I have two pieces of very happy and exciting news.
Good News #1. (I can’t believe I haven’t shared this yet, I guess I’ve just been busy and overwhelmed with work and life) — Our dossier arrived in Ethiopia on September 13th and we were officially put on the waiting list to be matched with a child. At the beginning of October we found out that we were number 84 on the waiting list. Yes, that’s right — 84. Try not to get depressed when you think about it, okay? At the beginning of each month our agency will email us and let us know what number we are on the waiting list and how many referrals they received the previous month. On November 1st I received an email notifying that we are now number 77 on the waiting list. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.
It is hard to know if things will slow down or speed up or stay the same in Ethiopia adoptions Since we decided to switch to Ethiopia about 6 months ago, the wait time for a referral has slown down considerably. We will just have to wait and see and keep trusting God for enough light to take the next step in the journey.
Good News #2 — Notice the title of this blog is “Waiting for BabIES” as in, more than one. Well that’s because WE’RE PREGNANT and expecting a baby on May 9th, 2013. I know this may come as a shock because we’re in the middle of the adoption process so let me answer the burning FAQs…
Q: So are you having a baby or adopting a baby? A: Yes
Yes, we are still adopting.
Yes, this pregnancy was carefully thought out, planned, and on purpose.
No, this was not a surprise or accident or one of those miracle pregnancies that happen to people who decide to adopt because they are infertile. This is a miracle, but its the kind you’ve probably never heard of. It’s the kind of miracle where a young, healthy couple who is capable of conceiving chooses first to adopt. Then, after one failed adoption attempt they still chose to pursue adoption — in all its wild and painful and beautiful uncertainty — because God has burned it in their hearts. In the face of another 2 year wait for a child they’ve already been waiting almost 18 months for, they realize that God is creating the perfect circumstances for them to start a family through pregnancy while still walking on this adoption journey. It’s that kind of miracle.
I think it’s awesome when couples who struggled through infertility become pregnant during the adoption process. God is giving them the desire of their hearts. And it’s wonderful when couples have biological children and still feel that their family is incomplete without adoption. Being in the early stages of both, I can say with complete awe that I have found so much joy in both these journeys. The child in my womb is not a replacement for the one in Ethiopia. How could it be? We’re talking about two different human beings here. Being pregnant has not taken away the ache for that child we’re going to adopt. When I wrote this post, I knew that I was pregnant. The baby I wrote about missing was one I had been preparing almost 2 yrs for. The one in my womb had only been on my mind for about two months. It’s hard to explain, but all I can say is my heart sees each as a completely different child. I’m so excited to meet the baby in my womb and I feel myself bonding to him/her more each day…..but it does not replace my love and longing to meet our other child in Ethiopia. My love and desire for them is not different. It’s the same love, reaching in two different directions.
Needless to say, I do welcome this GIANT distraction from the painful wait we have to endure for our African child.
When Josh and I decided to leave the Uganda adoption program and pursue an adoption in Ethiopia, we knew we were in for a much longer wait. Between re-doing all the paperwork, home study updates, re-fingerprinting, authenticating the dossier, the 12-month long waiting list, and two trips to Ethiopia, we were looking at another 2 yrs before being home with our baby. I wanted to die. Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but seriously. I was so grieved. We started to think about pregnancy. The big question was whether or not our agency would be okay with us getting pregnant and having a baby during the adoption process. When I called and talked with them, their answer gave me so much peace that God was opening the door for us to have a baby while in the process. Not only were they totally supportive of the idea, they said that if we get pregnant and we are on the waiting list, we can actually put ourselves “on hold” and we won’t lose our spot on the waiting list or have to re-submit our paperwork or anything like that. Then, when we are ready to accept a referral, we simply take ourselves off hold. With how the timing has worked out, we will probably only need to put ourselves on hold for 3 or 4 months. This will take place BEFORE we are matched with a child, of course. So essentially, we can wait until we’re close to the top of the waiting list — and lets say our bio baby is 8 or 9 months old at this point — then we can notify our agency that we want to put ourselves on hold for 3 or 4 months. When children become available for adoption, they will simply skip over us and refer them to the families below us on the waiting list. Then, when bio baby is 1 yr, we can take ourselves off hold and be matched with a child shortly after that. When we bring Eth baby home, bio baby will be about 18 months old and probably very close in age to our Eth baby.