I know it’s been a while since we posted anything about the adoption – that’s because we were thrown for a bit of a loop, and were trying to figure out what to do and how to proceed. Long story short, we had to switch agencies (if you want the whole story, just ask me in person). The problem was, we had done SO much research trying to find the original agency (and felt like we’d ruled out so many others) that we couldn’t decide if this was God closing the door on Ethiopia, or just this agency. After much prayer, MORE insane research (ugh!) about ET, domestic minority adoption, special needs adoptions, foster to adopt… we still felt like God was calling us to ET.
We have also felt more and more open to a number of special needs the more we researched, and as we did our homestudy. I’ve said before that I love China’s waiting child/special needs program & wished there was one for ET. Well, there isn’t the same thing, but we found a program that I think is as close as we can get for where God wants us. During the week we’d been praying so hard, a packet for an agency I hadn’t really looked into arrived in the mail–and lo and behold, they have an Ethiopia special needs program. I think God may still send signs through the mailbox…
We are now approved through America World’s Ethiopia waiting child/special needs program, and will be both on the healthy child/traditional list and the special needs list. We could get a referral for either, depending on how our criteria matches with the children coming in who need to be placed. We’re very excited, though a little nervous as the special needs list is much shorter so our timeframe could move up. AWAA’s current wait time is pretty consistently 18-24 months for a healthy child right now. Of the people on their traditional program list, only 25% are also on the special needs list, so obviously we could get a referral faster–or not. It just depends! A little crazy but we’re excited.
Let me tell you, this was a wilder ride than I’m describing, and there were many moments were I questioned everything… but thankfully, this happened before we sent in our first payment so we only lost the small application fee–praise the Lord. AWAA is pretty sure they’ll be able to accept our current homestudy with just some minor changes–praise the Lord (I did not want to redo a $1500 homestudy!). I think we’re both even more excited, anxious, and emotional about this, and definitely less naive–praise the Lord.
I don’t really know why this played out this way so early (everyone said adoption was a wild ride full of twists & turns, we just didn’t expect them right off the bat!), but I have to trust that it’s all in God’s plan and that his timing is perfect. I have no doubt that he needed to open our eyes and hearts to special needs and that we are far more open than we were when we started, largely due to the homestudy process and conversations with our social worker (who we wouldn’t have worked with if we had started with this new agency in the first place).
So… we’re moving forward! We are redoing lots of paperwork as well as beginning to work on our dossier, which is all kinds of new paperwork. This also speeds up the timeframe on some payments, which is no small thing, but I am just doing my best to trust that God’s going to provide if we are faithful and do what we can! I want to be honest about the financial aspect for anyone who may be considering adoption (and so God can get all the glory!) When we send in all this paperwork, our first fee of $2500 is due. Then when we finish our dossier, there are several fees due totaling about $9000. Yes, that is a big chunk of change…I have worried about it and I’ve been nervous, anxious, fearful, doubtful–but between wonderful godly friends’ advice, quiet times, etc. I am continuing to realize that there’s not a lot of point to that – so I’m giving it to the Lord and trusting him! He’s never failed us before. I’ve got some great stuff together for a little raffle I’m going to post sometime this week so be on the lookout. 🙂
So that’s what’s been going on! Never a dull moment… but I know it’ll all be worth it the moment we meet our daughter.