Sunday, November 27, 2011

adoption #2 update

It has been almost a year since we started our 2nd adoption journey. This time last year we were almost done with our OK DHS classes that we had to complete before we could adopt. Our home study was about done and so were our background checks. We (mostly me) fully expected to have our 4th kiddo home sometime in the spring. Studies show that African American males are the least likely to get adopted, and that is exactly what we wanted. DHS needs families to adopt, right? There are so many kids that need homes right?

Well, yes. The kids that need homes are mostly over the age of 10, aren't necessarily African American in our state or there are more than 3 siblings that can't be split up. In a year, there hasn't been 1 African American under the age of 4 that was chosen for our family. We were recommended for maybe a handful but so were 100's of other families.

We also had another situation that could have ended up in adoption but that failed as well.

Confused. Heartbroken. Sad. Angry. Grieving.

Now we are in a season where Ry doesn't necessarily want to adopt again. There is too much sadness, too much pain, too much of the unknown.

Looking back, Grace's adoption was so simple. I had no idea at the time but it was. We completed our paperwork, waited, then got on a plane to bring her home.

This time we have done everything and have been waiting with nothing for almost a year. Our home study expires mid-January so we really may be at the end.

God calls us to take care of orphans, to take care of those who need help, to give a father to the fatherless. I want to be obedient. I want to do what I am feel I am called to do. I am trying.

What do I do? Private domestic adoption is ridiculously expensive, often times more than International adoption. We looked into Crisis Pregnancy Centers but they too are usually high on the dollar side as well as several of them want you to have an open adoption. I don't know that we would want that. Rwanda is closed on their adoptions right now. It has been 15 months now that they have been working on the Hague accreditation. The are no DHS children who need us. We want to provide a home for someone who needs one. Someone who needs a family. Someone who belongs in our family.

My heart aches, like really really aches. I adamantly believe there is another child out their for us. But where are they....

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Two years ago, Ryan and I were in Florida. I was very unsettled about our adoption and was waiting (im)patiently for our referral. We had received our approval in August and I didn't understand why the referral part was taking soooo long.

We were leaving Florida that morning. We had eaten breakfast and were headed back to our hotel room to finish packing. I had a call on my cell phone saying to check my email because our referral might be there. I flew to the computer and there it was. I had an email from a long Rwandan name. I opened it. Sadly, I looked without making sure Ryan was looking. I was selfish. I just wanted to see who would be joining our family. Looking back, I should have made sure he was right there with me.

As I scrolled down, I flew past the letter and went right to the picture. This picture.
I was like a child on Christmas morning tearing open the package without caring who or what or when. I studied the picture. Then went back up to see her name, Elina. I searched for her birthdate, April 2007. We were having a girl and she was 2 1/2 years old. We were getting our Grace. She looked so beautiful in her little dress. I was mesmerized by her little toes sticking out of the size too small sandals. Her lips, I fell in love with those lips.

Fast forward two years, through lots more paperwork, traveling, tears, learning, joy, frustration and laughter. Grace was made for our family. Grace was made to challenge me daily as a parent. Grace was made for me to love like I haven't loved before. Grace was made to bring me closer to Him.

We have come a long way in these two short years. We are all so glad that she is a part of our family. We adore her spunk, independence, feistiness, and sheer love of life.

Grace, October 2011, with her US citizenship celebratory cupcakes that Kay made.