Monday, January 28, 2013

A new beginning

It was a little over a year ago that we signed our contract to officially begin our journey of Russian adoption.  I was exactly a month ago that Putin decided to sign into law to ban all adoptions of Russian children to the US.  It was devastating to us, and I know that the only reason I have been able to make it through all of this is because of all of the prayers and all of the support we have gotten.  It really has been amazing to see so many people who have been praying and offering so many kind words of encouragement.  We can't even say how much we appreciate all of that and how needed it was.
As the weeks have gone by, it has gotten less and less hopeful for us and our situation.  By the grace of God, the Russian government has decided to let the people who have been to court and were just in the 30 days of waiting to bring their children home.  Those people have been to meet their children more than once and have already bonded with them, so this is a huge blessing to be able to get them home.  However, for those of us that haven't gotten a referral yet, it doesn't look very hopeful so we were left to make decisions about what to do.   There are so many things to consider.  Do we wait?  Do we give up?  Do we change to another country?  I can tell you that it really was never an option to give up.  We believe that we have been called to care for the orphan and truly feel that means that we are supposed to give a family to a child that needs one.  So, one question answered...We know that we don't want her to feel like an only child, and the thought of waiting indefinitely for Russia to change their mind didn't seem to correlate with that.  The boys are obviously getting older, and we just don't want them to be so old that they are so far ahead of her.  So, that leads us with, which country do we change to?
I didn't realize how hard that was going to be to answer.  I can't even tell you how many hours was spent researching and praying and talking about all of the options.  Many countries were counted out for many reasons, and we ended up with a short list of options that fit our family.  Because of the amount of time and money we have already spent, there were some countries that just weren't an option.  We also considered the US.  The foster/adopt system in the US is more than difficult to handle, and I couldn't bear the thought of fostering a child only to have them leave months later.  I know that my heart can't handle that, and I also don't think it would be the best for the boys.
The question then became, newborn domestic adoption...which seems great.  Newborn, not too expensive (that's a relative statement!), mostly likely healthy, and no foreign travel.  But, we know we have been called to care for the orphan, and truly there is a waiting list for most of those newborns.  It is a perfect option for many families, but for us, we don't feel like it is where we are called.  It would be easy, but then when have things we have been called to do been easy??
All that being said....we end at...China.  The current wait for the China program is something like 6 years, and that really isn't an option.  So, we are now looking at special needs.  We can handle many things as far as special needs, and obviously my training makes me capable of lots.  We know that where we are called, we are equipped, so we can do this.  We are excited to get started, and are hoping we can use at least some of what we have already done to change to this program!   Please keep praying that things will go smoothly and we can make it through this process with less "bumps".  We know that the little girl God has for us will come to us.  The path may have changed, but the outcome has not.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I was wrong (yes, I said it)

I had to do something this weekend that I rarely have to do (haha, can't even say this with a straight face!)...I had to admit that I was wrong and Jeremy was right.  I'll give you a moment to let that soak it...
Yes, I said it.  He was right, I was wrong.  Throughout all of this adoption craziness, he has pretty much not shifted.  He keeps telling me that things will work, and that we have to be patient, and that we can't give up.  While I can say that I'm doing all that, it's probably not true.  I've been crazy anxious (which you already know if you keep up with this blog), and already thinking of other options for us.  I hate to admit it, but I have felt like giving up on the whole idea of Russia...but then that means giving up on our daughter.  We can't do that. I feel terrible for even considering the option.  The night before the craziness of the day of ups and downs of different reports I was praying in her room, and in my heart, I very clearly heard a voice telling me that my daughter was in Russia, and that I had to wait.  The next day when the first report came out about them honoring the year wait, I really thought my prayers had been answered.  I think that's why it was so much harder when the next not so positive report came out.  After that, I kept trying to push the voice I heard the night before out of my head.  But, I can't.  Every other option I have looked at hasn't felt like it did when we were called to Russia.  There never really was a doubt when we started on this path, but now looking at other options, it just doesn't feel the same.  So for now, we continue on our path and wait for more information and wait for them to realize how much this ban is hurting the wrong people.

We went to an adoption workshop this Saturday at church, and while admittedly it would have probably been more helpful last year when we were at the beginning of this process, there were things that were said that really hit me.  One of the speakers was talking about what to expect with adoptions and what to be ready for.  He said that if you are going to do it, you have to commit to not give up, and you have to know that you will hit bumps, maybe big ones.  It was a matter of when, and not if.  Very true! 

So, it's been exactly a year today that we signed our contract with our agency.  And after about 100 forms and papers, and lots of frustration, and lots of money, I feel like we are at least a few steps closer to our little girl.  I am trusting that she will come home, we just don't know when.  I am praying that through all of this, I will be a good example of my faith.  I don't know His plans, and I am trusting that no matter what happens it is what is supposed to happen.  I know from experience that some of the hardest times in my life have ended up not only teaching me the most but also have had some of the most incredible rewards!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

What to do...

I'm pretty sure that any day now, Jeremy is going to take my computer privileges away.   I have pretty much become obsessive looking for any information I can find about what is going on in Russia.  I still work and take care of the boys and all, but I can tell you that I have read pretty much every article and news story about it that has come out in the past 3 weeks.  And doesn't help.  This has been such a crazy ride, and when we started we knew it wouldn't be easy, but we never expected this.  Today was one of those very bad up and down days.  We got an email around lunch time that the Kremlin announced that they would honor the year wait that they agreed to in the treaty that was signed in November with the US that said either side had to give a year notice  if they were going to stop adoptions.  We didn't know what that meant for us, but it sounded like those families that had met their children may actually be able to get them home.  That is a huge win.  I have been thinking of those families and praying for them so much.  We are in a not so fun situation, but I cannot imagine the heartbreak they are experiencing.  Within in just a couple of hours, another report came  out saying that no matter what was just said, it didn't change anything and no more Russian children would be coming to the US....BAM....again my heart sank.  To go from having this small ray of hope to having it sucked right back out again is almost more than I can handle. 

My emotions right now are all over the place.  I feel peaceful at one moment and feel like everything will be okay, and then the next day I'm feeling hopeless like things will never work and I will never hold my baby girl in my arms.  One part of me thinks that it would be easier to just throw in the towel and move on, it seems like it would be easier.  But, I know I can't do that.  She is out there, and I know deep in my heart that one day we will get her home, and she will be the child that He meant for us to have.  Yeah, I can say all of that so easily and make it seem like I'm okay and I'm not on the verge of a breakdown at any given moment, but just ask my husband...I'm not okay with this.  I tend to put on the strong, no worries, all is good face when I'm out and about, but I'll tell you that when I'm home it's not really like that.  I hate to admit it, but I'm not that strong woman all of the time (seriously, who is??)  I really don't even think I would be able to even breathe without Jeremy talking me down off the ledge on almost a daily basis.  I love that he is so level headed (at least he acts like he is), and that he can stay calm and not have the emotional freakout like me.  We make a good pair that way.  I know that he is also worried about all of this and how things will turn out, but he is always the first to remind me that we are working on HIS plan, and that we are working in HIS time, and that we need to trust and rely on HIM.  So much easier said than done.  This is the biggest and hardest thing I have ever had to give up control of, and I don't like it.  I said it... I DON'T LIKE IT!!! 

I feel like I am all over the place (as evidenced by this post that is pretty all over the place).  It has been almost exactly a year since we signed our contract with the agency to start this journey, and here we are...exactly where He knew we would be.  I will keep praying, and I will keep working on the trust, and I will keep going on taking care of the two incredible boys I have already been blessed with.  I believe our baby will come home to us, this is what we have been called to, and we will keep doing what we are doing until we are directed otherwise...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Here we limbo

Since the law was signed banning all US adoptions from Russia, I haven't been able to stop reading about it and trying to get as much information as I can.  Unfortunately, there isn't much to be had.  Right now we are in somewhat of a holding pattern still until the Russians come back from holiday around the week of the 7th (or 14th depending on who you hear it from).  Our government is urging them to at least follow the treaty that was signed in November that says they need to at least give a year of notice if they are going to back out of it.  Also, I'm reading that some of the lawmakers there are working on an amendment that will allow for special needs children to be adopted.  Personally, I think it's crazy to think that the US parents are fit to adopt their special needs children but not the other children??  But, they haven't really asked my opinion...that being said, however, most of what I have seen says that amendment won't even make it out of committee due to lack of support.  Remember that it passed three readings in parliment overwhelmingly, so that doesn't really surprise me. 
So...that leaves us waiting for at least the next month to see what happens.  I believe that it will truly take a miracle for this ban to be lifted (and I know that is definitely possible!), but Jeremy tends to think that because of foreign policy and how Russia will be seen by other countries and other things that it will be lifted.  If he is right, and they lift it, then we will continue on our journey and pray for all to continue smoothly.  If they don't lift the ban now (who knows when it could happen), we will most likely pursue other options.  We don't want to wait indefinitely for something that may or may not happen.  I really feel strongly that I don't want the boys to be so much older than her so that she is more like an only child.  So, we have looked at other international programs, but honestly none of them really feel right or feel like what we are looking for.  So, we are considering a domestic adoption.  There are many questions to be answered with that as well.  It's so hard to know what to do, when to do it, how to do it, etc.
For now, please pray that we will be clearly led in the direction we need to go.  I would also ask that you pray that even if this ban doesn't get lifted, that those parents who have actually met their child  be allowed to finish the process.  I can't imagine how heartbroken those parents must be.  Thank you for all the love, prayers, and support that you have all given us.  We know that will will get to the other side of all of this, and in the end we will have the little girl that is meant to be part of our family, whether she is from across the world or down the street!!