Sunday, November 2, 2014

Roller Coasters in Adoptionland

As many of you know, we've had something up our sleeves for a couple of months now. I have been reluctant to post about it because of the failed adoptions we have experienced. We know there is no 'sure thing' in Adoptionland until the child you have adopted has walked through the threshold of your home, and you hold in your hand the adoption decree. On this day six years ago, Josi Grace became our daughter, passing adoption court in Guatemala. She was our daughter in our hearts for a year; but on paper, she was our daughter for five weeks, (35 days,) before Jesus called her home. Josi never made it home to us. Our home was what we had in mind… but it isn't about what we have in mind.

James 5:13-15 says, "Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 

It is so easy to forget that God is in control and his plans can be vastly different than our own. It is so easy to have faith when things are going the way we want them to go. Faith is so much harder when our plans don't coincide with God's, which is most often the case. For me personally, having faith comes with great fear, knowing that God can so easily give AND take away. And it feels like he can be so heartless when he takes. We forget that he cries with us and for us when we are crying and hurting. I understand that it's part of the bigger picture that I cannot see or understand… but still for me it is scary as heck to have faith.

Since Sergii's adoption is on hold for an indefinite period of time, Sammy and I had originally decided to head back to Ukraine to find another available child to adopt while our paperwork was still current. We were approved to adopt two children, so we thought we could bring home another boy in the meantime, (from a safe region in Ukraine,) while we wait for Sergii to become available. While we were looking for available boys in Ukraine, we became aware of a domestic adoption opportunity. There was a 12yo boy, (whom we'll call "David,") available for adoption, originally adopted from Poland, whose placement wasn't working out. This sweet young man needed a new family. After much prayer and learning about the situation, his needs, and if we would be a good fit, we decided to apply to adopt him. We felt, and still feel, strongly about David and feel that the Lord led us to him and continues to direct our path as we move forward to adopt him. We were approved, and are hoping to pick him up sometime within the next couple of weeks. Praying that we will have him home by Thanksgiving.

Just a couple of days ago, we received an email from Sergii's adoption agency with news that adoptions in the Lugansk and Donetsk regions are starting to move. We were given some docs to fill out, notarize, apostille, and then Fed Ex back to them so that they can get them out to our facilitator in Ukraine ASAP. We are not sure what this means for us, but we are requesting an SDA appointment. Because our documents expire in January, if we were to travel to Ukraine to get Sergii's referral, it would have to be before December 5th. With the way things have gone in Ukraine, I am pretty positive the likelihood of this is slim to none. But then there's this thing called, "God's timing." It is what we pray for, but never seems to be the right time for us. With that said, it's a perfect time for "God's timing." Between picking up our newest son, David; Thanksgiving; having family and friends fly in from as far as Canada for the holidays; and Christmas… Well, it couldn't be a more perfect time for Sammy and I to fly to Ukraine to get Sergii's referral.

I wonder if I ever mentioned that we would do anything for Sergii.

When we began the adoption process for David, we were told that we could be bringing him home within two weeks after our homestudy was finished. Since we had a current homestudy, we imagined we would be picking him up around mid-October. As things often go in "Adoptionland," there was hurdle after hurdle, setback after setback, and here it is November 2nd and we still don't have our boy. Turns out, the state of California is a stickler when it comes to interstate adoptions, especially adoptions via disruption. As it is, we are hoping to have him home by Thanksgiving.

So… if we get an SDA appointment and need to travel to Ukraine for Sergii's referral before December 5th, our hope is to bring David with us. If we cannot, then we will have a family member in our home to look after David, in addition to our other kiddos, for the 5-day trip to Ukraine.

This brings me to the end of my post regarding this crazy, never-ending-ride in "Adoptionland." It may be crazy, mentally exhausting, and emotionally draining, but there has to be a reason why we keep doing this. The reason is not that we love the feeling of being beat up and stretched beyond recognition. It's not because we are constantly questioned and even frowned on for having a large family. It is knowing that we are doing what we have been called to do. 

Galations 1:10 "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." 

Adoption isn't for everyone--yet caring for the orphan and the widow, however, isn't a calling--it is a command. I can only pray that someone might see the good, God's good, through all the muck and mud of our sin and make a decision to help the orphan and the widow. Whether it be by adopting, hosting, sponsoring, advocating, donating, etc. 

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ~Mother Teresa

Now that things are moving again, and we have added an additional child, we need to fundraise and quick! If anyone has any fundraising ideas, please message me via Facebook. In the meantime, we will be starting our fundraiser back up at Bringing Sergii Home. Also, our "Simply Love" t-shirt and hoodie fundraiser will be starting back up, as well as our 100-grid. Stay tuned.

As always, thank you for your prayers and following the journey to our boys.


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