Monday, June 23, 2014

hopeful waiting

Last week I announced some serious changes in our household, and I have to admit it feels good to finally spill the beans, so to speak. The process of waiting is a hard one in and of itself, but the process of waiting and not being able to share much about it is even tougher.

I think it's safe to say we are both glad that wait is over. But there's another wait we are trudging through, and it's getting pretty long and monotonous, with the bright point coming about every two weeks, which is when we usually get new pictures of Sweet C (and she is as sweet as ever, let me tell you). Bear with me as I ramble through this post. I think it will do my soul some good.

First I will reiterate this fact: I love adoption. I will always love it and be so profoundly thankful for its ability to open my eyes to a different perspective of the gospel that I'd never fully understood before, as well as the gift it has given our family.

But lately, it's been hard to think about our adoption. We have been waiting to pass court for almost 9 months, and it was "supposed" to take 3-8 months. I don't even know where we are in the process anymore, but I thought we were in the last leg of the court process in late May. However, the courts have slowed down quite a bit since the suspension of Exit Letters. (And by the way, it is not a "shutdown of adoption," as many people have called it. It's a suspension of Exit Letters, which isn't even really a part of the adoption process, since it takes place AFTER a legal adoption has already occurred. Just had to clear that up because it gets frustrating to read stories about the "shutdown of adoptions" in DRC, which hasn't happened.)

I had hoped we'd pass court by Spring Break, way back in March. Didn't happen. Then I hoped to pass by June. Now I hope to pass in a generic "soon" time frame, but I can't even put another mental deadline on it for fear that if we pass another hoped-for date I'll flip my lid. I had it in my head that I'd like to visit C on her first birthday, which is July 25, just four days after Brecken's second birthday. That is looking unlikely, as I was going to visit her in DRC and submit required post-court documents to the US Embassy in Kinshasa.

I hate thinking about the fact that I am missing so many milestones--not to mention the fact that I haven't even met her yet--and it's almost been a year. If I don't get to travel and see her on her first birthday, I have a coping plan: I'll just have to get a tattoo on July 25 instead. (You think I'm kidding? It's all planned out. It's a backup plan to my first choice of traveling, of course, but I have to have something "exciting" to look forward to if travel is impossible at that time. Sorry Parents...I know tattoos are not your thing. However, please revert back to this post about being relevant to help soften the blow. Also note that I have considered this for a year, so that's something.)

On top of the waiting we are experiencing in bringing C home, we seem to have another slight problem. DRC has this law that says international adoptive parents cannot adopt children from DRC if they already have more than two children in their home. This kind of messed me up in my head, because somewhere in the midst of the six years Brad and I have been married, our ideas about family have swapped places and I have found myself wanting a ton of kids. As in, by now I wanted to already be preparing our home for ANOTHER child after C came home. So we find ourselves not only waiting for C to come home but also waiting to bring more children into our home. And it doesn't even matter if we bring them home via biology or adoption--except that I keep sending Brad these sweet pictures of children who need a family and he puts on the brakes and says, "Focus on one at a time, woman."

Case in point: I sent him this boy's profile two weeks ago and asked how he felt about it. I might have sent it to him twice, actually. He said simply, "Brakes." However, when I told him my leadfoot would win out in the end, he admitted he already knew that. And the good news is, in case you didn't notice in the link above, that boy now has a family. (It's not us, by the way, but we are thrilled!)

Back to C...We have been waiting about 9 months to pass court, and court isn't even the lengthiest process in DRC adoption. The lengthy part is our government's investigation into the orphan status of adopted children, which may or may not be needed but definitely does not need to take as long as our government is taking. In short, our government's inability to perform a should-be-simple investigation within a 10-month time period is dampening my sense of hope at having C home any time soon, and also my sense of hope at having an ever-expanding family. However, I will say that I know God is completely in control and will place the absolute perfect number of children and perfect specific children in our family when the time comes. I just wanted it all to happen sooner rather than later.

Several families are headed to DC today to discuss the US's role and error in DRC adoptions. DOS has been extremely discouraging and even rude when communicating with adoptive parents, as have a few people at our Embassy in Kinshasa. Stacks of paperwork sit on desks and wait for who-knows-what before US workers will begin working on them. Little-to-no help has been offered to adoptive parents who are seeking to bring their stuck children home. This is unacceptable, and I am praying for strength and changed hearts as these families meet with Senators and Representatives in DC tomorrow and Wednesday.

Please pray with me to this end, and light a candle at 6 PM on Tuesday to show your support for the children who are stuck in DRC. It's not that DRC, specifically, is a bad place. In fact, it is beautiful. However, any place where a child doesn't have a family can be and is bad for that child.

In addition, please pray for softened hearts in DRC on Wednesday, as some specific adoption files will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine if children will be given Exit Letters. This is movement, and we need it to continue.

On another adoption note, please pray for the Pilgreen family and K. The Pilgreens have been praying to adopt K for YEARS now. Their case has hit a pivotal moment, and they need our prayers and support! Go here for more info.


Proverbs 5:3-5 -- Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

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