It has been exactly 4 months since we've written a real update. There's so much to say, I don't quite know how to begin. In our last post we shared about our struggle with waiting on the Lord and His timing. We were desperate to fit this adoption into our own timeline instead of yielding fully to Him and whatever timeline He chose for us. Even though it's apparent that we didn't finalize our adoption in 2012, God did answer us within 3 weeks, just as we were hoping.
Shortly after we were assured of God's promise in Jeremiah 33:3 "I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not" we received an email containing a link to a wait-list of children in Colombia. It contained the profiles of children who were unable to be matched (some due to age, others due to medical conditions). We glanced through the profiles, mostly out of curiosity at first. But, we went back to the list of children again and again, always to the same 2 sisters. Although the girls were outside of the age parameters we had initially set for ourselves, we still felt compelled to inquire about these sisters, and so we did. We received a document containing basic information about the girls (temperament, personality, etc.) and we found ourselves excited about the prospect of these 2 girls in our home. We took some time to pray about it and sought the counsel of our family and friends. It wasn't easy to sort through all of our emotions in order to come to a clear headed decision. After all, this picture looked a lot different than the first picture we had in mind. In some ways it was easier; 2 children instead of 3, in other ways it was harder, older children instead of younger. But through it all, we both felt the Lord giving us a heart for these girls.
After some time to think things through, we contacted our agency to see what we would need to do to move forward with the girls. We were told that we would need to update our homestudy and I800A because of the age difference and number of children. As we began to wrap our minds around this change in our journey, our agency contacted ICBF (child welfare services) in Colombia to inquire about the girls. Upon their inquiry, they discovered that the girls were in a hosting program and were scheduled to travel to the U.S. over Christmas. Initially we thought ICBF would bypass the hosting program in order to place the girls with a family. However, we received word that they wanted to keep the girls in the program. They told us we could wait until they returned to Colombia at the first of the year, and that if the host family declined to adopt them, then we could proceed with adopting them. But, in the meantime we would have to wait. We were devastated with this news and became unsure of our next steps. Should we wait, in hopes that the host family would decline to adopt them? What if we waited 4 months only to find out that the host family decided to adopt? Then again, what if we chose to move forward with another sibling set and then discovered that the girls were available after all? It was an impossible choice to make!
Many tears were shed and many prayers were prayed as we felt paralyzed and unable to make a choice. We both felt the Lord leading us to these girls... could we have been wrong? Did we misunderstand? In the midst of our confusion, one thing became clear... only time would tell. We would wait upon the Lord; if He sent another sibling set our way, we would know He meant them for us and He meant the girls for the family that hosted them. We could only trust HIM as we settled into His arms for comfort and peace.
Then out of the blue... on an ordinary afternoon in the last week of September, my cell phone rang. It was a call that changed our life forever. It was like time stood still as I heard the words from our case workers mouth... the host family fell through, do you still want to adopt the girls? We were absolutely stunned! There are no words to convey the joy we felt in that exact moment; joy that I'm sure will only be surpassed by the moment we see them face to face. There was no hesitation as we gleefully answered YES!!! And so began the final stages of our journey as we scurried to re-do our homestudy and I800A, which needed to be updated before we could proceed.
Initially Colombia wanted everything finalized before Christmas, but to our disappointment we experienced a few setbacks which prevented that from happening. Although the setbacks were frustrating, we were spared the ultimate set back of the judges strike, which took place during the time we would've been in country attempting to finalize. Many families were delayed in country for many weeks during the strike, and although our hearts went out to them in their struggle, we were inwardly thankful that God had spared us from this great difficulty.
So what's happening now? You guessed it, we're still waiting! We sent off our U.S. Immigration paperwork just before Christmas and received word that they received it on Dec. 28th. Once that returns we will be able to travel to Colombia, which we expect will be around mid-February, but nothing is set in stone yet. ICBF has been on break for the holidays and won't return until next week, so we hope to know more when they return.
When you embark on an adoption journey you hear zillions of stories and receive unwarranted advice, but one thing is true... YOU MUST BE FLEXIBLE! Nothing ever happens how you want it to or when you want it to; it's always a little different than how you pictured it and little later than you expected it. But, it's a beautiful ride! :) This picture is definitely different than the one we started this journey with, but different as it may be, we couldn't be happier. We continue to covet your prayers. Our adoption journey may be coming to a close, but our journey as parents has just begun. We so appreciate your support thus far and we're eager to see what the Lord will do in the lives of our daughters.