After attending the Orphan Summit in November, (which I personally consider the high-light of my year,) we both felt it was the time to actively work towards another international adoption. At this point, we know specifically what we think God is calling us to and are excited at the opportunity! There are a few things that we need to fall into place, but it appears that the Lord is working in our behalf. The biggest is closing on our home. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, the short story is that the market crashed in our area between our building loan and final loan, so we have been trapped with a ARM building loan for the last two years. While we haven't closed yet, we did get the appraisal we needed and it still looks like we should be able to close in January. Beyond that, we need to refinance a loan that moved our temporary home down the street to set it up as a rental. Finally, we need to pay off our current Liberian adoption loan, so that we can re-use it for Ethiopia. While it has taken us four years to fund our three Liberian adoptions, with the new adoption tax laws, we hope to be able to pay off an Ethiopian adoption in only a year. And for any wondering, I am a big Dave Ramsey fan, but I don't think it's irresponsible to have a low interest loan to adopt, especially when you know that tax time will refund the loan.
So, skipping forward, we hope to see the above financial things align by spring and then we plan on starting a new home-study. There are new challenges that we will face at that point, but since we know God is already working in behalf of the child(ren) that he knows will be ours, we trust they will also work out as we go forward in faith.
For the logistics, we hope to adopt two children that are at or under Elijah's age. We are also planning on adopting siblings that are one or both special needs. I have been told that siblings are rare and that we can not count on that, but I'm praying that God will align the paperwork cycle to allow us the occasional set of twins or young siblings. The reason for this is that we know that we want at least two from Ethiopia and it is way, way more affordable to do two at the same time, rather than separately, as Ethiopia is now requiring two trips per adoption.
I can be stopped in my tracks with all the unknowns, if I focus on them. Although we've done this before, it is still an emotional and unnerving process. What drives me is knowing that the Lord has set aside a child(ren) for our family and once it's "my" child, there is nothing that I wouldn't do to bring him/her home to our family.So hopefully, 2011 will bring a new adventure for our family and two new blessings to love.
Here's one of my 2007 African blessings on Christmas afternoon; all the excitement was too much for her.
Julia asked me, just today, "Mom, if I get a sister from Ethiopia, will she be brown or peach?"