29 June 2015

Stars and Water

Those are the names I will call our daughters until I can show you their names and faces. Stars and Water. They live in Uganda, that country I just can't shake, no matter what. I can't tell you much about them but that they are related and between our sons' ages (so yes, we'll have 4 kids 3.5 years apart. It's gonna be a lot of fun and quite a bit of work).

I'd love to say I'm cautiously optimistic, but I'm not. I'm vacillating between wildly excited and terrified. So much needs to happen in so little time and SO MANY THINGS can go wrong. When I told my mom we had accepted their referral, she said, "Finally! Aren't you relieved?" and I said NO! I'll be relieved when we touch down in Houston with them in our arms.

Until then, until then feels like the gantlet. I hope I won't, but I may struggle with anxiety until then. I catch myself begging God, as if He likes to withhold good things from me, or keep children out of families.

If you'd like to pray for us, I'd love some prayer for more faith, more hope. If everything goes well, we could bring them home by Christmas. But 50 different things could go wrong, delaying or destroying our adoption plans. Please pray everything about our adoption would go according to his plans -- that nothing from the enemy can stand in the way. That we'll raise the funds. That paperwork will work for us and not against us. That the judges and officials will be favorable to us. That we will celebrate Christmas as a family of six.

25 June 2015

Sad News

I've actually known this "news" for at least six weeks, and most of you may already know this, but we are not actually eligible to adopt from China. We will not meet their net worth requirements. This was missed during our paperwork because we were deciding on whether to sell the house at the same time that we were deciding to adopt.

China requires a net worth of $80,000. We don't come close.

It was a hard blow to my heart. I had a lot of hope that, through adopting from China, we would be able to cross our t's and dot our i's and end up with a daughter on the other side of time & paperwork. I hoped to bring home that sweet little Treasure. I have cried and prayed and finally felt peace that, like the precious girl we weren't supposed to adopt last fall, we aren't able to because God has a different family marked out for her. I am honored to share a teeny piece of God's heart by loving these kiddos and praying for what's best for them, not just what I want.

We are proceeding in a different direction that I hope to be able to tell you all about soon. This is our last "go" of adopting, so I'm praying and preaching hope to myself that the past three and a half years of struggle has been leading up to this situation. To our beautiful, precious little daughters. #spoileralert

23 March 2015

Romans 5 and Suffering

I was thinking the other day about how Judah is now older than Ezra was when the need for families to adopt orphans burst onto my horizon & into my heart. It's been three and a half years since I first longed to add to our family a child who didn't have one. In a month, it will be three & a half years since I got Stephen on board with the logic of the two-birds-one-stone approach: we want more kids; kids deserve families; instead of making another child to increase our family, we can adopt one. [I have my brilliant moments.]

That isn't a long time in light of eternity, but it has been a long time in my heart. We have lost a referral due to the sins of her country's governors (I'll love you forever, little H). We have declined a referral in obedience to God (I pray for you often, precious girl, and for your family). There have been months where I have felt my heart was put in a meat grinder - pulpy, hemorrhaging. There have been months I have been so angry at God I could barely speak to him, and yet there was the hard (at the time) truth that He alone has the words of life. There have been times I thought I was seeing the light at the end of this long, dark tunnel, only to have it be a match, blown out in my face.

I reiterate those thing because I can understand why it would seem super emo/dramatic to talk about my suffering. Ugh, I even want to put it in quotes, but I'm not going to. I have suffered through this process. There has been an abundance of pain, loss, confusion, and the peculiar pain of waiting, just waiting and waiting with no assurance of its stopping.

It is hard to fathom that there is every reason to believe we will be done with this adoption in a year.

That our daughter will be home with us. That we will be knitting ourselves together as a family.

So it was sweet when I read Romans 5 again, with its well-known "suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." I know I've suffered because I do have more perseverance, character, and hope. And I know I won't be disappointed. When I see Jesus face to face, I will thank him for this process, because it has made me more like him, and that is what I want more than anything. More even than bringing our daughter home, I want to BE Jesus, be just like him.

21 March 2015

Important Adoption Update

Again, again, sorry for the quiet. I've been waiting for like six weeks for news to share. It's not the news I personally want, but I have accepted it as God's best for me and am hopeful.

In January, I clicked on the picture of a waiting child, a little Treasure, and felt hope for our adoption spring to life within me. I approached Stephen and we took some time before deciding to ask for more information. When we got it, we took some time to pray over whether we should adopt her or not. Then we submitted a document detailing how we would care for her special need (she is blind in both eyes). I went to doctors; I spoke with our regional and state visual impairment specialists. I spent quite a few hours thinking over and planning first steps for us to accommodate this treasure. So we hear back last week that we have no way of knowing if we can adopt her until Stephen turns 30 at the end of July.

You see, she's in China, this precious little spark, and China requires both parents to be 30 years old before they will allow a child to be referred to the couple. And our agency only has her file until April 30th, after which her file will go back into the shared files of China's Special Focus program.

We had 3 options, essentially: wait until Stephen turns 30 and see if she's still available, then begin our adoption again; decide that the timing was wrong and suspend our adoption again; or begin our adoption again in the hopes that she still will be available in July.

I can tell that the trial of our adoption is bearing fruit in that Stephen and I both agreed to continue this process of adopting from China, knowing that we may have a very disappointing July-August. I trust that, if she's supposed to be our daughter, God will allow us to adopt her. And if she isn't, that means she will have been adopted already, which is a big praise, because kiddos with visual impairment don't often get adopted.

And if she isn't supposed to be our daughter, God will bring our daughter to us, and I will look back and bless this long, painful process for the joy added to our family. Still, I'm holding onto hope that we'll bring this little treasure home around Christmas.

28 January 2015

Adoption Update? Embryo Adoption Awareness

About a week ago I posted a Facebook update asking for prayer about making a decision concerning our adoption. We were seriously considering adopting embryos.

Was there a record scratch or a say whaaa in your brain just now? Embryo adoption is totally a thing. There are many, many families who have frozen embryos left over from cycles of IVF that they are unwilling/unable to add to their families. These embryos can be donated to science (where they will die), disposed of (where they will die), or donated/adopted by another family (where they have a chance to be born).

The idea of giving birth to your adopted child is beautiful, and giving life to these lil snowflakes is sweet and precious. And I really wanted another baby. So we were seriously considering it.

Notice I'm using the past tense. I realized over the weekend that, while I think adopting embryos is wonderful and important, I just don't have a conviction that it's what we should do for this adoption. I think I was considering it so seriously was a result of not having much hope that we could adopt internationally. Also known as not a great reason to bring a child into our family.

We are seriously considering adopting a little girl with a special need from China (why China? Well this is pretty much the earliest we could adopt from China, since Stephen turns 30 in July). Please be praying with us that God would give us clarity in our decision.

Want to know more about embryo adoption? Click here! This was not in any way sponsored or something. I just think it's a great thing.