Friday, March 18, 2011

What's the update with the adoption?

     This definitely tops the list of frequently asked questions these days, and I love it.  Like a mama who loves to talk about her L & D story or one whose face lights up as she recounts cute quips from her child, it warms my heart when sweet people ask me for updates on this adoption journey.  I must admit that lately, I’ve been hesitant to respond.  Not because I don’t want to talk about it, but because I’ve been holding on to lots of emotions unsure of how to wrap my heart around them.  And maybe because I don’t have good answers that allow me to control the outcome of this journey. 

     Just a quick recap of what’s been happening on the international adoption scene:  Ethiopia’s adoption program has been on the radar for needed reform these past several months.  There have been child trafficking cases and corrupt agencies who are being exposed, and this filthy part of humanity just makes me sick.  As a potential adoptive parent, I am adamantly in support of the highest standards of ethics, and I want to fight for the rights and preservation of families above all.  But the divide in the adoption community has been how to handle that.  Initially the main social services agency in Ethiopia felt that reducing the # of adoptions (potentially by 90%) would help eliminate the corruption.   This could lead to potential shutdown of adoptions altogether as we saw happen in Vietnam and Guatamala a few years ago.  While officials are weeding out evil, what happens to the innocent children?  They face indefinite institutionalization which has proven detrimental time and time again.  And what about those who have special needs who face death if they do not receive better medical care?  I know of many cases like this personally where a child would have died in a matter of days if they remained in the care of a third world orphanage.  So can there be another solution for these children while at the same time protecting them from corruption? 

     I don’t claim to have answers.  I wish I did.  I like things neat and tidy that I can fix.  But in times like this, I’m just trusting God to watch over His children and give us wisdom in the meantime.  I’ve prayed for God to break my heart for what breaks His, and there have been a lot of breaking points lately.  I’m starting to understand what friends meant when they said adoption isn’t for the faint of heart.  The reality of this uncertainty is that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness.  Through these recent up and down reports, God has used this time to expose us to some special needs situations that we may not have been open to before.  Who knows what is in store as we trust Him with the greater picture?

     We’d be most grateful for your prayers too. . . that we would be able to clearly discern if we are to remain with the Ethiopia program during this tumultuous time, that we would have clear direction if we are to switch to another country such as Uganda, and that we would trust Him completely for the medical needs of our future children.  I’m so glad that it’s not a burden I have to bear alone.  These Ethiopian babes are God’s first, and He’s holding them and us tight! 

     On a much lighter note, March has been a whirlwind already.  Some highlights include:

*Brian and I celebrated 13 years of wedded bliss.  I really think I’m the luckiest girl on earth, and I still can’t keep my hands off this man after all these years!  Life is sweet with him by my side.  It’s also birthday month for several in our family so it’s been one big sugar-high!

         *The Adoption Home Study is pretty much complete. . . the family interviews were just precious, and I really wish I had recorded them.  The kids met with our social worker privately as we strained our ears to hear answers from the other room.  When Luke was asked to share something about himself, he said, “I want people to know that I love God, I love my family, and I love the Dallas Cowboys!” Glad he has his priorities! Later when asked if they had any questions about our adoption plans, McKenzie said, “No, but I really like your earrings.”  That’s my girl!  When Jake and Sam were asked if they were hoping for a brother or sister, Jake said either was fine, but Sam was completely honest when he answered, “I want a boy so I can beat him up when we wrestle.”  Hope they don’t take off points for that one!   So now we’re pulling together some final documents, and then the real waiting will begin. 

     Finally, here are a few action shots from this month:

All 8 Grey/Forrester cousins celebrating Jack's 3rd birthday

March 7, 1998 . . . "To Infinity and Beyond"

Luke meeting cousin Charlie for the first time

Delicious Birthday Cupcakes!

Taking a stroll down the streets of Colonial Williamsburg