Jeff in Uganda with three new friends he met at an orphanage
I know that it has been weeks and weeks since I’ve updated our adoption blog last. So many of you blessed us with your prayers and kind words when our domestic adoption crumbled to pieces. Jeff has been asking me to update our blog for at least the past month now, but truthfully, adoption has been like a four letter word for me. For a couple of weeks, I didn’t want to talk about adoption and I didn’t want to think about adoption. The loss of the August baby that we expected to bring home was a deep wound that took time for me to get past. I’m still not fully past the ache. But, like everything, time does wonders and with each day, I have been brought back to our ultimate desire of taking in an orphan who has no home and giving them a home just as God has adopted me into His family.
We have had lots going on this past month.
Prior to us deciding to go forward with our August baby, Jeff was planning on going on the Man Up Missions Trip. It is a missions trip where mostly men (and a few women) go to Ethiopia and Uganda and work with local orphanages and churches. The goal is to show children what positive male role models look like, show women what Godly men look like AND show men that they need to “man up” to their responsibilities. Jeff was planning on going on this trip until we learned that our August baby was due on August 13th. The Man Up trip was due to leave on August 13th. Jeff decided to stay home and be here for the birth of our baby. When the adoption fell through, I encouraged (strongly) him to go on the trip once more. It took a lot of time and prayer before Jeff knew that going on the trip was what God wanted for him. Within 2 weeks, Jeff had signed up again to go on the trip, gotten around inoculations for everything from Yellow Fever to Typhoid and boarded the plane. August 13th, Jeff left for Ethiopia and just this past Saturday, he returned from Uganda. He had an amazing trip. I am so excited for everything he has encountered. Jeff has journaled a ton and he will be posting pictures and stories from his trip. He did come home saying two things 1) that he wanted to move to Ethiopia and 2) that he wanted to adopt 20 kids. I don’t know if either of those desires are feasible. But I do know that God has opened his eyes to the intense need in Africa. We knew intellectually about the need but for him to witness and experience everything first hand has been mind altering. He will talk more about it soon.
We do have a huge update that we have been keeping under wraps for quite a while. It is big news and we are so so excited. And we would not have our big news if our August adoption had gone through. We wouldn’t have our news if Jeff hadn’t gone on his trip to Ethiopia & Uganda. God’s perfect timing has brought us to this place even as we have had to wade through waters of disappointment and despair.
To give a brief update on our current adoptions, we are working with America World (AWAA) and are in-line and will be adopting from Ethiopia in about 2 years. We have decided not to pursue our Haiti adoption due to their unrest and uncertainty of future international adoptions. (There is a great need in Haiti. Haiti has hundreds of thousands of orphans. But because they are in the midst of becoming a Hague nation, adoptions are in limbo. Adoptions pending may go through or they may not. Jeff and I decided we needed to be prudent with the money we have diligently saved the past few years as well as the money that so many people have graciously given us. Please know that I am not discouraging adopting from Haiti. This is a personal choice for what is best for our family.) We have also decided not to pursue domestic adoption. When we originally decided to adopt in the spring of 2011, we felt called to adopt internationally. That is where are hearts are. We went off track a bit this summer and now that Jeff has returned from Ethiopia & Uganda, we know with certainty that for us, we are meant to adopt in Africa and specifically Ethiopia. (Again, our decision not to adopt domestically is a personal choice. We may pursue a domestic adoption again in the future or possibly fostering. For now, however, our vision for adoption has narrowed and we are focusing entirely on Africa. This is our personal choice and this is what God has shown us for our family.)
Which leads me to our news. We have officially accepted a referral for a baby boy (yet to be named by us) in Ethiopia! (I can’t give out his Ethiopian name but we will keep it as his middle name.) He is 2 months old and he is by far the most adorable baby boy I have ever seen. (I am allowed to say that since he is going to be OURS right?) I have been scrambling like a mad woman to get a new dossier together to bring him home. Our baby boy’s paperwork is entirely ready to go in Ethiopia so we need to be quick. The sooner we get our paperwork together, the sooner he comes home. We should have our paperwork done in about two weeks and then we wait for a court date. Our agency is hoping for a court date as soon as late September or as late as November. Nonetheless, it looks like we will be going to Ethiopia soon! Once we pass court, we go home for about 6-8 weeks and we then go back a second time to bring him HOME.
I wanted to take a moment to really thank all of you for your prayers, comments and emails the past few months. This has been such a difficult time for us and your support has meant the world to us. I have not responded to all of you personally, but I have read each of your words and you have blessed me with them. I never would have imagined that I would be writing about our adoption highs and lows on a blog where more than just close friends and family would be reading our words. And I have to say that you have made me realize that my circle of friends is actually so much larger than I imagined. Your words of encouragement gave me hope during some pretty dark days. And I thank each and every one of you for taking the time to seek me out and encourage me.
We would continue to ask for prayers. Please pray that our baby boy remains healthy and that his caregivers give him loving care during his time in the foster home. Please also pray that there will be no paperwork issues that arise between now and our Court date. Financially, because of all of the donations we had from friends, family and strangers and because of the money we had personally saved to put towards our adoption, we were able to wire a ginormous check for our baby boy. That is a HUGE praise. Please pray that we can raise the additional funds necessary to bring him home.
We will be updating Addicted to Adoption to fill you in on everything as time progresses.