Monday, June 22, 2015

Our Journey

In January 2013 we felt the call to adopt.  The timing was crazy, we had a 15 month old and a 4 year old.  We had debt we wanted to pay off before expanding our family, but there was a small voice in my head that kept saying "What are you waiting for?".  And so our journey began with Lifeline Children's Services.

We were required to choose a country where we wanted to adopt.  This was probably the hardest part.  We tried to choose a country with the greatest need, but when you are looking at over 153 million orphans worldwide, how do you decide who has the greatest need?  We finally settled on Ethiopia because of the extreme poverty.

After about a year of paperwork, home studies, and adoption training, we hit a road block.  Ethiopia had temporarily shut down international adoptions when a new Prime Minister was appointed who wanted to make changes to the program.  We began to feel a bit uneasy but felt that we must be committed to Ethiopia.  By summer of 2014, Ethiopia had made dramatic changes to their program and the average wait time to adopt a child was 5+ years.  We no longer felt we could commit to this program.  Ethiopia is not a Hague country and the new Prime Minister wasn't favorable of International Adoption.  New programs have been started in Ethiopia for foster care, matching widows and orphans to create families in their community.

We still felt the call to adopt but my (Amber's) heart was hardened toward International Adoption.  So we started Foster Care training classes in hopes to foster-to-adopt.  In August 2014 we attended our last training class and our oldest daughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  This meant a huge, stressful lifestyle change for our family, especially our kids.  We could no longer eat whatever we wanted but spent hours researching and reading labels.  As parents we knew that this was not the right time to bring a foster child into our home.  We needed to focus on our daughter and her health.  At this point adoption was on the back burner.  It still dwelt in our hearts but it was something we would pursue down the road, maybe in a few years.

In November 2014 Lifeline posted on their Facebook page about 9 month old twin boys in Poland who were about to be separated if they were not adopted together soon.  We had previously considered adopting a sibling group so we contacted the case worker about the twins.  We were told that several families had already asked about the boys so we shouldn't get our hopes up.  After consulting with our pediatrician we continued to pursue the boys.  But we had to renew our home study and tons of new paperwork to switch from Ethiopia to Poland.  Along the way we continued to be told that if another family was further in the adoption process they may get the boys instead of us.  But no one else pursued the boys.  God was clearly at work here!  We completed our Dossier and were officially matched with the boys in the spring of 2015.

It has been a long, bumpy road but we can see God at work in our family and our adoption.  While we still pray for and love the children of Ethiopia, we know that we would not have opened our eyes to these sweet boys if we had not faced the road blocks with Ethiopia.  We are thankful for a God who has gone before us, who knows the beginning and the end!  We are thankful for a God who provides! When we were matched with the boys, our savings account was empty.  When we had placed adoption on the back burner, we donated all of our adoption savings.  We knew this money was God's money, not our own, so we didn't feel it was right to keep it in savings if we were not currently pursuing adoption.  We had no idea what He had in store for us!  Over the last 6 months God has provided in the way that only He can.  We have made each adoption payment in perfect timing.  We have been blessed with an amazing church family that has walked along side us and supported us with everything from prayer to fundraising.  And we have received donations from complete strangers who felt God's call to help bring our boys home!  If you are thinking about adopting but don't think you have the money, remember that God provides!!

Currently we are waiting for our travel date.  We ask that you join us in praying for the boys and for our travel.  The boys are now 15 months old.  One of the boys has been in the hospital with several health issues.  Please pray for their health and pray that God may allow us to travel soon!  Please pray for the judge in Poland, that the Judge's heart may be softened toward our boys and our family, that we may have a short stay in Poland.  Please pray for our family, especially our daughters as we grow from a family of 4 to a family of 6.  Please pray that God may prepare their hearts to welcome 2 siblings!

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