Sunday, June 16, 2013

Ups and downs

Ya know, looking back a year ago, I remember reading about the “ups and downs” the adoption journey would take. I remember thinking, “Well, ours WILL be different”. I hate to admit it, but all those negative Nancy’s out there in the adoption circuit, were unfortunately right. We recently received more frustrating news from our adoption agency. The wait continues to grow, and grow, and grow. The necessary paperwork requirements continue to grow and grow and grow.  At the start of all this, it was beaten into our brains that no legal documentation we completed could ever expire. We created an excel spreadsheet specifically designated for adoption paperwork expiration dates. Trust me excel is neither of our finest strengths, but we completed it to stay on top of the adoption paperwork mountain. A few weeks ago, we heard that our agency is actually recommending that we ALLOW our paperwork to expire, in order to save us money along the way. They believe that the wait is looking like greater than 3.5 years before that long awaited referral call comes our way and likely another 6-8 months until the baby is actually home.  What’s more, they are no longer giving out monthly updated waitlist numbers. We will continue to get an email monthly depicting the number of referrals the agency has made that month, but we will have no substantial way to document our “progress” (and I use the word progress lightly). To be honest, we are a little confused, a little annoyed, but more than anything just heart broken for all the waiting kiddos stuck in orphanages.  I guess you could say our five-year plan for our family has basically been shattered. But through this entire journey we are learning a very valuable lesson: WE are not the authors of our story. God is. He is writing our adoption story for us and He is writing for HIS glory. I read this on another adoption mom’s blog and it does fit into our story beautifully. You see, over a year ago Jay and I said, “yes” to God, but we had no idea what “yes” meant and we still don’t! We had no idea that saying “yes” would or could mean the “adoption” of someone very close to home.

On May 8th Jay and I were granted full legal custody of our nephew, who as you recall has been with us for the past 7 months. It has been a very emotional journey, and continues to be a process we are working through day by day. “Adoption”, we are finding, whether domestic, international, foster care, guardianship or custody is NOT and easy or flawless process.  We are learning that through the trials, frustration, and tears, it is all and will be all worth it. Parenting this amazing little boy has been an absolute delight (except for perhaps the occasional temper tantrum in public and potty training but hey he is three and we are told that’s normal). He just started a new school, we moved him into a newly decorated big boy room, and we just celebrated his third birthday. We are having a blast with him this summer with trips to the park, the zoo, Grandma and Grandpa Reichert’s pool, miniature golfing, baseball games, sprinkler runs (see below),and lots of bike rides.

While the adoption of our international delight (you see what I did there?) continues to be prolonged, we are more excited than ever to get him or her home and we are anxious to see what our family will look like in the next couple of years. Jay and I will be getting the chance to update our preferences for our child in our updated home study within the next few months. And in case you didn’t catch it a few sentences back, we may be expanding to include a boy or a girl, or possibly even siblings. Who knows right?! A year ago, we thought we knew how this was going to play out, but the Almighty keeps surprising…so for now, We are going to take a break from making our own plans and just enjoy the ride we are currently on.

Ethiopian Education:
I haven’t done this in a while, but found this picture recently, which helps one to understand the size of the great continent of Africa. Thought id share for perspective.