OK so I found a little more time to blog... :)
There are many YWAM families like us, waiting on one more document until our cases are finalized and we are legally made parents of our sweet kiddos. It's no fun, especially since most of us have already met our little ones and fallen off the deep end in love with them. We want them home. It's natural.
But on the other hand... we signed up for this. This is international adoption. If there is anything we can expect, it is bumps in the road, changes to the process, and delays in the time-line. That doesn't mean we have to like it, but it does mean we can accept it as a normal part of the journey. In this rough waiting stage here are a few things I'm trying to remember to help me keep it all in perspective:
1. I can't make this go any faster, but is not going as slowly as it feels. Ethiopia has one of the fastest processing times for adoptions. China has a 4 year wait for non-special needs adoptions. Domestic foster-to-adopt cases can take years and years to be finalized, depending on the birth parent's status. We have been in this process for 13 months and we are almost done. In the grand scheme, this is a lightning-fast time-line!
2. I am not entitled to a smooth process. We are talking about transferring a human being from being legally in the care of an organization to being legally placed in a family from another country. This can be nothing but complicated. Adoption is still relatively new to Ethiopia and they continue to refine their process to make it more ethical and safe for families and children. Bumps in the road for me will hopefully mean a better process for the future.
3. The YWAM and CHI staff are the best. No really. THE BEST. We met dozens of staff members in Ethiopia - nannies, directors, coordinators, lawyers, etc -- and every single one of them was a superstar. They were truly some of the most compassionate, conscientious, and considerate people I have ever met. It kills us to be separated from our boy. It kills us that our case is still not finalized. But it comforts us immeasurably that our son is being loved on and cared for by amazing people. It sets our minds at ease that smart, capable individuals are doing their best to get our case decided as quickly as possible. We also met adoptive parents in Ethiopia who were working with other agencies and orphanages. Here's what we kept hearing from them: Wow... You guys are so lucky... Gosh, I wish I could say that about the people we worked with... You should see where our kids were... I wish we had the support you have... I wish someone had prepared us as well as your agency did... And on and on and on. It helps so much to know that we are in very good hands and so is our son.
Of course none of the above will make our children magically appear in our arms... but I hope that if you are waiting like us, these things still bring you a measure of peace. God is at work and he will keep his promises. I don't think that necessarily means we'll have our kids home by Christmas or whatever deadline we've set in our heads (though I would love that of course!). God is big enough to be glorified even when our deadlines are missed and our hopes are shattered. God is big enough to be glorified even when our plans fail and our children wait. God is big enough to be glorified in our journeys, even when they are bumpy and longer than we wanted, even when they make us cry out "how can this be your plan?"... even then, God can glorify himself. Let's make that our first prayer - Lord, glorify yourself, with all the prayers for speed and smoothness coming only after and in submission to that one.