Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Agency Insights

I wanted to do a little plug on here for the agency that we are going through for the Ghana adoption. First off, I just want to mention that the situation that happened with Solomon has in no way adversely affected our opinion of our agency. In fact, I don’t think I have yet mentioned on here that the Ghana program we are in is actually a pilot program started by our agency….meaning it is brand spankin new. Ghana is not only a new program to our agency, but the country is also fairly new to international adoption in general. To date there haven’t been many visas issued from Ghana. We were very aware of all of this when we signed on to this program… we knew that our agency still had a few kinks to work out with this program, and the only way to do that was to go through the process and refine it along the way. I am sure not many people would be up for this type of unstable adventure, but then again, they are not married to my husband! Jake loved the idea of being one of the first families to adopt from Ghana, and he also knew that going with a smaller agency would give us more options to get involved with outreach and missionary work along the way (we were originally signed with a huge national agency to do an Ethiopian adoption). We would also be able to have relationships with the staff, instead of them being just another email. Jake also felt very strongly that if we were going to adopt internationally, he did not want to just go and ‘take’ a child from his birth country, never to return. He wanted to get involved with something in the country, something that we could help with, and become connected with. For us, this would be much more possible to do with a smaller agency.

When I look at all of the things God has led us to through our agency, I am confident that we made the right decision in picking our agency. Had we not switched to the Ghana program Jake would not have known about the Right to Dream Academy, he would have never met Nana Yaw, and we would not have known about the Cornerstone of Hope Orphanage. As we wait to find the child God will bring to us for the adoption, I can’t help but see all the extra time God is giving us to work on these projects that literally, have just landed in our lap! Had the adoption with Solomon gone through at the time it was supposed to, I am not sure that we would have been able to put as much effort into these other projects. From the beginning Jake and I both said over and over that each day we were going to hand over our thirst for control in this process - the timing, what child we would be getting, and all the other details- to God.. It has been hard at times to not feel like grabbing the reigns, but I keep reminding myself that God is much better at planning these sorts of things out than me.

Our agency is currently waiting to sign on more families to the Ghana program until they they are able to take one family from start to finish through the program. There are a handful of us in process right now. We are currently waiting for new ‘referrals’ AKA info/pictures of orphaned children within our specifications of age, gender, health, etc. Our social worker is hopeful that we will receive these by the end of the week. Because this is a pilot program, these lists of children are still being compiled. When it comes down to it, there are a few steps in between identifying an orphan in the country, and then registering them with social welfare to be available for adoption. It just plain takes time, and Ghana time is much, much, much LESS urgent than American time. Not only that, but may I remind you of what the social welfare office looks like there:

Jake said when he was there filling out papers, it took approximately one hour for the official to type up one piece of paper on an ancient typewriter. The lack of urgency is frustrating, especially because we are talking about children’s lives, but, it is what it is. We have absolutely no control over how things progress ‘over there’. We can only do what we can on our end, and to date, it is all done. So, we will wait for our referrals, and pray, and trust in the Lord’s timing.

Psalm 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.


Kari said...

I have been wondering how your adoption was coming along since the last time I spoke to you about it...a long time ago! It was nice to hear how positive you are and how things are going. Thanks for sharing!

Tamara B said...

What a great update. I have so much respect for the agency being willing to put a hold on adoptions through Ghana (which means a hold on their incomes...) to acknowledge the need to get the kinks worked out. I think that's awesome! I look forward to hearing the news about a referral!