Wow. I’m not even sure where to begin. Did we really just start this adoption journey only one year ago?? I feel as if God has granted our family the same perception of time that he did to Jacob when working to be able to marry Rachel. It’s gone by crazy fast!
Just as a quick update on where we are at in our process of getting Ruthie: flying to her on November 18, probably pick her up the 19, court date to finalize adoption is December 6, Shane and Allen fly home December 10 and then Ruth and I just wait for her paperwork to be done so we can FINALLY come home and be together as a family! So, lots to do and not much time left to wait!
As I reflect on the past year, and what all has transpired in it, I’m just kind of left here, fingers lingering over the keys, “speechless” on what all God has done. First of all, this adoption is the first time that Shane and I have been on the same page about growing our family. We didn’t have this unity when we were expecting Allen (see first post for more on that), and so it’s been very refreshing, in that sense. In fact, Shane was the one who suggested adoption in the first place. I have really seen a maturing and defining of his fatherhood reflected through this adoption. It has made me fall in love with him all the more. (I’m hoping that he will be blogging again soon from his perspective on adoption in the final stages, he seems to resonate with so many men who have a difficult time with family matters, mostly relating to kids.) There have been times when Shane is even more vocal about being ready to just have Ruth home. He is gong to be the best father she could ever have had- and I hope she realizes someday that he chose her to love, and that is a strong bond.
Secondly, we were prepared to wait until about this time to be matched with a child- and God worked in ways that only he can so that we are getting ready to go get our daughter instead of wondering if we’ll find out who she is! I’ll never know this side of Heaven if God was sparing my impossibly-impatient self an entire year of waiting to meet our future daughter, but the thought has absolutely crossed my mind! We were going to try to adopt from India, and even the state of that country has changed drastically in a year. For more information on what is transpiring in that nation, click here. The widely known non-profit organization Compassion International is not even allowed to function in India, according to sources. It’s very possible that we would have been waiting indefinitely for a match from India, but God had other plans entirely.
We were matched with Ruthie only 5-6 weeks after committing to an international adoption through our agency. We were VERY surprised, to the point that Shane hesitated wanting to tell anyone until our agent told us very definitely that she would be ours. I’ll always remember that day- or, those two days- it took to get that firm statement. We were whisked into a frenzy of checklists. Paperwork to be filled out, appointments to be made, and oh the questions- I believe I sent our agent more e-mails in the first month of being matched with Ruth than I have the entire rest of the adoption process! We had so many questions about Ruth, and some will never be answered.
We were faced with the possibility that Ruth might be HIV positive, and in our research to decide if we could handle that or not, discovered that medicine has come such a long way- and that HIV is nothing to be afraid of with all the treatments available. However, God answered our prayers for a healthy girl. We wondered, for a time, if she had some hearing impairments. She was failing to thrive for a while, and we felt helpless. We desperately wanted her to know that she was loved and wanted, and at the beginning of 2017, we were told she was improving significantly. God was continuing to answer the prayers coming from us, our family, friends and church.
We flew through the homestudy and dossier phase- just a few paper cuts and frustrated phone calls with government agencies to show as casualties. We lived for the updates we would get once a month that came with a new picture. In July, for the first time since being matched in November, we saw Ruthie’s precious smile. Caught in a photo that literally brought me to tears. More proof that God is working. We were told when we could fly over and booked our tickets almost that exact same day. The first bit of non-adoption related documentation that Ruthie is truly a part of our family: her plane ticket says Ruth Arawa Haff. She’s really coming home!
From the time we received our travel packet from our agency it has felt like my life is being lived as a person on way too much caffeine. There are always about 5 things I could be doing at any given time to advance our readiness for travel and the adoption process. And at times, I know I look like a chicken with my head cut off- running around frantically but not really accomplishing anything! And basically, that’s where I am today. We are so ready to get our sweet girl- and we don’t have much longer to wait!
God has been so faithful. So incredibly faithful throughout this entire process. It hasn’t been easy, but He has been worthy of all our trust, even when we failed. He even provided a way for us to video chat with Ruthie in a dark time- it had been 7 weeks since we’d had an update on her. We knew she was fine, but when you’ve chosen to love a child and cannot see them, it starts to take a toll on your heart. Or it did ours, at least. And now we can talk to Ruthie at least once a week, if not more! God is big, y’all. So very big.
We’re coming for you, sweet girl. Just 25 more days to go!