This past week or so has been pretty eventful in the adoption world.
(Pre-Adoption Immigration Review) Process
Early last week the USCIS (US Customs & Immigration Service) put out a notice that some new procedures were being implemented in the adoption process for Ethiopian adoptions. There was a conference call on Thursday for adoptive families and adoption service providers where the process was explained. I won't go into all of the details here because, frankly, I don't necessarily understand all of the intricacies of it and you wouldn't either if I were the one explaining, but the gist of it is that the process itself hasn't changed, just the order in which they do a portion of it has. The reason for the change is a good one (it will eliminate instances of children being declared "adopted" in Ethiopia but then unable to travel due to denial of Visa issuance) but we have been warned that the waiting time between receiving a referral and being able to go to court (first trip) will likely increase. This change occurs September 1st and will definitely affect us since we don't yet have a referral and, at this point, it is impossible to receive one AND go to court before they close in August.
Dictionary.com says a pair is:
1.) two identical, similar or corresponding things that are matched for use together (pair of gloves, pair of earrings); 2.) something consisting of or regarded as having two parts or pieces joined together (pair of scissors); 3.) two individuals who are similar or in some way associated
And on that note....
Our original home study expires soon; so, today, we had our renewal meeting with our Social Worker. It went well and we are good to go for eighteen more months. We made a couple (a PAIR?) of changes to our parameters and we have now officially changed our paperwork to accept more than one child.
We also increased our upper age range from age 6 to age 8.
This doesn't mean that we will necessarily get a referral for sisters; it just means that if a pair of sisters in our age range becomes available BEFORE a singular child in our age range, we would prayerfully consider and be able to proceed. We could still receive a referral for only one child (in which case, our original age range would apply; the extra two years would only apply to a sibling pair).
Jeff and I both are COMPLETELY at peace with whatever God chooses to bless us with. One. Or two. I think that I speak for us both when I say that as we have prayed about this decision, over and over again, we heard God say, "Why NOT?", "Why WOULDN'T you?" and often even, "If not you, WHO?".
And so we keep on keeping on; waiting for our girl(s).