Wading and Waiting
It is almost May now. We have been in the adoption process for almost four months. We had heard from others before starting our adoption journey that the process of adoption could be grueling. Right now, it seems like we take four steps forward in paperwork, and then another stack of paperwork arrives to fill out. Sometimes it feels as if we are on a conveyor belt that never seems to stop and we are only four months in. Yikes.
All of our coursework is done and we have read all the required adoption articles. The coursework was heartbreaking, encouraging, saddening and helpful all at once. Reading about attachment disorders, medical problems, and a wide range of other potential risks of adopting a child gave us a lot to think about and pray about. Adoption seems even more daunting now that we are even more aware of the risks involved.
Yet, how could we turn back? How could we turn back now that we know how great the need is? How could we turn back knowing how deeply these children have been hurt? Even if the task ahead of us seems daunting and overwhelming and heartbreaking and just plain hard, we know that with God all things are possible and he is faithful. We also know that despite all of the risks, sacrifices, and hurdles, there will be many precious moments of joy and thanksgiving. Sometimes the hardest things in life are what bring the most beauty.
So, what’s the next step along our journey? Well, right now we are waiting. We’ve done all the paperwork we can do at this point and we are waiting to have three or four visits with our social worker. Those will happen in May. We are also still waiting on our FBI clearances. No worries- we are not on the FBI most wanted list. It just typically takes several months for FBI clearances to process. We are very thankful our agency advised us to go ahead and move forward with the FBI clearances first since it is such a long wait. After we have our home visits, our social worker will write everything up into a finished home study. Then, that gets sent off to another government agency, which approves international adoptions. After that approval (yes, we know there are numerous approvals that we’ve had to get in this whole process….), then our adoption agency compiles everything together into a dossier and it gets sent over to Uganda. Then we wait. Typically for Uganda it takes 2-12 months for a referral (your family to be referred a child or children). Once you get a referral, it is usually 3-4 months until you travel to Uganda for your court date with your child/ren and bring them home.
Now that we’ve waded through a lot of the paperwork, we are starting to focus on the more practical aspects of adoption, like what types of things should we do to our home, especially the bedroom the little one(s) going to be in, to make them feel most welcomed. We were advised that their bedroom should be as sparsely decorated/furnished as possible to prevent the child/ren from being overwhelmed. We’ve also been doing a lot of research into Ugandan culture. Did you know that over 50% of people in Uganda are under age 18? HIV/AIDS has taken many, many lives in Uganda, which is one of many reasons why there are so many orphans.
There is much, much to think about and plan for these days and we are so thankful to have so many people praying for our family. Thank you! We are going to be launching three different fundraisers over the summer months and we are so excited to share those with you! More on that to come soon! We’ll give you a clue though…we’ve been taste testing!!!
In the meantime, we are still selling bib scarves (those will continue until we travel to Uganda) and people have been such a blessing by giving little red gifts too! Every little bit helps and we just recently met our first little red gift goal of $500! What a blessing! It’s so encouraging to watch the little red gift page being taken over by balloons! You can check out the little red gift challenge here.
Please continue to keep us in prayer and please pray especially for the upcoming visits with our social worker. Also, please, please be praying for the child/ren that we will welcome into our family in the next year. Pray they know love wherever they are and that their practical needs are met. Pray for safety and for their hearts to have much, much courage. It is such a gift for us to be able to serve our little ones and walk where God has led.