Since many of you started reading this blog to stay updated with our adoption, perhaps I should update you with our adoption?
Ready…drum roll please….the big update is…….that there is no update 😦
When our adoption came off hold in October, we were ready to go. We had the money saved, we moved to a house with enough room for more kiddos, we were just waiting on that call.
The landscape of Ethiopian adoption has changed tremendously since we started the process. Corruption grew with the popularity of the program. Kids were being taken from families. Families were being lied to. The government put regulations and checks in place, which resulted in fewer kids to adopt and a slower process overall. This is a good thing.
Our hearts are really with the children who are just waiting for homes. But when our adoption came off hold, our agency only had one waiting child, and we could tell by the description that that child would not be a good fit for our family.
So we waited. We thought about switching agency- a major decision. One that would result in lost money and considerable hassle. But the problem was not with our agency. We’re happy there, for the most part. We thought about switching countries. But our hearts are really with Ethiopia, and international adoption is unpredictable no matter what country it’s from.
Then along came a little boy I’ll call Solomon. Solomon was healthy. His mom passed recently and his dad, too poor to care for him, relinquished him. The description of Solomon’s personality sounded like it would be a perfect match for our family. There was just one thing-Solomon was nine.
We had told the agency we were open for up to eight-years-old, and if we’re being honest that was a stretch for us. If we got to plan our family, we would probably pick about a three or four-year old. When we said eight, we were a little nervous, but we were open to it. Nine was even scarier.
The husband and I prayed a lot for Solomon. We didn’t think we would be capable of parenting him, and then we did. We were scared, and then we decided to go for it. We were going to go for it, and then we got scared. It was an endless cycle of confidence and doubt.
Eventually, we decided to ask for more information on Solomon. I wrote an email to the adoption agency telling them why we were interested and why we were awesome (something we spend a lot of time trying to convince the agency of). Before I pressed send I asked Mark to read it.
Before he read it we got into a fight.
Which made me think that we were not ready for this- and the doubt part of the cycle began again.
I never sent that email.
But we still thought about Solomon. I know a few people that recently adopted older children from Ethiopia. I reached out to them to get their input. We prayed. We talked.
In the meantime, there were a couple other children that came through our agency. An 18-month-old little girl with HIV. A two-year old boy with TB. We prayed for both and asked for more information about one. They both ended up being referred to other families.
We thought about Solomon again. Did we really want to do this, or were we just impatient with the process? Our nephew is nine and they would get along great. I wonder if he knows any English? Can he be prepared for college in nine years?
Eventually we decided to ask for more information. This was a big step. It’s easy to say no to a child when they’re just a paragraph on a page. Not so easy when you know more about them. Not so easy when you see their picture. Asking for more information did not mean we were moving forward with adopting him, but it was a huge step in that direction. And we did it.
We scheduled a call with our agency that started with the usual pleasantries. Then we talked about Solomon. We learned that he was nine on paper, but had been telling everyone that he was twelve (Ethiopians do not track birth dates like we do, so age is often a guess). We learned that he was hyper and not in a typical kid way, but in a way that would require outside help. We learned that he had been exposed to sexuality at a young age (in his culture, most people live in one room huts. So when parents do what parents do, the children are often in the same room).
We hung up and instantly decided that we could not do this. Not at this point in our lives. Not when we have a biobaby in our care.
But Solomon is still out there. He is a little boy. He is not a bad kid. He is a kid who was handed a bad card in life, who has gone through more pain and heartache in nine (or twelve) years than I have in my 29. He has seen things he should not see. He is a kid, a real kid, not just a listing on a website. And he needs a home. I don’t think our home is the right home for him, not right now. Can you please join me in praying for this little guy, and the millions of other kiddos like him? My heart truly breaks for them and I want to adopt them all. It just doesn’t seem fair that one of my babies is living in a nice home, never going hungry, and surrounded by love from many people while my other baby(ies) is living in who-knows-what kind of situation.
So yes we are still adopting; we are just
impatiently waiting. I have to be honest, it’s hard. It’s annoying and frustrating and it feels like it will never happen. We’re a little jaded. It’s difficult to be so excited about something when so few of the details are known. I don’t know what to say when people ask us a lot of questions. It could happen in a month, or a year, or we could get pregnant again and adoption would get put off for a few more years. We were recently told to go ahead with getting some paperwork updated, which is the most encouraging thing we’ve heard in awhile. I don’t know when it will happen or how it will look, but I know that adoption has been put on our hearts for a reason. As hard as it is, I have to trust that the man upstairs knows what he’s doing and just let things be. When that gets especially difficult, I look at the face of my little son and think about how if things worked out like I wanted them to, he wouldn’t be here today. And so I trust.