If you are a friend or family or have read my blog over time, you already know that we have felt a clear call to adopt from Ethiopia since June 2009. We feel that we have been given clear confirmation of it on a few occasions and I wrote about one such occasion HERE if you'd like to read it. After we attended the Orphan Summit last November, we came home enthused and ready to begin an adoption but had a serious hurdle of closing on the house we built and were already living it. Once we accomplished that in the spring, we prayed specifically for 30 days to know that it was the time we were supposed to proceed with Ethiopia. Not only did we not have any peace during that time, it was the same time frame that there were significant slow downs in Ethiopian adoptions and fear that the country might close entirely. Although we were disappointed, we knew that we were supposed to wait.
About two weeks ago, a blog reader that is getting ready to travel to China for her two new children, sent me a link about a special little girl that is waiting for a family in China. This little girl is in desperate need of good medical care that she will not receive as an orphan in China. I sent the link to JD (who has remained stable the last few years waiting for the go ahead with Ethiopia while I've bounced all over the map and tried to convince him that we could go to Uganda or China while we waited for the clear sign to go to Ethiopia.) Anyway, I called the agency that this little girl is listed with, which also happens to be one of the agencies I talked to about Ethiopia before. I'm not sure why, but the China representative mentioned to me how stable and efficient their Ethiopia adoptions were running. She transferred me to the Ethiopia "department" and I then found out that Ethiopia recently lowered their age requirement to "no more than 40 years older than the child you are adopting." Well, that was concerning because I'm turning 42 in April and we definitely want to adopt younger than Elijah.
It's funny looking back, but we both just knew that the time is now. We aren't looking at the scary statistics or the financial concerns, we are just stepping out in faith knowing that our sweet little #10 is very likely already sitting in a Northern Ethiopian orphanage waiting for us to find him or her. We are not requesting a boy or girl, only that he/she or they be younger than Elijah. We have been told that the time span is 13-15 months. We immediately hired our home study agency for a new home study and submitted the 18 page application to the adoption agency. Amazingly, the director herself called me Thursday and worked in our first home study meeting Friday. We will have our second this week on Gabriel's 20th birthday and will be scrambling to complete all the forms, fingerprinting, background checks and physicals as quickly as we can.
So, if you think it's all harp playing around here, we have had some real struggles this week as well. The biggest being that the Toyota broke down again. It did about two weeks ago, we had it towed to the shop and they couldn't find the problem; this timing is quite a bit worse because we had TWO cars wrecked and totalled in the course of five days. The first accident is the fault of the driver so I'm allowing HIM to remain anonymous; the second was a deer accident that happened to my big kids as they were heading home from church last Sunday. So, we have three cars totalled or in the shop, one running van and a truck with farm plates to transport three people to work and all the other commitments we have. Friday, Gabriel had to get up early on his only day off to run the van transport service. He was kind enough to pick me up at the Y in his pajamas after taking Alei to work.
I say all this to say that life around here rarely runs smoothly and we know that this is going to be a challenge, but it is what really matters. We know specifically what special need we are going to adopt (that's another post for another day down the road.) We know that it isn't going to be easy, but saving a child is worth overcoming difficulties. If you have never seen the following video, I urge you to take the couple of minutes to watch it; it says what we are feeling better than any words I can muster!