Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Conference Call

Today we had a conference call with AGCI regarding the new changes in Ethiopia law regarding two trips. They are speculating that once you have your referral, there will be around 2-6 weeks before the first trip, which will last 5-7 days. While there, we cannot take our child back to the hotel with us, because the child will not be technically "ours" yet. The second trip will happen between a month and three months later, so it is not practical to stay in Ethiopia, as the times may vary and can be unpredictable. This means that we have another $6,000 or so to trust God for. He will provide! We are working on our application stuff now, and hope to send it in by my birthday.

Our sweet friends Heather and Brian, who already have their little Ethiopian baby (who is the cutest EVER, seriously, the standards are set high!), have really encouraged us that this change is a good thing. We will get to meet our child earlier, we will have a lot of pictures and videos to take back, we get to visit Africa twice, and the child may bond with us sooner when we finally bring him/her home.

We were also encouraged in the conference call that AGCI has always been able to find adoptive children for the adoptive families, they have never had court cases dropped so that the family never got a child. They have had families have up to 4 court dates, but they still got a child. Also, if for some terrible reason Ethiopia closed in the process, our agency would advocate on our behalf and we would end up with a child- be it Ethiopian or not.

Praise Him who knows all of these things, and already has it worked out!

Friday, March 12, 2010

No Red Flags!

We got a call around lunchtime from the AGCI Inquiry Coordinator that our pre-application has "no red flags." Because of our age, we have been asked to submit a financial worksheet, but we are set to submit our APPLICATION by April 1st, my 23rd birthday. The call came at a perfect time, as my dad had a heart attack this week and we needed the good news. We are itching to tell people about what is going on, but are trying to stick with our application approval for telling our friends and family about our adoption.

Ethiopia also made a few changes this week. Instead of one trip to pick up our child, we will have to make two trips, and will appear in court instead of an agency member representing us in Ethiopia. The positives: we get to see our child sooner, we get two trips to Africa, we will know how to prepare our home better, we will build stronger community with our fellow adoptive parents, and finally, we know that God is the one in charge and His plan is better than anything.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How We Got Here

We are sure that as we embark on this "journey" towards expanding our family, people will wonder and ask why we are choosing adoption when we may be capable of having biological children. Additionally, our decision may surprise some, when it has actually been discussed between us for several months now.

-For several months we have been seeing God open our hearts and challenge us to the endless possibilities in His grace. We have questioned ourselves about our readiness to trust Him and have seen that He is good, He is our Sustainer, and His plans are better than we could imagine. Through sermons, scriptures, conversations and examples of adoption in our personal friends, we have been shown that adoption was not only a beautiful option for a Christian family, but a necessary and right decision for us.

-We have been privileged to watch our dear friends' adoption from Ethiopia, as they waited and finally brought home their son. The beautiful picture of the gospel that was portrayed through their obedience to Christ's call and unconditional love to their son greatly stirred our own desires to adopt. We are excited to also testify to God's adoption of ourselves, as we embrace a child through this process.

-We know this will be different than a biological child. Obviously, there will be no biological pregnancy. When my sister was pregnant and finally at the hospital to deliver HB, I was privileged to be at the hospital with her. My mom was also there and I remember knowing that it would be different for me. At the time, I was imagining that our first child would be born in a tent or in a hospital overseas, but now I see that the peace I was given then was pointing me towards adoption for our first child. Again, my sister-in-law had a baby in January and I knew that our situation would be different. Instead of our family huddling in a hallway of a hospital to greet a newborn, they might be gathered in an airport waiting to greet us at the end of a terminal. There may be a challenging beginning as we all transition, and there will definitely be continued conversations about adoption with our child.

This is not a whim of a decision, but something that has been thought-out, discussed, whispered and cried over. We could not be more excited to say yes.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pre-Application

We did it! Tonight we officially said YES to adoption. We filled out and sent off our pre-application forms. After months of saving and praying we felt God's timing clearly. We kept whispering "we're pregnant" to each other in bed. It is so exciting and yet suddenly extremely emotional and confusing. We can't believe it but we can't imagine it any other way. We know this is just the beginning of a long and emotional process. Right now we are keeping this a secret, but it is hard not to shout it out loud or tell strangers. We plan to share with our family and friends when/if our official application is approved. We can already forsee challenges: finances, Will's student status, our age, and doubt...but the great thing is: God is in control! He already knows our family's future and has ordained every step! We look forward to all the support we know we will have when we finally share the news.
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