Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Change in the Requirements

We've been sitting on some news since last week. Don't get excited.

If you know our family's story, then you know that international adoption can be fraught with uncertainty. The peaks and valleys that inevitably accompany trying to work with two sovereign nations on two different continents on opposite sides of the globe can leave us feeling quite dizzy at times. Add to that the emotional toll that IS adoption, and it is easy to feel utterly and completely overwhelmed.

While we were in process to adopt Bradley, there were several points along the way when it looked like things would not work out. There were rumors of Ethiopia closing to foreign adoption completely. Then things did shut down for about six months. Then the requirements started changing to a degree that our agency offered to let waiting families change programs because it looked like things were coming to a halt. It was a chaotic experience to say the least.

And while we were in the middle of it, I really struggled. Deeply. Now, though, on the other side of it all, it is so easy for me to trace the Lord's hand in the writing of our family's story. Each piece that felt like a delay or setback was overseen by our great and glorious Father, who was truly working a miracle. And I would do it a thousand times if it meant I would be able to be Bradley's mom.

Then, a few months ago, we started the process to adopt again, this time from China. And I thought it would be easier. I thought that our past experience and the notorious consistency of the adoption process for China would make things easier to bear. I was ready.

But one week ago today we received a phone call from our social worker. She told me that they had just received word that China has changed some of its requirements for inter-country adoption. My heart started racing. When I hear things like "change in requirements" I immediately start sweating. She told me that among the new requirements is one that affects our family in a big way. The new policy states that in order for a foreign family to adopt from China, the youngest child currently living in the home must be three years old.

I managed to hold it together on the phone. But after we hung up, it started to sink in. Asher is not quite 16 months old yet. That means we will have to wait a year and a half before we can submit our paperwork. We are devastated. We thought that in a year and a half we might have our daughter home.

I called Adam and sobbed on the phone with him. We were scheduled to have our final home study interview the following day. We were one step away from submitting everything to immigration.; a huge milestone. And now we are on the sideline.

It's so tempting to despair. To throw our hands up and say, "Why?" But we are trying to take some deep breaths and make the right decisions.

We are still committed to adopting from China (until the Lord tells us otherwise). After meeting with our social worker and our agency's program director, we are going to complete our homestudy and keep it updated until the time comes when we can submit.

As we have talked with each other, family and friends over this past week, we are starting to see some light. We have more time with Bradley and Asher, more time to invest in them and focus on them. We also know that if our first adoption had followed our desired timeline, then Bradley would not be our son. So we KNOW that the Lord is sovereign, and that while this shocked us, it did not surprise Him.

So we would ask for your prayers as we wait in this new way, that God would use this time to strengthen our faith, our marriage, our family; that we would not grow weary in the waiting; that we would seek out ways to glorify Him through the path He has laid before us.

With love,

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