I know it's been quite a while since I blogged about our adoption, and I apologize for the lack of updates. The truth is, this process has been a lot more difficult than we realized it would be, and a lot more emotionally draining.
You see, I'm extremely familiar with international adoption, and we thought we knew what to expect when we began this journey. We have so many friends who have adopted through the years, and I've followed their blogs every step of the way. I just love seeing these precious children come into their forever families, and I knew we would have a similar story someday! So I have read blogs and articles and helped with fundraisers. I know what a homestudy and a dossier and a waiting list is. I've read all about cultural differences, language barriers, and bonding & attachment issues. So when it (finally) came time for us to begin our adoption process, I knew I was ready!
Or so I thought. Boy was I wrong.
We had researched the requirements for adopting from Thailand and knew we met them all - except for the 3 years of marriage required. So we spent February looking at agencies online, March in Africa, and right after our 3rd anniversary in April, we were ready to move forward! We found 3 agencies that looked promising and set up phone interviews with all of them. We thought we would pick the best one, submit our application that week, and begin our homestudy. But it didn't happen that way at all.
What did happen, was the realization of a lot of strange rules, red tape and closed doors. I know that the requirements for every country are different, but I've never heard of someone having the difficulty we have had moving forward (especially when they meet all the "official requirements"!) Every phone call we had was more discouraging than the next. We were told about closed programs, 3 year wait times (and that is just to get matched!), the inability to choose gender, and for most programs - that we would have to be infertile to even apply! Considering we haven't even tried to have children, we have no idea if we are infertile or not. (And considering infertility is not an official requirement to adopt from Thailand, we weren't expecting that road block!)
By the end of the week, we were devastated. Adopting from Thailand seemed impossible. I cried... a lot. We went through so many emotions... frustration, confusion, anger, and sadness. I went from feeling as if I were "pregnant" to going through what felt like "adoption infertility". It seemed every door was closed, and it felt so hopeless! I couldn't talk about the adoption without crying. I couldn't look at anything adoption related or even child-related. I got angry reading other's adoption blogs because it seemed so EASY compared to what we were facing. Suddenly, a 1 to 2 year wait time sounded like a dream!
I have this sweet little handmade bunny I bought in Thailand last year, that I thought would be cute on our child's bookshelf someday (at that point we didn't know we were adopting). Now it sits on my desk to remind me to pray for our little girl. I know this sounds silly, but for a couple of weeks I couldn't even look at it! It was just too painful. Several of you (without knowing what we were going through) sent me sweet facebook messages during this time telling me you were praying for us and our adoption. I apologize for not responding to them - but I just couldn't find the words. We were both just too full of questions and emotions. We kept wondering if we'd heard God wrong...
After a couple of weeks of
wallowing living in this hopelessness, I got a phone call from our mentor Michael. He spent quite a while talking to me and getting me "unstuck". I cried on the phone while he told me that I had to stop speaking death over this process (because our words carry power) and that it was time to start praying through this like never before. He talked a lot about Faith --- of being sure of what we HOPE for and certain of what we DO NOT SEE. (Hebrews 11:1) It was exactly what I needed to hear.
And so - we picked ourselves up, looked at our options one more time, and decided to push forward. When every other door seems closed, we are choosing to (try to) walk through the one that might be open just a tiny crack! There is one agency that told us they would be willing to submit our profile to the Thai Red Cross. This is not an application - it's just a preliminary profile to see if by any chance the Thai Red Cross (TRC) might make an exception for us. Typically, only infertile families can apply to this program - but because we don't know if we're infertile, and we don't have any children, she seemed to think there could be a chance they would overlook that rule and consider us for an adoption. She also thought the fact that we have lived in Thailand, work in Thailand, speak basic Thai, and have so many connections to the country and culture could work in our favor. So we have taken a chance and submitted our profile and photos to the Thai Red Cross.
Now we need you - all of you - to saturate this process in prayer!!! I am not going to say this is our only hope, because I know God ultimately knows who our daughter is and He has a plan to get us to her. But I will say that this is the very best option that we know of right now - and the only option we have found that will allow us to adopt a healthy, young child (2 years old or under).
I know this seems like a longshot - but I have seen God work INCREDIBLE miracles when it comes to orphans and adoption. We have had friends all over the world be told that things are impossible - only to have God show up and fling open doors that no man could open! So we are praying for Him to open this door for us, so that we can at least start the adoption process. With 3 year wait times (and longer), it is killing us that we haven't been able to officially begin our adoption. Any news that will help us take that first step, is a way for us to get closer to our little girl!
Thank you in advance for covering this in prayer! I will keep you all updated with any news I hear!
Jesus looked at them and said,
" With man, that is impossible. But with God, all things are possible."
~ Matthew 19:26