Friday, February 4, 2011

It's All In the Details

Whether pregnancy and labor or paperwork and legal proceedings… I believe adding a child to your life has a sanctifying and refining effect on parents.

The legal aspect of adopting a child is difficult, and I think for a very good reason. Our adoption into the family of God was costly, THE most costly, and I think present day adoption is meant to model this (financially, emotionally and relationally.)

Just the thinking/decision making process of adoption has been challenging for us. It isn’t that we don’t agree. Really we do. But there are just so many choices… agencies, countries, methods, and then waiting and praying you are in the will of the Lord in it all.

Despite all of that, Tim and I are fairly sure about a few things. We started off thinking one nation was the place for us, then God lead us to a situation that showed us that other might be the right place… that is how it has been the last several months… God leading us, showing us and providing for us.

Amazingly, we feel completely lead to where we are right now! That has been like gold to me! It is so refreshing, exciting and sweet to see God work in situations, lead us by the hand and communicate on a far more personal level with us to take us where HE wills! I fail at words that accurately express how sweet a time this has been for us!

Now I admit, things might look like a bit “embryonic”… a bit uncertain, mushy and unstable, but in reality we have a God of Order arranging all the details. That, if nothing else has been very clear to us! And even if they seem unstable we know when God makes plans they are much more founded than they look from the outside!

So here are the main things to announce…
The Where, How’s, and Who’s

Perhaps most exciting, we are adoption from Uganda! In many ways we feel Uganda chose us… or we were lead there. There are many places, including the Good Ol’ US of A that need parents for children, but God has proved to us that Uganda is where our child/ren are.

We didn’t consider it initially because of a few things that we thought would make it “too hard” but after a very God lead experience have found out more about the process of Ugandan adoption and see it more clearly and think it is probably just about as ideal as it gets… for our family’s needs and wants. So Uganda here we come!
(You’ll hear lots more about Uganda later.)

We started the adoption process with one of the bigger agencies working in Uganda, but it just wasn’t working for us. So we started looking for one that “fit us” a little better only to realize that there is a completely different alternative in Uganda… Independent Adoption. In case you are wondering what this means… Inde adoption is where families remove the agency and work directly with lawyers to do the legal aspect of adoption. This requires more work, but it also costs a whole lot less and has several other benefits.

At first I was totally NOT into this, but just like with Uganda, God kept bringing it back to us (really me) and showed us (really me) that what we (really me) thought about it wasn’t true and that He was making a way for us in it.

We are currently working with an amazing Ugandan lawyer to locate a child in need of a family and to do the legal side of the adoption. She has come highly recommended from multiple families… some of whom switched to her after a previous lawyer was either creating havoc or things were moving too slowly. We are just removing the middleman and are already enjoying the one-on-one care. I like to think of our lawyer as our Ugandan Midwife… we always did like to be a bit choosy in our pre-natal care and birth of our child into our family.

Another How?
We are already started on our home study with a good agency here in Colorado. Our home study agency mainly works with Chinese adoptions, but they do home studies for all nations. We are excited to work with them, as they will really be the only agency we work with on a great basis through this adoption and will be doing most of the agency type work for us. We hope to be done in a few weeks and get our home study sent off to USCIS (I know it sounds like a gory TV drama, but it is the federal department for United States Citizen and Immigration Services) to be approved for adoption.

This is the big question! So in “adoptionese” a child a family considers to adopt is called a “referral” (Can you tell I don’t favor this word? It is similar to me to calling a baby an embryo, yuck!). A “referral” the paper work related to a child that families can look at to decide if a child fits their family or wants. Often this include medical reports, a photo or 2, and a discription of a child’s temperment and development.

We are in a unique place because of adopting independently. We can request referrals from many baby homes or our lawyer can refer us a child when she hears of one in need. Most families going with agencies will wait at least a few months up to a year to receive a referral that meets their specifications. There are, however, many waiting children, to the point we feel like the time agencies wait on finding matches is a bit unwarranted.

Side Note…
Uganda has many “orphaned” children… some stats state well over 2 million, but also, not all of these children are in need of a family. This is an important thing to know, because they are not all “true orphans” in that they weren’t permanently relinquished or one or more of their parents are dead. A large majority of orphans in Uganda have families, just not ones that can care for them on a regular basis or sufficiently. So they are placed in an orphanage with the understanding that if or when the parents (or other family) can care for them they will return for them. So in a home with say 50 children, only perhaps 15 or 25 might be “adoptable” (that is abandoned, no living parents or legally relinquished by parents.) These are just totally estimates on my part, but it seems to be what I’ve found in my research.

So as for our “referral”… or our child …we have asked for either one baby boy under 2 years of age or two children under 3 years of age (either boy/boy or boy/girl). Honestly we just want the children or child that God wants us to have!

So the real WHO will have to wait!

That’s the low down.

One thing we have learned is that everything can change in an instant in adoption. One person that has adopted from Uganda said, “My best advice is to realize ‘Dorothy, you aren’t in Kansas any more’… this is Africa and everything runs a different way at a different pace. So step outside yourself and enjoy the journey.”

But, after prayer and lots of research we think this is all what God is leading us toward. I pray He continues to lead us so lovingly and ultimately in His perfect will. We have continually prayed for months that if we aren’t in His will He’d intervene.

Praising God for providing us His amazing Peace and Presence!


Jolene said...

Oh Marci!!!! How EXCITING!!! Quite the process, that's for sure, but what an amazing thing!!!! I am so excited for you all!!! Cannot WAIT to hear more details about how things go...will definitely keep you all in my prayers throughout this process!!!!

Sara said...

I am so stinking excited for you and it makes me want to get our adoption going even more.... Reading your post today gave me chills.

Nancy said...

I's so excited for you and can't wait to follow along! Thanks for including blog-stalkers on your journey!
Nancy-of the crazy 8