Saturday, August 27, 2011

The email that started it all.

On August 21, we were in San Angelo for a baby shower for my friend, Sarah, and her new baby girl.  Over the years Sarah and I have had lots of adoption talks.  I mean, LOTS.  Throughout the course of the weekend several friends asked me about whether or not we had started the adoption process and I would immediately think about that stack of paperwork sitting in the dining room, and then mutter a quick, non-committal reply like, "Oh, yeah, kind of. We'll really get started on it pretty quickly, I'm sure."

On August 23, I received an email from Sarah. The subject line simply said
"for your adoption heart."
As I read the quick description of the video I could feel my heart start pounding. Tears welled up in my eyes. I clicked "play" and proceeded to bawl throughout the entire 7 minutes and 35 seconds of the video.

The Video
(I'm sure they don't mind me sharing it…)

ETHIOPIA, Lord?!  How terrifyingly daunting.  I didn't even know where to begin, but I knew it was right.  THIS was the reason that paperwork had been sitting there for 6 months. THIS was God's plan.  It had to be His plan, because there's no way we could pull it off on our own.

My family was already in bed for the night, so I spent the next few hours researching.  I think I looked up every possible adoption agency that works with Ethiopian adoptions.  Finally, I found the perfect one for us.  As I scrolled through the pictures of all of the case managers, directors, coordinators, etc., I felt like I knew them.  It seemed like they were already rooting for us!  I was overwhelmed with excitement…and peace.  Both at the same time! Crazy, I tell you.

I filled out the pre-application at 11:35 p.m. on August 23rd.
At 11:45 a.m. on August, 24th, I received a phone call from the agency. We were approved to begin the process of bringing our baby home from Ethiopia.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Our story begins...

We've always known that we would adopt.  From the very beginning of our marriage we have known that the Lord has called us to share our home and our hearts with children that were not born into a family.
After our son, Josiah, was born in such a traumatic way in July of 2010, we were advised not to have any more children biologically.  We knew that we wanted more, we had hoped that all of our kids could be fairly close in age, and knowing that adoptions usually take a while, we started the "foster-to-adopt" process in early 2011.  In March, we had an adoption counselor come to our house, meet our family, and conduct our first interview.  We were approved to begin the process and I had ALL of the paperwork filled out within a week.

And it sat there in the dining room for 6 months.

That huge stack of papers took hours to go through and I just tucked it all back into the folder and left it there.  I thought about sending it in every single day, but I just never could bring myself to do it.  I was terrified of the "foster-to-adopt" program because I knew that there was always the risk of bringing the child home, loving him or her as our own for months, and then unexpectedly having them removed from our home.  The process of adopting a foster child takes forever, and I knew that  I would be afraid to get attached to "my" child because of the fear of losing them.
We thought "foster-to-adopt" was our only real option since domestic adoption is crazy expensive and foreign adoption…well, that's like "remortgage-your-house" expensive.

Oh, we of little faith.  We had taken matters into our own hands and, as a result, spent all that time wondering if we were doing the right thing.
Little did we know that God was readying our hearts and preparing us to hear from Him in a massive way.  In a way that would require us to trust Him like never before.