You expect a lot of questions when you adopt a child, and we have heard them. There are even more questions when you announce it the day before you show up to church with the new guy (or when you have spent a couple of years pursuing an Ethiopian adoption and the new guy is not, in fact, Ethiopian). I was happy to answer the questions because it’s an exciting time for us, and because I love a chance to brag on the good things God has done.
Yet, there is one question I hesitated to answer. Our Isabella cried happy tears when we told her that we would adopt Isaac. Both of our girls did, but after the initial smiles and tears it was Isabella who braved the question first.
"What about Ethiopia?"
We told her the only thing we knew to say at the time. “We are going to catch our breath, and pray”. Everything has been such a whirlwind. At that moment we couldn’t really give an answer. It would take some time to make such a major life decision. We knew that it would be up to our agency anyway. We knew that there were people who had done what they call “concurrent adoptions”; either doing a domestic adoption while waiting or even adopting from two countries at the same time. Don’t ask me to explain it- His ways are above my ways. We knew they might say “no”, and we were ok with that. Really. If all that we have worked for and gone through; if every dime we had spent was what put us on this collision course of becoming the family God has created here- well, it was worth it. Isaac was worth it. The journey with Jesus was worth it.
We weren’t ready to call the other adoption off. We had really been keeping something to ourselves for the most part. We always thought there were two. Of all the adoption paperwork we had to do, the hardest was the “desired child form”.
Age? We decided to stay with the birth order. So with Gavin being four, we chose “0-3”.
Gender? We decided not to choose.
Number of children? We wrestled. And wrestled… and wrestled. We finally decided on “1”. We decided on one because we weren't sure if there might be something unexpected in the meantime.
We had to tell our agency about Isaac and let them know about such a major change. So, we told them and asked that we be allowed to continue our Ethiopian adoption concurrently. We knew that even if we were allowed to continue, we would have to be put “on hold” for a while. They said they would have to look into it and get back with us. We felt the greatest peace about it. If God had called us to adopt there, no one could stop it. If He had closed the door, no one could open it. We felt like He was still calling us to finish what we started, but only time would tell. So we were completely at ease as we waited for an answer. There are times when not knowing the future can seem scary, and trusting God can be hard. Rocking this new, oh-so-unexpected blessing? Not rocket science. That’s one of those rare times you can physically see evidence that God is working all things together for your good. You can see that He knows things you don’t and He doesn't need your help. No more analyzing. No more over-thinking; just complete peace. We knew that God ultimately held the future and whatever happened, it would be for our good and His glory.
When the agency called back they said we could continue. Then they said we would NOT be put on hold, but that our paperwork would proceed just like it had been planned. Honestly, you could have knocked me over with a feather at that point. We quietly watched charges on our Fed Ex account as we tracked our paperwork all over the country. We didn't really hold our breath or stalk the emails as we were busy adjusting and being a family. We didn't say a lot publicly because we felt like this was a time to celebrate Isaac and we were enjoying the present.
Our dossier arrived yesterday and we were given our first wait list number today. I got to hear the news from Brian via text, “We are number 135”! Whoa. It is real.
It will be a wait, but we are fine with that. A couple of months ago I shed a few tears as I told God that I had wanted our kids to be closer together and I thought Gavin and the new baby (from Ethiopia) would be up to seven years apart. But God had things He hadn't revealed yet. Yesterday as we were leaving a store and I saw all three boys walking with Brian like little stair-stacked ducklings in a row, all 2 and 3 years apart. There are some things only God can do.
And all God does, He does well.