Tuesday, September 10, 2013

beautiful endings

"Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit."   (Ecclesiastes 7:8)

Late last week we received an email from our Congo adoption coordinator explaining a few changes in Congo, as well as a few changes with our agency and the children it places. We are so very thankful for the honesty and heartfelt message it conveyed, but we are even more thankful that our agency's coordinators care so deeply for the children of Congo.

The email reiterated that, due to the extreme instability and lack of organization in the Congolese government, every finalized adoption is an absolute miracle that should not be taken for granted. There are huge hurdles to finalizing an adoption in general (as you might have noticed from our blog in 2011), but even more so in the Congo where communication systems are limited and protocol is still rocky at best. BUT there are TONS of kids there who need families, and that is why it is so important for you to pray with us through this.

Along with the above message, the email detailed the following changes in Congo:

1. Investigations within Congo will now take longer than in the past. Before the change we could expect to wait about 6-9 months before traveling to get our child(ren), but now we should expect to wait 9-15 months. We know this will be a hard wait, but we obviously won't feel the pain of this change until after we receive a referral with pictures of a child or children with hands to hold and tears to wipe and hair to stroke.

2. Both parents must now travel to get the child(ren), and that trip is expected to last 3-4 weeks (as opposed to 1.5-4 originally). This one hurts a bit, too, as we have our two little guys at home and I worry about them in that long time period away from both of us. I refuse to dwell on that part too long for now, but we will for sure need your prayers (and possible babysitting skills, if you live nearby) when it happens.

3. Our agency is heading in the direction of a new partnership with an orphanage in a different and slightly more dangerous area of Congo. The road to the orphanage is extremely dangerous, as is flight travel within the region, so the children who are adopted from there will have to be brought to the capital city to meet their parents. The dangerous trip to the orphanage and its remote location also make the test for sickle cell anemia extremely difficult, so at referral time (if we are refereed a child or children from the orphanage) no one will know whether or not the children are affected by the disease. However, this orphanage currently has 46 children in need of families (which will still need to be investigated and confirmed before most children can be considered "adoptable"), and although I want all of our children to be healthy, I do not want to say no to a child who is obviously going to be hurting anyway. Children with sickle cell will have it no matter what, but that doesn't mean those kids shouldn't have families just because we don't want to deal with their illness. For those kids, it would be better to have families to love them through an illness and provide better medical care, so we have told our agency we would consider a referral from the orphanage, risks included. There are some illnesses we do not feel we have the time or resources to handle, but we have prayed about it and believe that God will place in our arms the child(ren) He wants us to have.

And that is where we stand right now. There is a bit of uncertainty as we move through this phase, but we are praying our way through it.

The addition of our first two children into our family (one adopted, one biological) didn't come without a fair amount of struggle. We didn't get the super-cute "Gotcha Day" video or the sweet newborn-in-our-arms pic that most people get when they add a child to the family. That's ok. Adding a little one to a family is more than a cute moment; it is beautiful beginning. And God says this adoption--despite the ups and downs we've come to expect--will be beautiful in the end.