Okay, so on August 15th, Brad and I decided that we would adopt a sibling set from Ethiopia. Honestly, It was a difficult decision. We originally requested a boy between the ages of 5 and 11. Apparently God had something else in mind for our family. I started watching the Waiting Child List at our adoption agency. I started to pray for the children listed. One sibling set kept coming to my mind. I argued with God that they were too old, but continued to pray that God would provide a family for them. One week I received an invite from a good friend to pray and fast for a circle of friends and their adoption process. I agreed. While running and talking to God, this sibling set came to mind again. I continued to argue with God about their age. God simply asked, "Why? Why do you want younger?" Such a simple question, but so powerful. I knew at that point God's direction. I was not sure how Brad would react.
Brad was hesitant - basically for the same reasons that I listed. We eventually agreed to request their file. This would require approval from our Social Worker. She was very good at being honest with us. We finalized our Home Study and received their file. I wish I could say that we instantly knew that these were our kids. We were divided. I could see them as a part of our family. Brad did not think that were the right ones for our family. My prayer was that God would let Brad lead the decision. I wanted him to be at peace with this decision. I did not pray for God to change his mind. I prayed that God would help me let them go, to surrender them to him, if it was not His will to have them join our family. He did. He allowed me to focus on my walk with God. At then end of our decision period, I contacted our family coordinator to let her know that Brad and I were divided on the set. I let her know that we were worried about their ages, the timing and the cost. She talked us thru it was very gracious. Shortly after I got off the phone with her, she sent us an email with a video of the kids. The videos were wonderful. All I could think of was how I could raise money to bring them home. They were beautiful, beautiful smiles, beautiful eyes, just beautiful. I waited for Brad to come to discuss.
After dinner we chatted about the videos and our feelings. He wondered about how we would do her hair and other things. He watched their videos multiple times, so did I. We both discussed our fears about the accelerated process and the need to raise the majority of the adoption costs in such a short amount of time. No decision was made, but we had a great conversation. The next morning I received the best text message ever! "I don't know how we are going to do this, but let our family coordinator know that we will take the kids."
Okay, we are now a family of 5. We are bringing home a son about 14 years old and a daughter about 11 years old. That is about all I can share about them right now, until we go to court and they are officially ours. The exciting part is that they have been told that they have a family. So sweet. In the mean time we have been finishing up our Dossier and thinking of ways to come up with the adoption fees, about $22,000.
We are working on a Garage sale, jewelry sale and hopefully an auction. Our dossier is almost done - waiting for USCIS fingerprint process to finish. Then we can send our Dossier in and get in line for court. Depending on the paperwork, funding, Ethiopian court, Embassy and ultimately God's divine will - our kids could be home by Christmas.
Please keep us in your prayers. This journey continues to be very stressful. We know it will be worth it and our faith is strengthened every day. Also, if you have items that you would like to donate to our garage sale, please let me know. We have a couple of other fund raiser ideas in progress. We will keep you posted. Let me know if you have any ideas.