Last week this was on the radio station that I listen to:
God’s 3 Answers to our Prayers
2) Not yet.
3) I have something better in mind.
As you begin reading this update get your mind wrapped around answer #3 there. We’ve had quite an unexpected turn in our adoption.
Deep breath. Here we go….
In the Lord’s grace, with both our last adoption and this current one we have been able to be involved in the ‘before-process’ of the many steps that take place before a child is ‘officially’ referred for adoption. Although these before steps are some of the most difficult and certainly induce heart-fretting moments, I have become thankful that we get to be so informed on our children’s pasts and living conditions/situations before they are placed on the path of adoption.
When most adoptive families sign up with an agency to adopt internationally, they are typically not matched with a child before all of these before-steps have been completed. They are usually matched with a child that has already been relinquished - parenting rights terminated – the child is already in an orphanage/foster care setting. For some reason, that is not the path the Lord has put our family on, either with our adoption of Solomon (which fell through around this point), Justice, or this adoption. As I’ve pondered this I am grateful to get to understand all of these ‘before-step’ intricacies of adoption. Over the past months the Lord has made a path for Jake and I to mentor and encourage families who are choosing adoption, and perhaps going through all these before-steps is just helping us to understand adoption at a deeper level, heartbreaking as it sometimes is.
As of last week the biggest of these ‘before-steps’ that we were currently awaiting was the signing of the official relinquishment/abandonment letter that must be signed by the surviving relatives of our girls in order for them to come into the care of our agency. This is done at the interview with social welfare.
During Jake’s time in Ghana last month, he began to prepare me that there was an aunt who had come into the picture. He said she had taken the younger of our girls in, was caring for her, and had gotten close to her. In His grace the Lord began to work on my heart right away about this. Immediately I felt joy for our younger girl - that a relative had stepped up to care for her. That is what should happen in these situations when birthparents die or leave. And if that happened more often then adoption wouldn’t be needed in these cases.
From there the Lord began to prepare my heart that we may only be adopting the older of our girls – since she had not been spoken for. As the weeks went by this seemed to be confirmed. There are many things that I won’t be blogging about publicly but all ‘signs’ pointed to adoption being the best outcome for our older girl.
Then last week was the appointment with social welfare. This was to be the official relinquishment, and from here our older girl would have been taken into foster care until our adoption finished out. The aunt attended the appointment on behalf of the family. And she decided that she would not give either of the girls in adoption - we already knew that was her heart for the younger of the two, but we were thrown for a loop that she did not choose this for the older one.
My heart is in complete submission to God’s plans and I am trying to leave my own emotions out of it. Adoption is not about us. It never has been, and it never will be. As I wrote about here, international adoption should be reserved for worst case scenario status – if a child has nobody to care for them. Our hearts were prepared to help this family if they needed it, AND if they wanted it, but it seems that the aunt is prepared for the girls to stay.
If there’s anything I am kicking myself for, it’s not that I allowed myself to emotionally enter in to this. I would do that again, and again, and again. I love how God is teaching me to have compassion for His children, and I thoroughly have learned so much from this family. I do regret, however, telling the whole world (via blogging & facebook) that we were adopting these two girls specifically. Honestly, back in September of last year was the first appointment in which a social worker visited the family. It was after that appointment that we received word that adoption was chosen for the girls. In my ignorance, I thought that appointment was the official relinquishment - but it wasn’t. It was only the first interview to get the ball rolling. I honestly feel awful that I have involved everyone else in all this drama. However, one very, very, very awesome thing has come out of my ignorance. And that is that God has used the past 5 months to build up our adoption fund – which clearly speaks to my heart that He intends an adoption to come out of this.
I labeled this post ‘adoption update’ for that reason. We will continue on in this adoption process - it just won’t be these girls that we will adopt. It feels so strange to even type that because it literally felt like the Lord purposefully led us to them. I haven’t processed the ‘why’ of that yet. But, I can think of a few things. For one, while sweet ‘C’ baby was in our life last year I had many talks with her dad about adoption. Our conversations gave me an ache in my heart to be there for inner city teenagers just like him. Jake and I were strongly contemplating looking into being part of a domestic adoption for those reasons – I even had an agency all picked out before our August trip to Ghana. Could it be that the Lord intended for us to adopt again from Ghana instead, and this was His way of leading us there? Definitely possible. Because now we are all signed up with our Ghana agency, and have paid a few of the initial fees. We actually are right on track in the process.
I don’t know about you, but I think to try and figure out the ‘why’. I like to look over my shoulder and see how the Lord has taken bad things in my past, and worked them out for good. I like to think back on things that were confusing, and then see some answers come to the surface. I like to watch how the Lord uses situations in my life to refine and teach me. So, I will keep contemplating and wrestling with why on earth we were led to these girls, and yet, at the same time we will continue to move forward as God guides us from here.
I paused numerous times last week just thinking about how good God has been to us. We have nothing to be sad or down about. God has always revealed His Sovereign plan as we continued to trust in His unfailing love, and we know that He will do so in this situation too.