The last few months have been long, trying, and slow in the adoption realm, but we feel we are finally making some progress! Since March we have been finishing and updating our home study, working on the immigration process, and going through the steps of authentication. I started a new job (part-time in preparation for being home with LT more!) and I went on my first medical mission trip. Our adoption is now fully funded and all donations made from this point on will either go to medical/unexpected expenses when we bring LT home, or to our nest egg for our next adoption :). (another post coming in the future about how this happened...and for those of you that have helped make this happen...you are truly amazing. We have been blown away by you and the generosity of our friends and even by people that barely know us! And please accept my apology for not sending you a thank you card yet, that is my next endeavor!)
After the next couple of weeks, we will be sending all of the paperwork that we have been working on over the past 10 months to our agency, who will then review it and send it to China.
Although frustrating, we have learned a lot over the last several months. We didn't really know what to expect when it came to a timeline, but I have to admit we (well probably actually mostly I) was hoping to be completing it within the year. I know this may have been overly optimistic, but it was as if having a timeline helped me to see that this is real. Like it is not just an idea. Or a dream. We have talked and prayed about having children from the moment we left the doctor's office back in 2008, when we were told it was "very unlikely, but not impossible" that we would have a biological child. I would say since this time I have learned to trust that God has a plan for us that is better than what I could have dreamed up alone. But, seriously, we have really been in the process of adoption for almost 3 years. We began pursuing international adoption about three years ago (I have shared this story in previous posts), and two years ago began pursuing adoption from China. Saving and waiting for me to turn the magic "30" so that we could start the process. And I know those 2-3 years are just a small dot on the timeline of eternity. But they have felt so long to me. And I just feel so ready to just meet our son!
So, as is quite obvious, this year has not gone according to my plan. Although I say I have learned to 'trust that He has a greater plan', I think I really have just wanted His plan to be the same as my plan. I sometimes find it difficult to believe that He is for me in this; to believe that waiting and things not going as planned are really part of His plan. Why would He do that? If He can move mountains and speak life into existence, why do we have to be bound to all of the conditions and rules of this broken world. I don't always understand the balance is in His sovereignty and Him allowing us to continue to bear the weight of the effect of sin in our world, the brokenness that keeps things from being the way they should be. He could have made this year go like I had planned and we could have brought our son home this year.
I wonder, do you ever feel like this? You believe He can, and He has, but He is not? And you start to think it is because He is not really FOR you. This life is hard and it is disappointing...often! But what I have learned this year is that the harder it gets, the more I need Him. And the more I lean into Him, the easier it is to get through times like this. I follow Sara Hagerty (who has also adopted and has openly shared the blessing and difficulties she has encountered in her journey) on Instagram @everybitterthingissweet...go follow her! She posts verses each day to meditate on and the theme of November is 'My Pursuer.' If you have grown up in church, you have probably heard Psalm 139 a hundred times, but don't let the impact of it fade on you. This verse was so refreshing for me this week.
Someone commented on this post, "It is balm to my chapped soul! He's in control, he's my protector, he knows the plans, he's my pursuer, he's my caregiver, he doesn't leave me undone." I love that. He knows the plans. And he does NOT leave me undone. I am choosing to believe this as this year comes to an end. That His plan really is greater. That He knows who our son is and that He is FOR us and FOR OUR SON! That maybe I did have some things to learn along the way, and He is not going to let me just glide through this process without learning them. And even though it is long and difficult, His plan really is best, and He really is in control, and honestly...I don't really want to be in control of this huge thing.
I am still praying that we will find out who our son is by Christmas. I know it is out of my control, but I will keep on asking the one who is in control. And I invite you to join us! We will keep you updated as things continue to progress!