I wanted to write more thoughts on the adoption yesterday, but since the post was getting so long, I didn't end up touching on everything that I had wanted. Anyways, if this 4 year old turns out not to be a boy, we have a few options:
1) We can continue to wait until Pastor Gideon is able to locate a boy around 5 yrs or under in Ghana available for adoption. And, what I have realized lately is that we are not waiting around for them to search and search for a child...meaning, there is certainly no shortage of children in our age range/gender preferences. We are simply waiting on the un-modern/disorganized process of the overseas team commuting to the orphanages, making contacts, and listing the children with our adoption agency. They are also in the middle of moving their GlobeServe office from one area in Accra to another, so this has also complicated things as well. Up until this week, I hadn't quite made this distinction that we are not waiting on children to become available, but rather the process of locating them and listing them with our agency. Most agencies already have children on a list, waiting for adoptive families, but with our pilot program the lists are still being compiled.
You may or may not be wondering why we are so set on adopting a boy. When God first put international adoption on our hearts, Jake and I both strongly felt that we were to adopt a boy that was around JJ's age. We both just felt that way, and I think it was just a 'gut' feeling that God put inside of us, and we have not questioned it.
2) Our next option would be to switch to a different agency/adoption program. Although not common this far in the process, our agency has mentioned that we would be allowed to switch agencies (and given a refund of the fees we have sent overseas) because of the setbacks, disorganization, and un-timeliness that we have experienced with the Ghana program so far. Sometimes I think, oh we should have just stayed in the Ethiopia program that we had started in. Everything was all set up, clear, and step-by-step. Thousands of adoptions have already been done in Ethiopia, so the process is quite sure and there are clear expectations of how it will go. But, then I think back to the day we switched to the Ghana program, and all the cool things that God did to lead us there. And, when I think back to that, I am so sure that Ghana is where we are supposed to be for this. One thing that our social worker had mentioned along with the option for us to switch agencies was that the Ghana program did not seem to be going in line with our timeline. But, then I thought, what exactly is our timeline? Why are we in such a hurry anyways? Other than the obvious thought that there are needy, orphaned children waiting for a home....of course that gets me in a hurry fast. But, other than that, there is no reason for us to be hurrying things along. We need to just keep committing this to God's timing, and not our own. I do not see Jake and I switching agencies...I just feel too much that doing that would be taking this into our own hands and not letting God work the way that he wants to. My mom sent me this cool excerpt from a book that she is reading that describes this perfectly well:
What answer from God are you waiting for? Is it the answer to prayer for the return of a rebellious child? Is it the answer to a prayer for the salvation of a family member? Is it the answer to a prayer for restoration in your marriage? For a job? For healing? For provision? Whatever it is, keep on praying and waiting. Release it into God’s hands and let Him do it in His way and His time. His answer will be worth the wait.
And the closing prayer…Dear God, help me to have faith enough to believe You will answer my prayers. Give me the patience to wait for the answers to appear. Keep me from giving up and taking matters into my own hands. Instead, enable me to trust that You have heard my prayers and will answer in Your perfect way and time. Help me to rest in peace during times of waiting. Amen.
3) A third and completely different option for us would be to stay with the same agency, and switch and adopt from The Cornerstone of Hope Orphanage which our social worker has just begun coordinating adoptions for. You may remember that this orphanage is in Nigeria, and we are helping with an event to raise money for this orphanage. My first thought, again, is to hang on tightly to adopting from Ghana, but of course, if God leads us to adopt from COH instead, then so be it. The thing about COH is that it is so real to me right now. I've heard the stories of the orphans they currently have, I've seen their pictures, I've seen pictures of where they live, I've met the man who started this orphanage and Jake and I have been working closely with COH board members and helpers to put on the Night Under the African Stars event. However, this is also a newer program, and is sure to have setbacks and hiccups in the process as well. The difference is that the founder of the orphanage, Eric, is native to Nigeria, yet has lived and worked in the U.S. for over 10 years. So timeliness would be less of an issue. Eric also makes frequent trips to the orphanage and has constant contact with the teachers and caretakers there. So, the communication lines are solid.
Of course, we don't have to make any one of these decisions yet. We are hopeful that this 4 year old will be a boy, but if not, these will be our options.