When we began our second adoption, we thought two things- Ethiopia and a child with HIV. We also thought this adoption would be so much easier, as we knew the challenges with paperwork, waiting, etc. that lie ahead. We had also seen God's faithfulness to us financially during out last adoption, so honestly, we weren't even too concerned about that part. I think that was mistake #1- thinking, "we got this". I know God wants us to have peace, but I also know that he wants us to trust in Him and depend on Him- not on ourselves. It almost seemed like we felt we didn't need God's help this time around. That was about five months ago. A lot can change in five months, thankfully!
The last few months have been super confusing and anxious in regard to our second adoption, and most of that is due to our own indecision, self reliance, and the doubts that arise from taking things into your own hands! We could not make up our mind regarding country (remember in a previous post we had considered Thailand, then back to Ethiopia, then Uganda....wow!). Though I realize that we just posted about being accepted into the Uganda program and beginning to pursue adoption through that country, well.....we aren't going to do it. First I want to say that Nightlight Christian Adoptions have been awesome to work with, and I would recommend them to anyone! I also think the opportunity they are giving to families with their Uganda program is amazing. What we came to realize is that our original motive for wanting to pursue this program
was really not right. When we saw that all agencies fees were going to be waived, we thought, "Wow! This is just what we need! Not having to worry about money for the adoption would be awesome!" Of course, we love Africa and I think the whole time knew our second child would come from there, but in a way, I think we saw this as the easy way. I am embarrassed to say this, but it is the truth. However, the more we began to consider certain aspects of the program, even despite the lower cost, we realized it was not in the best interest of our family. The main reason we feel we should not pursue an adoption from Uganda is the uncertainty at this point of the travel and time spent in Uganda. It can range from anywhere to 3-6 weeks in country, and in some cases, more. Besides this, there was an issue that was really was no ones fault that was going to cause us to have to begin a completely new home study- all the visits and some of the paperwork was going to have to be redone, with us paying for both home studies. And finally, while there are most certainly children with HIV in Uganda that need to adopted, it was possible that we would be offered a healthy child as well, with no time frame for a wait for a child with HIV. These factors combined, have led us away from the Uganda program.
So, where are we going from here? To Ethiopia, for sure. We promise, unless something God-sized happens :) Our dossier was sent to our agency yesterday! Do we feel at peace? Yes. Do we feel like we can do this on our own? No way :) And we are thankful for that. Really. Because we know that only when we are relying solely on Christ, do we have the strength and power to face all that may lie ahead of us. Though the ins and outs of adopting from Ethiopia are much more established than a new program like Uganda, things can still change at any time. And the reality of adopting a child that will face a chronic illness for the rest of their lives leads us to fall at the foot of the cross each and every moment of every day. I have literally experienced a mental war like none other for the last few months about the decision to adopt a child with HIV. Satan has thrown every thought, every doubt, everything he can my way. I have spent many sleepless nights wondering if we are crazy, if we undertaking "too much". I wondered if we needed our heads examined for intentionally choosing a path that will not be easy, not be comfortable, and may take a lot of sacrifice. It just so happened that my dad had recently purchased the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I can not begin to explain to you how God used this book in my life, at just the right time. Through reading what God put in the mind of Francis Chan and through the scriptures that Francis presents in this book (that every Christian should read, by the way) God has shown me that we are not crazy!
God loved me before I loved Him. He loved you before you loved Him too! When I think that he loved me, even while I was still a sinner (Romans 5:8), I know that choosing to love others, even when it might not be the most comfortable or easy decision, is what we are compelled to do, if the love of God lives in us. Does anything in life really matter, other than loving God and loving other people?
Now that we have a clear path for our second adoption, I hope to post more about HIV, living with a child who is HIV positive, etc. As far as a timeline for this adoption- We been told 2-6 months for a referral. Keep your prayers coming this way! Even now, we pray for our child, we pray that they are being given the healthcare they need, we pray that God is strengthening their body and mind, and we pray that He will give us wisdom and courage as we continue to identify resources for our new child and try to show love in this way.