Adoption is one of the most important things I have ever considered doing.
It obviously has all the incredible-ness of parenthood, with an extra big dose of humility, honor, and effort. The challenge, as we saw it, was to choose between two very good and honorable options. To continue on the clear and well defined path of domestic infant adoption, or take a hard turn onto the uncharted and unfamiliar path of adopting in Haiti. In the context of our circumstances, we realized we were being faced with a HUGE decision with significant implications, and not a lot of time.
The first choice required patience and perseverance. The second choice would require a tremendous amount of hard work and money, plus patience and perseverance!
In most circumstances we can discern the difference between good and bad, godly and un-godly, selfish or selfless. Should I ignore my laundry pile for another day? Selfish. Should I eat that third brownie? Baaaad. Should I wear white shoes after Labor Day? Un-Godly.
Heh. Just kidding.
In this case, it seemed like we had two equally good and godly options before us, and we had to choose between them. We called our close friends and asked for their counsel. We prayed and prayed and prayed. And I posted this on Facebook:
(By the way, if you ever need lots of friends and family to call you, post a message on Facebook asking for prayers about good, important, scary decisions but don’t go into any details. The phone won’t stop ringing for days. A close childhood friend will even call from vacation to make sure everyone is okay. Hey Kim!)
Throughout all these long and convoluted discussion, there was one thing that Nature Boy said which really resonated with me. He said “when you are trying to discern God’s will, look to see what your talents are (what God has blessed you with, the things that you are really good at) and then you look at where the NEED is. Where those two things intersect is where God wants you to be (I think he heard that in a sermon by Alistair Begg, but don’t quote me on it).
Several times during the last ten months our domestic adoption agency had told us that American Birth Moms were looking at hundreds of family profiles when they were making their decisions… they shared that to encourage us so that we didn’t lose heart after being passed over so often. At the time I thought it was a really good thing that Birth Moms had so many options to look over. However, that reality made for a striking contrast to the situation in Haiti.
In Haiti there were hundreds of children waiting for families. It seemed like the need was in Haiti.
And our talent? Well, Nature Boy said that I was good at pulling together paperwork (hee hee! thanks Babe).
So after a long weekend talking through lots of considerations – Where would they sleep? How many car seats would fit in our car? Wait a second, 3 kids under four?! – we decided to contact our domestic adoption agency, fill them in on the opportunity in Haiti, and see if we could work with them to pursue it.
My hands were shaking as I dialed the number on Monday morning. In just three short days I had gone from having no interest in an international adoption to desperately hoping that we might be able to convert our situation and adopt in Haiti. Our social worker answered the phone and I proceeded to update her on everything that had transpired over the last few weeks (think of all the information in these blog posts and add a whole lot of nervous rambling and a big dose of desperation. It wasn’t very coherent).
Finally, after what seemed like hours but was probably 15 minutes, I finally came to the BIG question:
Is it possible to take our domestic application and homestudy and convert it into an international application and homestudy?
And the answer came back: No.
Ugh. Total and absolute deflation.
No, she said. No, you can’t convert your homestudy. No, you can’t work with our agency to adopt in Haiti. No, you wouldn’t be able to get it all done on time. No. No. No.
Bummer. Darn it. Shoot. That was not the answer I wanted.
I called Nature Boy at work and filled him in on what I learned. All the excitement and hope and anticipation that we had allowed to build up over the weekend was gone – we hit a big dead end. Disqualified before we even got off the blocks. And now that it was out of our reach, I wanted it even more!
There I stood, folding my laundry, feeling sorry for myself and the disappointment of dashed hopes, when a thought popped into my head….
WHY No? Why wouldn’t it be possible? Why can’t this work?
And within ten seconds I was in front of my laptop doing what I do best… Googling my way to motherhood.
Our story continues