Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Next Steps and "what about Ethiopia?!"

Thanks for stepping into the joy of where God has led us.

Thanks for having hope for the remainder of this journey.

We need that moving forward these next couple months.

Sharing that story, it is easy to sit and get comfortable in the beautiful parts of it.

Yet I am sure there were some of you reading through that who were feeling guarded for us and its unknown ahead . . .but with the journey we are walking, I desperately needed to share the beauty and clarity of what God has done separate from the "what if's."

Because this is what I am daily reminding myself.

Every detail God has provided and shown us thus far is not negated by the fact the ending of this story isn't known yet.

He is not less faithful if we fly to Texas and come home with empty arms.

I need to write that.  I need to speak that.  I need to claim that.

Because yes, here is the truth that still lingers in our story . . .we don't yet know the ending.

And there begins our next steps.

1.  Baby is due January 27th.  Mom will have a scheduled c-section so unless she goes into labor early, we will be able to know how to plan and schedule flying down there.  We are blessed that at this point, birth mom does want us there.  We are planning and holding loosely to that as we want to honor her, her heart and her journey . . .and her choices in all of this.

2.  After birth, birth mom has 48 hours before she signs relinquishment papers.  There is no way of knowing how that will go.  We are trusting God has brought us here and knows the ending.  We are trusting He goes with us either way.

There are parts to that unknown that caused us to really debate even sharing about all this until it was done to protect our hearts, the hearts of our girls, and just so many pieces of this story.  We have sat with this fear.  I have watched too many of those I love walk the hard of adoption and adoption journeys that have gone differently than they would have chosen to write to claim ignorance or naivety.

But I feel like God has asked us to count these costs and still called us to this.  He has asked us if it is still worth it if it doesn't go through and our answer is yes.  I go back to that session we sat in on at Summit and if this was only for birth mom to know that she and her baby are precious, it will have been right.

It's excruciating to sit there.

In our hearts, this is our son. 

Our girls have been told there is yet a chance his birth mom could decide she wants him to grow up with her.  We have talked about it as simply and age appropriately as we can as their questions allowed us to share this part of the story with them very naturally. Yet we aren't sitting there in the fear with them and we can't sit there either.  It is a daily battle to hand this all to God and so we plead and ask for your prayers.

3.  Once mom signs termination papers, we will have to stay there for essentially the two states "to talk."  We are told this can take between 7 -14 days (there are so many jokes I want to make here but won't). We are planning roughly 10 days but will take it as it comes.  After that we are praying we will be able to bring home our son and began the transition to a family of six!

4. What about Ethiopia?!

Our heart is that this is a concurrent adoption.  So when I say this journey has been as much about handing two adoptions to God as it has been about one, I mean that in every sense of the word.  This detour has thrown our current age parameters (0 -3) out the window as our agency has a strict birth order rule (so our Ethiopian child will have to be younger than this little guy).  They also won't place two adoptions close together as they feel the family needs to focus on the current attaching and bonding (this is me sharing their policies - not said in judgement). So we will go on hold for a year once the adoption is finalized (as they too recognize nothing is final yet).

We have had to grapple with all of these details.  Because of some incredible number crunching friends :), I do know our current numbers with our Ethiopian agency (best guess of course) are 44 for a girl and 30 for a boy.  With those numbers and our parameters, that could have been one month to two years left to wait (how is that for estimates!!!).  I have had to ask myself is this journey still right if a referral goes out that we might have "otherwise gotten."  One day as I really wrestled with that, it was as if as clear as day, God whispered to me, "then that wasn't your child."  We can't control every detail of this story and we don't need to.  I am also daily reminding myself of that.  Some days that is easier said than done.

So that all sums up to the simple fact that praying our domestic adoption goes through, the earliest we would receive an Ethiopian referral is January of 2015.

5.  What about birth mom?  Here is what we can tell you. Birth mom is African American. Birth mom is young.  Birth mom is incredibly courageous.  Birth mom made the choice for life and for that we honor her and thank God for her.  There may be some of you that as circumstances and relationships allow, you may learn more of her and our child's story.  But beyond that, we really ask that you honor her story as you would want your own story to be honored if you were in her shoes.

It is easy to want to write a really good story or share a really good story.  But this is our child's story and her story too.  Both are sacred to us.  So we just ask for your grace as we navigate that all together.  Please don't be afraid to ask, just please know that there may be pieces of the journey we hold close for our child and for her yet and I want you to understand the why.

And with that, I'll sign off for now.  Thanks for walking this journey with us.  We are so grateful for each you!!!


Sarah said...

enjoyed this post and your thoughts on everything! very exciting!

mom Bahr said...

We prayerfully support you all in this journey. We are grateful for God leading, uplifting and being with you through this time, as well as with the birth mother. Thanks for sharing your hearts....our love is with you all

Jill said...

I've followed your blog off and on (I found it through my good friend Sarah F's), and I am so incredibly excited for you guys and your domestic adoption. We have three children, and we adopted two of them domestically. We are also on the waiting list for another child right now and I can just relate so much to you getting the call about being chosen by the birth mom! Anyway...I just wanted to say congratulations. Adoption has changed our lives in so many ways, and we couldn't be more grateful for our amazing kids.