Since my last post. I apologize to those of you who have been trying to follow.
There has been progress in our adoption, but it has been so slow and tedious and painful each step of the way I seem to overlook the small steps forward in my anticipation for the FINALE. Not a good plan, is it? Because now here we are, and it’s almost September, and Lord-willing, my children are ALMOST HOME.
April 25th we “had” our son. He was legally made ours by the Ethiopian courts. GLORY.
May 25th we “had” two daughters. PRAISE GOD, they passed court, and all the hugely problematic issues we discovered four and a half months prior had been straightened out and corrected. “WE GOT THEM, WE GOT THEM, WE GOT THEM!!!” was all I could think or say. I do remember receiving the news via email from Ethiopia. I was working in the ED that morning, and I walked into a room to do something like sew up a finger (that was going to take a little bit of time), while I was actively stalking my e-mail every five minutes. I knew something would happen while I was in that room watching “Swamp People” with my finger laceration. (Well, listening to them hunt gators while I was sewing up this hand.)
I came out of that room and refreshed my e-mail and THERE IT WAS. “Congratulations – the judge has approved your case.” That was all I needed. There was an eruption of joy in that ED, and I couldn’t contain the jumping and giggling and GUSHING. It had taken 14 months since our referral to GET them, and according to law in Ethiopia, after seven -count them, SEVEN- court dates for this specific purpose, we passed. GLORY, indeed.
So we ordered pizza and cookies and had a little party that afternoon in the ED.
Next comes embassy. It takes a few weeks (or two and a half MONTHS in our ever-complicated and document-error-ridden cases) to have the files completed and submitted to embassy. Our son’s first embassy appointment (for birth family/guardian) was almost three weeks ago. They found a little red flag and asked us to find another individual we didn’t know anything about. (“Anything” as in, the person’s name, location, or living-or-dead status.) After two weeks of searching, on our “last straw” day, just before we hired a private investigator to go and get ‘er done, THEY FOUND HIM. Appointment is this coming Friday for THAT interview, and we are really hopeful that this will clear our little boy with an invitation to come-and-get-him.
Two days ago (August 23), we had birth family/guardian interview for our girls. One of them passed, one didn’t. Go figure. SO, we were CLEARED for our oldest (complete with a come-and-get-her invitation), but we need one more document for our younger daughter. We are praying that this is as easy to obtain as people think it will be, and she is cleared this week as well.
WE WANT TO BUY PLANE TICKETS.
The last leg of this journey has been tremendously hard, and incredibly stressful. It is the third trimester (well, we’re feeling way overdue by now) to the extreme. It’s a good thing this process involved awful, painful waiting all the way up to this point, so you can bear this part when it’s happening. And happening. And happening. Most of the time we feel like we can’t take another minute, day, week, month, but somehow (i.e. by the grace of God alone), we have.
So many people have asked us how we can “handle” this. They’ve asked for months and months and months. To say it is the grace of God is an understatement. It has been a great learning process for me (and still is), how to “handle” this. His grace is the only explanation I have, and I’m continually discovering more about what it means to take that grace and apply it to every.single.disappointment. Every new hitch. Every new hurdle. Every new hoop we are forced to jump through. Everyone we have talked to (from our friends who’ve adopted to our agency directors to the Department of State) have been bewildered at some point (or many) about why these things are happening in our cases. Weird, senseless stuff much of the time. And still is happening. And while I want to say, “but that’s okay – it’s almost over”, I don’t know when it will be over. I think it will be; I surely hope it will be. But it is not about just enduring to the end. We have longed for the end for a long time. (Mind you, I tread lightly here. 18 months is a long time for our situation, but it is NOT a “long time” compared to a great deal more situations.)
There is something about the enduring itself. About the patience itself. The steadfastness. The strength and peace He wants to work in us during utter emotional and mental turmoil. It has been torture to our minds and hearts (and so much stress and so many sleepless nights, our bodies). It has weighed heavily on our son who so wants his brother and sisters home. But the actual process going on here is much more than we know. I know that underneath the surface there is something beautiful about to emerge. God is preparing something to blossom – to explode from this dark soil, rich with months and months of investment and anticipation and prayer. The work He is doing in us is as significant as the work He is doing for our kids. And, I absolutely, in our kids. How could we have ever planned to show them how to wait in faith and in hope for something they don’t see and can’t touch every.single.day. until it happens?? There is a foundation of faith and love and trust being built, I absolutely believe, in their hearts and minds.
And for what all He is teaching me… I’m still chewing on so much and waiting for so much to develop into a clear understanding… I’ll have to get back to you later.
Praying for clearance this week for the little two. Asking to move forward.