"Every child deserves a home." --Harry Holt

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Be Prepared for the Unknown

Oh, "they" were serious about that, huh? In the international adoption process, it is important to learn to "expect the unexpected" and to somehow reconcile that with your heart and mind. Sure, I knew that intellectually/cognitively, but I think emotionally, our hearts were hoping we would skate through this process without complications. I should have realized back when I was freaking out about our missing homestudy that would not be the only bump in the road. You can read about that HERE. However, I have admitted before and will admit again, that when it comes to matters of the heart, I am consistently hopeful. This is a pretty good quality to have, but it has a tendency to set me up for heartbreak, thereby making me a 'slow learner.' *sigh* Oh well.

So, what is the "bump?" Well, let's have the good news first, shall we? There were 6 referrals that went out this week. November was referral free until Monday. We think we were #20 before the 6 went out. We don't know if all 6 of those referrals were for families ahead of us on the list, but we could be as low as #14. We have decided to not request our 'official' number from here on out. After, obsessing in a completely neurotic and scary less than healthy manner over the #'s, we decided to play a little less tug-of-war with the #'s, God and our hearts. It is quite liberating, so far. Though, I have wavered to great extent slightly about this decision. We can still keep a ballpark figure by following Holt's (our agency) program blog for families adopting from Ethiopia, as well as "buddies" from an online group of Holt/Ethiopia adoptive families. 

The not so good news... It was amazing to finally see some movement on the referral wait list, and it is an awesome feeling to know that kiddos are closer to coming home to their new families. However, there is going to be another drought, but this one does not just affect referrals. There is a licensure delay of the southern orphanages/care centers in Ethiopia. Holt does not actually run a care center because that creates sticky and unethical breeding grounds. Holt first helps families find solutions to parent their children. Relinquishment for adoption is a last resort. Therefore, I imagine it becomes a "child trafficking" issue if Holt directly runs a care center. Instead, they partner with a care center. All of the care centers in southern Ethiopia are going through a licensure renewal process, as the Ethiopian government is making many efforts to ensure that things are run ethically. The bad news, until the renewed license is issued, no referrals can be made. No court dates can be scheduled. No embassy dates can be filled. We are anxious and excited to FINALLY receive our referral, and our hearts were saddened to learn of another delay in the process, but we know that the families that have received referrals and are waiting for court dates AND the families that have attended court and met their children and are awaiting embassy travel dates, are in a tougher spot than us. They have memorized their children's faces, or hugged and loved on them, and the feeling is so much more urgent. The sadness we feel in empathy with them is overwhelming. Holt is "hopeful" that the licensure issue will be resolved by the end of December, so I'm going to be hopeful right along with them. Only 29 more days of December to go!

The news of the delay officially came out yesterday. There was a collective feeling of frustration, confusion and fear. I learned of the resilience and uniqueness of adoptive families today. In the words of a fellow adoptive mom (to be), "I'm choosing joy." Wow, just wow. Blow me away, why don't you?! So, I'm picking up with her and choosing joy and counting my blessings. 

Here is hoping you all can choose joy today too!


Carin said...

Great post my friend!!! I might just have to refer people to it, so that i can be lazy and not explain it all myself!! Hee Hee!

SaraLyons said...

Thanks for the words of wisdom. Although we are so far up the list for a referral it seems that since we started this process there has been one "hold up" or another with the program and I get this little bit of fear inside that Holt might come back before we get through the process and say "sorry but the Ethiopia program is no longer open". Your words are helping me "choose joy" :)

Mary Pat Wahl said...

"I choose joy!" That she was able to do that during such a frustrating experience speaks volumes! I thank her for sharing her faith! As a "Nana" waiting for my new grandchild I was not able to feel that way. But now I am reminded of the Bible verse given to us all. James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." I believe you shared this also at the beginning of the adoption process, Lindsey. I praise and thank the Lord for his MANY blessings!


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