My agency emailed me yesterday that the adoption process in Nepal is changing slightly. The USCIS now wants to perform the investigations on orphan status before the adoptive parents travel to Nepal. Currently, once parents accept a referral, they wait for travel approval from Nepal. Once in Nepal, the first part of the trip is wrapping up the legal issues on the Nepali side of the adoption. The second half of the trip consists of the USCIS conducting an investigation into the orphan status of the child before issuing the USA visa and paperwork to finalize the adoption. I view this change in procedure as a good thing for several reasons: first, it eliminates the possible heartbreak if once the adoptive parents are there and bonding with the child only to find that the child is "unadoptable." Secondly, it lessens the time spent in country while waiting for clearance. So now, once the adoptive parents receive travel clearance, it's basically sliding into home base!
Now onto the challenging things. I've struggled with how to deal with the financial part of the adoption and how much to share. According to all of the adoption books I've read and training I've done, you're not supposed to talk about costs. You're not buying a baby, you are paying for legal services in order to complete the adoption. My friend told me that her boss, who adopted a little girl from Guatemala, used to tell people that the baby was free, it was the shipping and handling that was expensive:) I will remember that one! Anyway, I've found that talking about money makes people uncomfortable, feel awkward and just plain weird. I've also found that, at least for myself, the stress of money is unlike any other stress.
From the beginning of this adoption process, I've prayed that it would bring glory to God, that people would see him in a different way; that they would see his amazing love and incredible power. So far, the battles I've encountered in this process have been about timing. And God has answered every single prayer. People have written notes of encouragement, emailed me prayers and others who doubt God and his love for them, have told me that they are starting to see him in a new way. Before I took the official plunge into the adoption process, I had major concerns because I knew I couldn't afford to pay for the entire adoption on my own. I prayed and prayed about this and continually heard God answer me that it's not about me, it's about him. This is his gig. He is orchestrating it from beginning to end and I get to stand by, watch and be amazed. Now, in the spirit of transparency so that he can receive all the glory when it comes to fruition, I'm going to put it out there. Please, please do not think that I am asking for money. I am NOT!!! I'm simply letting everyone in on what in my human mind, will be the biggest answered prayer. In order to complete the adoption and travel to get her, I still need $15k. I want those who are praying for me, those who are on the sidelines quietly watching, those who are doubting, those who've never seen God move mountains, to know BEFORE it happens that when God has his hands on something, he finishes it. I wrestled with whether or not I should disclose this information and was seeking advice from one of my girlfriends who has been praying with me since the beginning. This is what she said to me, "Absolutely you should tell! We already know God is going to provide it so you shouldn't deprive people of seeing how God performs miracles and you shouldn't deprive God of receiving the glory for doing this great thing!" love her!
As I've stated before, I've been spending a lot of time in the old testament. Talk about seeing God perform miracles! While praying about this, God gave me these two verses. King Jehosaphat was about to be invaded by a very powerful army, one that would clearly annihilate Judah. He sought God and implored God to save his people. This is what God told him:
"Do not be afraid! Don't be afraid by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God's...You will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord's victory. He is with you, do not be afraid or discouraged." - 2 Chronicles 20: 15-17
How great to know that God is fighting this battle for me! I know that he is the creator of everything. And being a creator means he is creative! He made manna rain down from heaven when Israel was hungry; water rush out of a rock when they were thirsty; protected Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego from the fire so that not even the hairs on their heads were singed; he protected Daniel from the lions' den, Noah from the flood, parted the red sea to make a pathway, kept Jonah alive in a whale for 3 days before it barfed him up on shore.... I mean, he gets creative! I'm looking forward to see how creative he gets in his answer to this prayer:)
After God won the battle for Jehosaphat and the kingdom of Judah, they returned to Jerusalum praising him all the way. Their praises were so loud that the neighboring kingdoms heard them. It says,
"When all the surrounding kingdoms heard that the Lord himself had fought against the enemies of Israel, the fear of God came over them." 2 Chronicles 20:29
I can't wait for everyone to hear how God answers this prayer! I can't wait for people to have reverence for him because he is mighty! I can't wait until I get to post that He came through AGAIN and is worthy to be praised!!!
Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement. I truly hope that you too, are experiencing God's love in amazing ways!