Most of you know our story by now, but here’s the Cliff Notes version in case you haven’t been following:
- We tried to have a baby
- It didn’t work
- We started the adoption of 2 young siblings from Ethiopia
- We completed endless paperwork and got put on the wait list
- We realized that there were children already waiting for homes and felt called to parent them
- We asked about a 5-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl who were waiting to be adopted
- We began the process of adopting those specific kiddos, hoping to bring them home in late 2011
- In July 2011, received new info on these kids- a father was alive that was believed to be dead
- This put everything up in the air, delaying the adoption several months at a minimum
- In August 2011, learned I was pregnant after 2.5 years of trying. Started preparing our home for 3 kids
- In September 2011, told the agency I was pregnant
- Agency told us they would not allow us to proceed with the adoption; we could resume when baby was 1-year-old
- We yelled. We cried. We threw a fit. We got nowhere.
- Accepted the decision and started preparing for a baby
Whew. It’s been quite the journey! That brings us to today.
I am due to give birth in a little over five weeks. Most of my limited energy and scattered thoughts are focused on what I need to get done between now and then, on how much life is going to change, on figuring out how cloth diapers and breast pumps and car seats work. It’s a blessed, exciting time in our lives and I am trying to savor every moment of it.
But the excitement over my little womb hijacker doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten those kids. We loved those kids and spent hours dreaming about how they would fit in our family. How quickly would they pick up English? Would she be a tomboy or a girly-girl? Will they get teased at school? Will they like American food (or more importantly for our family, Mexican food)? How will they handle sharing a room? How long should we keep them home before starting school? And on and on and on.
When we found out we could not adopt these kids, we were heartbroken. Although painful, we could handle not bringing them home to our little place in the world. What we could not handle were the thoughts of them spending the rest of their precious lives in an orphanage, even a good one. And we were scared that might happen. We just wanted to know that they were okay, that they were cared for and loved. We wished they had an online presence so we could Facebook-stalk them.
I email the agency about these kiddos from time to time. Recently, I learned that the father who was alive willingly relinquished his rights (he had never been involved with the kids) and their paperwork was ready.
And there was another family who wanted to adopt them.
I am ashamed to admit that my very first reaction was disappointment. I don’t think I realized until then that I had been holding onto the hope of these kids one day joining our family.
But that lasted about five seconds and then we celebrated the great news!!! This was exactly what we wanted to happen, and my heart is overjoyed that these kids are finding a forever home. Praise God! We are so, so happy about the whole situation. I don’t understand the way the world works, but perhaps we were used to get the father situation straightened out so that this new family can bring them home. I’ll never know, and that’s okay. I’m just happy they have found a home.
As for us, we’re preparing for this baby but also planning to continue adoption as soon as we are able. That means we could start updating our paperwork late this year and hope to finalize things early next year.
There is one small hurdle. Our townhouse is just two bedrooms. Right now, we have a teenager living with us (long story), sleeping on the couch or an air mattress in the nursery. If she’s still here when the baby comes, the baby will likely sleep in our room, or maybe we’ll try to partition off the loft for the teenager, or maybe we’ll knock down the wall to the neighbor’s unit. We don’t really know how it’s going to work, but we know we’re going to make it work somehow. Not worried about that.
But we are worried about what the space issue will mean for our adoption- we will have it even if the teenager isn’t still here. Social workers frown on having kids sleep in random corners of the house or using the stairs as bunk beds (she’s obviously never talked to my animals). We’ve been ready to move for awhile, but until recently we’ve been ready to move because of wants- more storage, a basement, a yard. Now, we truly need to move. We need space. We need out.
That’s easier said than done. We are a bit trapped. We bought the townhouse in 2006, before the housing market sunk. Back then, we thought we would sell it in about five years and use the money we made as a down payment on our next house! Now, we owe more than it’s worth, and to get out of it we will have to pay. A lot. A whole lot. We are saving like crazy people so that we can do that, and we will be able to, but even our optimistic savings timeline is a bit slower than our adoption timeline. So if you know anyone who wants to buy an overpriced townhouse, can you send them our way?
Seriously though, if you are the praying type, please keep this in your prayers. I learned my lesson about praying for specific things; I’m not praying that we come across a windfall or that our hearts change and we become okay with a slower adoption or that the housing market rebounds. I’m just praying for things to happen the way they need to happen, and for us to have the patience, courage, and wisdom to recognize when they’re happening and what actions we need to take.
That was a long post. Here’s the Cliff Notes version:
- The kids we were adopting are now being adopted by another family
- Our baby is due in a little over 5 weeks. We want to continue adoption as soon as we’re able to after that, which should be about a year
- Our house is small and we need to move before we can continue adoption, but we are financially trapped here
- Rich buyers and/or prayers needed