not change our current spot (#9) either upward or downward, just opens us up to a slightly wider "variety" of children with which we can be matched.

I must admit it was a bit of a good feeling to, once again, feel as if I were doing something in regards to our adoption.  Not that anything I/we did changes His timing; it absolutely doesn't.  I pray the next thing that we do is accept a referral.  ; )