Do you have any idea how long it has been since I endeavored to write a document longer than a letter or a FaceBook status? Probably since college. Pretty pathetic. And never in my craziest daydreams did I anticipate starting and maintaining a blog. What a weird word, “blog”. But those of you that have asked for a “blog”, you have your wish. Cringe or enjoy.
That aside, this blog is devoted to my family. Unfortunately, my family is spread over 2 continents right now, with an unknown span of time until we are united. Not “re-united” but “united”.
We have chosen to adopt to begin our family. “So, you can't have kids?” is a common, hesitant question posed by friends and strangers. “I don't know” raises a few eyebrows, so, “We've never tried. Adoption is our first choice to start a family” is a more satisfactory response.
But what about adoption? What drew us to adopt? Who are we? And what on earth do we think we're doing? Our adoption story began about 3 years ago in Fortaleza, Brasil. We had led a team of teens on a missions trip, and through the course of events, met a little boy, Hadson, who literally changed our lives. Long story short, we tried for 10 months to adopt him, facing impossible circumstances. We firmly believe God wanted us to pursue his adoption, though at the time, we didn't have a clear “yes” or no” regarding the outcome. In May 2009, God clearly closed that door for us. It was a combination of relief and heartbreak. Relief because we had a definite answer. “No.” God had been clear and have given peace with the answer. Heartbreak because we loved this little boy more than I thought possible. Heartbreak because of knowing that he would not be here with me where I could love him in a tangible way and pour my life into him. Relief because both we and Hadson were in the palm of God's hand.
Back to the present. We're adopting from Ethiopia. A little boy between 3 and 5 years old is running around over there, or, considering the time difference, probably sleeping. He has a name, a face, a story. And his life is about to change.
Why an international adoption? A legitimate question. “There are lots of children here in the States to adopt. Why don't you adopt them?.” Probably my least favorite question. It feels accusatory. My initial retort is to ask why a child here in the states deserves a loving family more than a child overseas? In reality, we love other cultures. We love other countries, and we want a multi-cultural family.
Why an older child? Because I like babies only when they are dry, sleeping, not drooling, and not wiggling. Preferably wrapped snugly in a blanket. Besides, if I look at the baby crosswise, it might break. Ok, not really. But because of my decided lack of experience with babies, they are much more intimidating to me than a little tyke. Yes, we understand we will have certain hurdles to overcome. But they will be different hurdles than with a baby, and different hurdles than with a child I gave birth to. They will not necessarily be more or less, harder or easier. They will just be different.
Who are we? We are not super special people and our child will not be “so blessed to have us as parents”. We're just people. Very human, very fallible people with a very human, very fallible child. Just like anyone else that gave birth to a child. We will be the blessed ones that God has entrusted to care for and raise one of His creations!
Yes, I know that my son will be (gasp!) black. My current view on that? Cool! He will have God-given camouflage, he won't sunburn, his zits won't be red blotches on his face like they are on mine, and he'll never become pale in the winter! And, he'll be easy to find in a crowd of kids. Maybe some day we'll add some “caramel” to our “vanilla” and “chocolate” family. Color is beautiful.
Where are we currently at in the adoption process? We have completed our Home-study and Dossier (9 months of paperwork) and are currently waiting for our referral. When we receive our referral (hopefully before Christmas) it will contain a picture, name, medical report, and any social background that is known about our Little Guy. In the mean time, we wait, resting in the God who Sees. I do not want that referral a moment before God has planned, and certainly not a moment later!