This is the beginning of our adoption journey- and I can already tell it’s going to be a patience-trying one. Shane and I first met with our agency on October 14th 2016. Since that meeting, I have been working on the mountain of paperwork and asking the dozens of questions that we didn’t know to ask at the initial meeting. After a lot of e-mails, it’s become our understanding that we are a usually young couple to begin the adoption process. All the countries that our agency has adopting relationships with have age restrictions: mainly, the parents must be 25 years older than the child. Shane is just 26, and we are looking for a child about Allen, our son’s, age. Which meant we would have to wait until Shane’s birthday in 2017 to be matched with a 2 year old child, at the very earliest. Also- while I had dreamed of adopting from China, they have even more strict age requirements. One parent must be at least 30 for a China adoption. Shane and I didn’t want to wait 3 more years to be matched- so after consulting the agents at Nightlight, we decided that India would be our best option.
Adoption has never been a certainty for me- as in, I didn’t automatically picture an adopted child in my family when I daydreamed as a little girl. However, I did admire the Chapman family- quite a lot. I followed their adoption stories of their 3 precious girls. My heart broke when the tragedy happened- the one that changed their entire world forever. I owe my interest in adoption to that family. When Shane and I began seriously talking about adoption, I never pictured anything other than a Chinese girl joining our family. It was what inspired me- of course I wouldn’t entertain any other ideas! However, the news of all the red tape and restrictions that Shane and I, in our mid-twenties, just could not overcome- forced my dream to change. China, unless we would be willing to wait 3 more years minimum, would not be our adoption path. With relatively little emotion, we agreed- with the advice from the knowledgeable agents at Nightlight- that India would be the most logical choice.
This process is so different from a pregnancy. It feels a little… cold. Administrative. Unemotional. But at the same time, my heart knows that approximately 9,000 miles away, there could exist a little girl (or boy!) who is waiting for us. We don’t know who he or she is, and they do not know who we are- but God does. God has all the pieces of this particular puzzle in our lives ready for the putting. It may be a 100 piece puzzle, or it may be a 1000 piece puzzle. It may take 1 year, or it may take 4. This is the biggest struggle for me is not knowing. I have tried to find orphans that could be a match for us just by Googling- and you know what? India does not allow photos of their orphanage children to be put on the internet. So all the waiting lists that I was anticipating checking every day- or even every few hours- don’t even exist for our journey! Coincidence? Prooooobably not. Apparently, God thinks I have some control issues, and I haven’t quite learned to let go yet. I begrudgingly see that may be true…
I am not a very patient person, not that anyone typically excels at this fruit of the Spirit. I know this process is going to be a trying and growing season for us. It seems that in the past couple years, that has been the theme of our life. But God has a plan, and his plan will happen in his timing. And his plan may not even match ours- and I want to be open and obedient. If this could be an encouragement to anyone else- no matter what type of trial you are going through- I hope it lifts your heart. Knowing that nothing surprises God, knowing that he never allows anything to happen that is not for our good, knowing that our lives are planned by the same God who planned to redeem the world before he even created it- should be the rock in which we seek strength.
“When my heart is faint… Lead me to the rock that is higher than I…” Psalm 61:2-3