Still working on the adventure...
Okay, thanks to all of you who have inquired about how last week's meeting went. I would have e-mailed you back, but posting it all here at once seemed so much simpler. To make a long story short (or, shorter... you know I can never tell a "short" story!!!), this process is going to be much more difficult than we originally imagined. We left our meeting feeling quite discouraged, and that is probably why it took me so long to start explaining things to people. The biggest shock is that the process of adopting children already in the foster care system... who are legally free for adoption... waiting for a family... requires more paperwork, more evaluations, and significantly more time than adopting an infant. The last fact was where we felt thrown for a loop. Whether we were naive going in or not, it seems so sad to us that there are children out there waiting for parents, and it takes so much work to get to them. I can't imagine how many parents have probably thought about taking this route and chose another way of adopting simply because it was easier and faster. When we started our infant adoption process they told us to expect an expansion in our family within the next 9 months. We were told this process will most likely take a minimum of 2 years. In the mean time, children wait, and that is disheartening.
We did decide we will not be going through Traverse City Bethany for this adoption. There are a number of reasons, most of which involve state regulations and various "suggested practices," which would leave us waiting longer than most families they work with. It all has to do with proximity, so we are looking for a more local agency and there really aren't any. So, we are praying for clarity.
At this point, we still feel we are supposed to be pursuing adoption now. Maybe its because God knew it would take forever and wanted to get us going on it. Maybe its because He wanted to force us to consider other options. Maybe He just wants to teach us something about trust... once again! :) Augh! Who knows. For now, we are putting out a lot of feelers and doing our best to keep listening for God's voice in our midst. If anyone has any ideas... we'd love to hear them.
On a side note: sort of... Cody and I have been really drawn to Africa lately. Financially, emotionally, and even with our free time (watching a million and one documentaries on the history and discovery channels). We ran across an adoption agency that specializes in placing Ethiopian and Liberian children who are currently in African orphanages with American families. It looks as though we could adopt 2 children from Liberia for about $10,000 (very cheap for an international adoption and less than it was for Ki). This is far more than we have right now, and more than we could have anytime soon (one of the perks of adopting from foster care is that it's free), but we have not completely ruled it out, knowing God will provide if it is His will. So, we pray...
I was hit the other day while reading my Bible with the verse that says, "Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding..." I often feel as though I do trust Him with all my heart... but I know I still lean on my own understanding. My initial reaction to all of this was to try to make sense of it all, in my mind and through discussion with Cody. Such an obvious indicator of the fact that I am no where near "there yet." :) Here's hoping you're farther along than I am!... and that I'll get there one of these days!
Thank you in advance for any prayers you may send our way. We really appreciate all your love and support! :) Hope all is well in the new year with you!