I want to try to write this post in a way that doesn’t reveal too much of my children’s story. From the beginning, Scott and I felt that their history is a private thing. It will be our children’s decision how much or how little of their lives to share as they get older. They will always have the opportunity to open up and reveal more of their past, but they would never have the opportunity to take back any words already spoken.
Our children’s birth mother loves them. She desires to be able to take care of them. But for a variety of reasons, she cannot. The reason she is giving her children to us to raise is so much more than just financial problems. When I wrote about Naomi’s response to meeting us, when she said to us, “Take me home today, Mama!”, it was not because she instantly met me and fell in love with me and wanted me more than she wanted her mother. It is because right now, Naomi is living in a situation that is less than ideal. And in her mind, being adopted and taken to America is like a promise of heaven. It is so hard for a child’s mind to comprehend the gravity of the situation. She probably believes that living with us would be like living in Disneyland every day of her life. She has no idea of the struggles and questions that she will face as she grows. Of how she will miss her mother and wonder why.
Scott and I have struggled with the question of what would be best for these children. From the moment we saw their pictures, we started falling in love with them. When we heard their names for the first time, they were written upon our hearts. And still we wondered, would it be better for them to come to America and live with us, or would it be better to try and repair their broken family here in Ethiopia. Would it even be possible to help re-unite them with their mother?
After much prayer and research, after talking to many people and asking many questions, after meeting with the psychologist who has seen our children every week for the last nine months, we feel a peace. We know in our hearts that we did everything we could. And the answer we have discovered is yes, these children belong in our family. And we are so thankful for that. We feel beyond blessed that God saw fit to include us in these children’s future.
Since we were first told about Naomi, we have been trying to start the adoption process for her. We filed a petition with the Ethiopian courts to allow us to adopt her. But, for the last 17 weeks, nothing has happened. We have gotten many different answers to our questions but it always came down to waiting. Because Naomi was still living with her mother and because the government orphanages were overcrowded and would not accept her, we needed to wait until our adoption of her 3 siblings was finalized to be able to move forward.
Then, last Friday, we got some amazing news! Although we don’t know how or why the government orphanage changed their policy after 17 weeks of waiting (GOD), they finally allowed Naomi to enter the orphanage. This means that they can officially start gathering her paperwork and getting her documents together for adoption! While our agency has made no promises, this is a VERY encouraging sign that in the end we will be able to make Naomi a part of our family.
This past week we have been dealing with trying to get that last needed document for the adoption of Abigail, Micah and Levi. The court in Harar has been resisting and requiring more information. We turned in the needed information yesterday and were waiting to hear from the court today on whether or not they finally had everything they need to produce this document. Well….it looks like the answer is yes! The court in Harar said they will give us this document, but…. (Isn’t there always a but?) It will take them two weeks to generate what we need. And then another 10 days to review it. So, it looks like our adoption won’t be finalized for about another month.
Good news….the court has what they need and will give us the document.
Disappointing news….it will be another month!!!!!
Our agency is going to do what they can to speed up the process. And we are going to pray that we will all be fantastically surprised because things happen so much faster than we anticipated! Please join us in this prayer.
I am reminded of a sermon I heard about God’s providence. Kings (and courts and governments) like to think they are making all the decisions – that they are in control of the outcome. But really, whether we admit His Lordship or not, God is the one in charge.
The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord,
Like the rivers of water;
He turns it wherever He wishes. Proverbs 21:1
Do I believe that God opened doors to get Naomi into that orphanage? Yes! Do I believe that these 4 children were matched with us by a God who is all-seeing and all-knowing and wants only our best? Absolutely! Do I believe that we are destined to be a family? Yes, with every fiber of my being. Do I trust that everything is happening in God’s perfect timing (even when I get impatient)? Yes, I am clinging to that promise.
*Naomi’s paperwork process
*Naomi’s heart as she adjusts to life in the orphanage
*Our finalized adoption for the first 3 to happen soon!
*Our finalized adoption for Naomi to happen soon!