It the last two months since we made the decision to adopt there’s one thing I’ve learned quickly: God’s ways are not our own. And if we’re going in a direction He doesn’t want us, He’ll make it very clear. I’ll warn you now – this is a long (and maybe confusing) update. Bear with us if you want. This changes the entire course of our adoption and has changed our hearts some as well.
For those who have been following along, we had decided on an Agency and a country – Ethiopia. We’d already sent off the $300 application fee and were on schedule to have an orientation call this afternoon. Well, my mom taught me early on in my life the value of research. So researching I do. All.the.time. For everything. Especially for this adoption process. I’ll admit this: we chose Ethiopia because I wanted to adopt from Africa. Because Ethiopia was open and it just seemed like a “good choice”. Not because I prayed about where God wanted us to go. Because I wanted to go there. So I got Craig on board and we sent off money. Then I started REALLY doing research. Research that didn’t lead to the answers I wanted to hear. And what I found made my stomach drop. First I got defensive and tried to rationalize what I was reading. But you can only rationalize so much. After reading about how unethical most (not all) Ethiopian adoptions are, we knew without a doubt that we couldn’t adopt from there. While we know our agency will do everything in their power to have an ethical adoption, there are some things they can’t control. And it’s happening very frequently in Ethiopia. I would never have peace adopting from there.
So that knowledge obviously threw a wrench in our plans. We have no country now. And the agency we signed on with only qualified us for that country. Now what? It’s funny how when you’re in God’s will everything becomes clear. After deciding on Ethiopia I still had feelings of unrest (which is why I was researching). We didn’t really know what would come next. When we made the decision to back away from Ethiopia, God started opening doors and guiding us where He wanted us. An adoption “mentor” of sorts was discussing adoption with me via email. She mentioned the agency they’re using: Lifeline Christian Services. At church on Sunday another woman (who didn’t know about our change of plans) mentioned Lifeline and that they were opening an office in Charleston. And then on Tuesday, a friend of ours who works with Craig mentioned Lifeline. Coincidence? I think not. God’s making sure we’re following this time.
So where does that leave us? We’re not sure yet. We know we’re now going with Lifeline. They have an amazing orphan care program through domestic adoption, international adoption, foster care, and their (un)adopted programs. They’re amazing and it’s obvious they have a heart for this. But we have no idea where we will be adopting from yet. And we’re okay with that. We’re not diving in head first just yet. We’re making sure we take our time to REALLY pray about the situation and follow where God is leading us, not where we want to go. We KNOW we are called to adopt. But that’s all He’s revealed so far.
The following are countries that are or will shortly be open to us. Congo, Peru, Costa Rica, Bulgaria, Uganda, and Ukraine.
This is also a blessing in disguise because it gives us the opportunity to raise the money we will need to start the process. Before we can begin our home study (one of the first steps) I think we’ll need around $10,000. We now have time to raise and save that money without going into debt. Definitely a blessing!
So there you go. I’m sure this won’t be the last time God changes our direction. And while it’s not fun in the middle of the process, there is much more peace knowing we are where He wants us.