Monday, March 7, 2011

Now What?

God is in charge.  I'll keep saying it, and I do believe it.  In my mind.  My heart will catch up, right? That's what faith is.  God is in charge.

It's been confirmed by several sources to us that there are significant changes in the adoption process in Ethiopia.  Intentions are good, but we live in an evil world.  I truly believe Ethiopia wants to protect its children from child trafficking, illegal transactions and bribes.  If more children are protected from evil doings because of these policy changes, how can I not support it?

The brief version is this: Ethiopia will reduce the number of foreign adoption cases processed from 30-50 per day to 5.  The effect this has on a timeline for a couple like us, without even a referral yet, is not yet known and I have not talked with our agency about our case specifically.  (We have an appointment tomorrow.) A family adopting through a different agency was planning on traveling to bring their child home this May, and they've been told it will more likely be May 2012.  The same agency advised couples without referrals to look into adopting from a different country. A news article reported it will now take years, plural, to recieve a child after a referral has been made.

This leads us to the question: Now What? I suppose the simple version of our options is this.  We can continue with our adoption process from Ethiopia and know we may not start our family for a year or longer.  Or, we can put the Ethiopian process on hold and adopt domestically.  (YWAM has a domestic adoption program, also.)  Or, we can make no moves and wait.  We do not have any answers, inclination, or even "best guesses" as to which direction we will take. 

That was the cut and dry version.  Read on for the version muddled with emotion.

We are both heart broken by this news and what it means for our family.  I am torn between my new-found passion for Ethiopia's orphans and my desire to begin our yesteryear.  We've been working on this family thing one way or another for four and a half years.  Most days, I'm ok with that.  Tonight, I feel every day of the waiting on my shoulders.

It might be quicker to adopt domestically.  It'll most likely be easier.  It'll most certainly be less expensive.

Sometimes, my arms literally ache to hold a baby.  I yearn for the sleepless nights and the spit-up on my clothes.  I want to rock our child to sleep, read to our toddler, comfort our child, and discipline our adolescent.  I look forward to the interruptions to my reading time, the toys on the floor, the pitter-patter of little feet, the multi-tasking, the endless laundry.  I want to have the tired and and frazzled look that only a mom who loves her child can have.

But then there's the passion.  And the guilt.  I've committed to Ethiopia.  I'm now attached to the country.  I've researched its culture and have fallen in love with the hard working mothers.  I've grieved for their suffering. I've traveled there in my mind and my dreams and my heart.  I've pictured our child with out-of-control curly black hair and mocha skin.  I've wondered what she's doing, if she is with her birth mother, if she is abandoned, if she is in the arms of an orphanage caregiver.

I'm not sure I'm ready to give up on this dream yet, but I'm also not sure I have the strength to endure the wait. 

In the end, it doesn't matter what my dream is or how much strength I have because God will provide. He is bigger than my dreams or [lack of] strength.  Over the years, if I'd received everything exactly as I prayed for it, my life would be in shambles right now.  The greatest blessings in my life I have received because something I wished for did not happen.

"For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11


  1. praying, Rachel. i'm so sorry.

  2. I love that scripture, and I remind myself of it constantly. I am so amazed by your resilience, "over the years if I'd received everything exactly as I prayed for it, my life would be in shambles." Oh, what a thought to ponder.

    God does have a plan for us all - we just have to wait. We all wait with you - supporting in anyway you need. Hugs my friend.

  3. Thank you, thank you for writing with such honesty. I feel every bit of what you are feeling and am at a complete loss as to what to do next. Would love to connect with you if you feel up to it.

  4. Rachel, this may sound strange since I don't know you, but I have not been able to stop thinking about you guys since I read this post a couple days ago. My heart breaks for you and you are often in my prayers. May this trial draw you deeper into God's abiding love and mercy.

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