Yesterday marked 3 years from the day we found out we were expecting Anna. She is a little spunky 2 year old now and we adore her!
Today also marks one year that our USCIS approval came in and we were placed on our agency's referral wait list. So much has happened in a year, and yet, we are still here waiting. I'm not complaining, I know that God has us exactly where He wants us.
Today a friend got placed with her first foster baby. This weekend another friend was placed with 4 and 5 year old little boys. My good friend Meredith finalized her 2 daughters adoption earlier this year and my other good friend Valerie was placed with her forever girls and is awaiting finalization. Numerous other friends have finalized or began their journey of obedience, near and far (China anyone??). In a year Eric and I have completed our 'official' online international adoption training, have read numerous books, and have been involved in our friends lives that are pouring into these children's lives. We are blessed with a thriving adoption ministry at our church and I've been attending our monthly ladies nights with amazing training by local advocates and psychologists and counselors. In the midst of waiting, I try to turn back my gratitude for what I do have.
Monday was a hard day. I finally was able to speak to our social worker. A year ago, we were told 6 months for a referral. In January we were told to expect 12 months. In October we were told 12-15 months, and our agency has had 0 referrals since early October. I was hoping this whole time, maybe the lengthened time will be best for us! Referral around February or March, travel 3-4 months later, get in before the courts close for a month 7/15-8/15. Take a few helpers who are off during the summer, as well as it being better with Eric's job. God has GOT this timing thing!
Then I got the words I was hoping not to get: realistically, it probably won't be before August. I'm not going to lie, it made me sad. It just doesn't work for so many reasons. Eric will be busy with work, helpers won't be as available with school starting. And truthfully, I had my heart set on spending June in Uganda. Introducing my kids to the Kirabo Seeds kids and my friends there.
However, I know my God is in this. I've seen the many things He has been teaching me that keep preparing my heart for our 'next.' But what is so amazing about Him, is that He doesn't have me living for the next, He's got purpose for my now. We have had a pretty amazing fall so far. We prayed and listened and 3 weeks into the new school year that God was calling us to be home. So we quit our homeschool co-op (not our science one!) and preschool. It is allowing us to save money as well as spend more time together, loving, praying, preparing our home for our new brother, and prepping our hearts for what is to come. We've also gotten involved in a ministry called Pruning Hooks. And I say we because we are all involved! We drive down a couple times a month delivering lunches for 56 kids and their teachers at the Generation One Academy with some friends. Our kids love going down there and seeing the kids. We pray over each kids bag lunch and put a scripture in it that God has been speaking to me for the kids. It's so fun to be a blessing to them.
I know how blessed we are. I know in the wake of such tragedy in our nation, and abroad, that I'm clinging a little tighter to my babies. Deepening my clinging to God's word. And seeing the good in others. It's there. And in that I'm praying for our future son. That he is safe. That his first mom would come to know how much she is loved by Jesus, and he would as well. That he is getting the care he needs, the food, the diaper changes, the medical care. Thankful that God is already knitting our hearts together, and we can't wait to meet him!