Our agency works closely with a particular orphanage in China and the waiting families have gotten a glimpse of the next 40 children getting paperwork ready for adoption. As I have stated in the past we were told we are in the “top 10” of the waiting families. All the families, including us, have been waiting patiently for…you guessed it, paperwork from the Chinese government to start processing and matching these kiddos for nearly 5 months now. The first group of kiddos, eight to be exact, FINALLY posted this week. I waited by my phone as soon as I saw the post, and prayed desperately that we would get matched. But alas, the hours ticked on and the call never came. All the children were matched with other families. My heart is a bit heavy, because when you see their little faces, when you pray for each of them nightly, as we do with Jayden, you cant help but imagine some of them as “yours” and many of the ones we dreamt about, were matched with other families this week. However, putting our feelings aside, this is such great news for the other families, and for the children. Our director thinks that the next group, hopefully of 10 kiddos, will post in about 1-3 months, which likely means 4-6 given how adoption timelines seem to go through our experience. So what does this mean for us? Redoing our homestudy documents for one, meeting with our social worker again for two, and getting fingerprinted and awaiting on more paperwork from our government so when we finally do get that phone call, all our documents will be valid through travel; aka we can get back into the U.S. from China…which would be a very good thing. I am NOT looking forward to redoing any of our documents. It is a painstaking and costly process but we are just too close now to throw in the towel.
I have had my moments of frustration, anger, and annoyance, and now I am ready to move on and anticipate our referral later (again) that what we expected.
The hardest part in all of this is that I am involved with many adoption groups through social media, and there are so many kiddos who are adoption ready right now, who need families. We are locked into our agency, so even if we are interested in a particular child, we can’t help them. If I had to redo this whole adoption thing over again…and who knows maybe we will someday, I would not find an agency first…I would find a waiting, paperwork ready child first. Now these kiddos tend to have more serious health concerns, but there is no delay and their adoption is much more streamlined. Don’t get me wrong, I love our agency, they do SO much for the children in their care, but it’s the children not in their care that breaks my heart the most. The one's who sit in an orphanage with little to no chance of ever having a family. These are the ones who need pursued!
Adoption is HARD! It is hard on waiting families, it is hard on waiting children; it is HARD all around! But you know what, these children are worth the pain, frustration, anger, annoyance and perhaps most importantly, they are worth the wait…every single one of them.
So, I started thinking, what can I do in the mean time? How can I make this wait productive? I have read many books, talked with other adoptive mommies, dug into my bible deeper than I have before, and then suddenly, God showed me how to use my time and heart for orphans during this wait. My director reached out for help with advocating on social media for children paperwork ready, waiting for their families to find them. Exactly what I just described above. I contacted my director, thinking I would advocate for young kiddos like the one we are hoping for, but she instead asked me to advocate for older kids. I am totally out of my comfort zone with older kiddo adoptions, but I am finding God seldom calls us to comfort …so I agreed. I have been advocating for older boys mostly, and I work with my director but reviewing available information on children, including pictures, medical reports, and videos and I compile them and post to closed advocacy groups for prospective parents to view. It’s hard, because older children are not sought after in China, or anywhere else for that matter. I have found this advocating very rewarding for this very reason. I have yet to see a family commit to one of my boys (yes I consider them partly mine now), but many have voiced interest and hopefully the fruits of my labor start to surface soon. My director has many upcoming ideas for some of my boys and I’m praying that soon these boys will have families of their own, before they age out of the system (at 13) and end up all alone. My heart is definitely changing for older child adoptions. We are not able to adopt out of birth order (meaning anyone older than Jayden), but who knows what the Reichert future may hold…right Jay?