We’ve had a lot of adoption highs over the past week. We received a large donation out of nowhere, we’ve had not one but two adoption showers- one of which was a complete surprise- and we took a class on ethnic hair care. Momentum has been building, and we have been expecting a call with info on our court date any day now.
Today the adoption agency called.
I missed it, but when I realized who called my heart started pounding. I was in the middle of a long, important work meeting but I excused myself to call her back. I had to muffle my excited, giddy little girl screams.
When I got ahold of our case worker, I could tell something was off. She didn’t sound excited or happy. My heart began to sink as the words tumbled out of her mouth.
In order to go to court, the orphanage has to provide some paperwork to the government. One of the documents they need is a death certificate of the children’s fathers. These are the papers we have been waiting on.
Our case worker told us that our little boy’s papers were ready to go.
She said they had been having trouble with the girl’s papers. In Ethiopia, churches do burials and hold the death certificates. They said her mother had traveled out of town several times to get the death certificate of our girl’s dad. She told the orphanage that the church was being uncooperative and would not give her the certificate.
Finally, someone from the orphanage went with her to the church. Then the truth came out. Her dad is not dead. He is alive and unwilling to admit paternity for fear that it would break up his marriage.
The fact that both of her parents are alive means she is not an orphan.
You can’t adopt a kid who is not an orphan.
At this point, we really don’t know what is going to happen. There are a thousand different scenarios that could play out. We asked our agency several questions and they really don’t have any answers yet- they have never had a case like this before. The agency is working with officials at the orphanage, the Ethiopian government, and the US Embassy. If we are able to adopt these kids, it will likely take much longer than we were hoping and anticipating.
Since we were matched with these kids in early May, this has been our worst fear. And now it is coming true. Please don’t be offended that I have not told you this in person- I haven’t told anybody in person, not one single soul, because I can’t bring myself to say the words out loud yet. We just found this out several hours ago and are still processing this information.
My heat selfishly breaks for Mark and myself. I think about the journey we have been on to start our family over the past two years. I think about how we had hoped to have them home for the holidays and to start them in school in January. I think about the summer vacation we want to take them on and I think about the empty bunk beds upstairs.
But mostly I think about that little girl’s eyes, staring back at me from the one and only picture we have of her. I think about her life and how it’s just not fair that she is stuck in the middle of all of this. I think about her future.
I don’t want to rip a kid away from a biological family that can love and care for her. But for a child to be stuck in limbo because of legal terms and selfish adults- my eyes fill with tears at the very thought of that happening.
I don’t know what to say or feel. It’s the only thing on my mind, and the only thing I want to talk about- but I don’t really want to talk at all. I am sad. Mark is angry.
Please pray for this little girl. Please pray hard.