Monday, February 21, 2011

One Year

So it's been one year since I "officially" started on the adoption journey.  I've been reflecting on the past year and in honor of this anniversary, I've decided to include an "International Adoption in Waiting Top Ten."  Drum roll please....

10.  Time frames don't mean jack.
9.  The government will find any way to charge you and charge you out the wah-zoo.  Since when do fingerprints "expire?"  Aren't we in the 21st century of Technology Candyland?
8.  Speaking of government, they can and will change the rules of the game at any given time.  At your expense.
7.  There are about 50% of people out there who say really dumb things who are in need of a crash course in adoption education.  and a filter.  or a muzzle.
6.  What happened to the wise saying, "It's better to keep quiet and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt?"  Oops, refer to #7.
5.  The other 50% of people out there are super supportive, encouraging and carry me in ways they don't even know.  Seriously, I can't thank everyone enough!
4.  Despite how dire my circumstances may seem to me, they don't diminish God's power at all.  For whatever reason, he is allowing things to happen so that his greater good will come to fruition.  Just can't wait to see the greater good!
3.  It can sometimes feel like a boxing match.  Although I've only ever gone 3 rounds, (it's waaayyy harder than it seems!) sometimes I feel like I come out with both arms swinging and other rounds, it's all about staying away from the body shots.  or sucker punches.  I definitely feel like I've been hit with a few uppercuts:(
2.  The more I take my hands off the wheel and surrender to God, the more peace he gives me.  I just need to keep my hands off the wheel!  I'm learning that I'm a terrible back seat driver.
1. God has been faithful to me every step of the way with his unfailing love. He has filled me with peace when I felt helpless, lifted me up when I felt down and encouraged me when I felt like I couldn't keep going.  He has performed some serious miracles along the way which makes me think he's in the process of performing some more:)

I went back through my journal to the first entry when I was praying for some confirmation on whether or not I should move forward with the adoption.  These are the 2 verses he gave me:

"But if we look forward to something we don't yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently." -Romans 8:25

"If God is for us, who can ever be against us?"  - Romans 8:31

Before this process, I had no idea really what it meant to wait patiently and confidently.  But, I'm learning.  I can honestly say that I have changed A LOT in the past year and I'm very thankful for the changes.  I'm gonna keep on keepin' on 'til those little babies make it home.

Which leads me to the official update:


It seems it has been raining visas!  I feel like at least every day or so, another family receives a visa!  The rain dance is working!  I believe the number of pipeline families who are still waiting for visas is in the high 20's.

The Congo

I keep coming back to the verse about how God will make the crooked paths straight and the rough places plain (Isaiah 40:4).  Funny how different these two journeys have been.  I have the majority of the paperwork but not the majority of the money.  I've been picking up every available extra shift I can at my second job.  This has turned me into Sally Super Saver!!  I will say that it's very encouraging and addicting to see the balance going up up and up in my savings account!  I *think* that I will be able to have my dossier shipped to the Congo by the end of March/mid April.  However, please see #10 from the list above;)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Todo el rato que esta enojada, pierde de estar contenta

Those who know me personally, know that I speak Spanish.  The title of this post is a saying that means "All time spent angry is time lost being happy."  I've been trying to embrace this saying the last couple of months.  I've realized that my attitude doesn't change the circumstances so I might as well enjoy each day and enjoy this journey, whatever comes my way.  Now if I could only figure out how to use accents in my blog!

Several babies have made it home to the USA and several more have recently received their visas and will be traveling soon!  There are about 41 families still waiting for visa approval.  In all of these investigations, there has been absolutely no evidence of fraud.  Check out the latest article on the investigations:

What I hope is that when all of the remaining pipeline families investigations are complete, the US government will see that they jumped the gun by implementing the suspension.  My hope is that they will put the new procedural changes into place and lift the suspension.  Up to the point of the suspension, the investigation to prove the child was actually an orphan and deemed legally adoptable didn't occur until after the families accepted the referral, traveled to Kathmandu, and met their child.  The new procedure would be that once a referral is accepted, THEN they will do the investigation.  If the investigation comes back clear, the parents will travel to Nepal to finalize the adoption and receive the visa.  It is still unknown if the suspension will be lifted.

I can't even begin to imagine the trauma, pain, financial distress, and frustration the pipeline families have experienced.  I do think though, that they are paving the way so that more Nepali orphans will have the opportunity to grow up in a family instead of an institution.  I know that I am so thankful that these parents have persevered and not given up on their children.  They are not only fighting for their families, but also for the future of the orphans in Nepal. 

At the end of this month, it will be one year since I officially started my Nepal adoption process.  I was talking to a friend about this and she said to me, "It's crazy how much and at the same time, how little has happened in the past year."  I thought about that a lot because there have been so many miraculous things that have happened: some physical and some intangible.  For example, when I compare my paperwork chase between Nepal and the Congo, it is absolutely amazing to me the timing of how everything came together for Nepal.  I believe full-heartedly that God will bring my Nepal adoption to fruition.  I was reading in the Psalms the other day and came across this verse:

The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor.
Now I will rise up to rescue them,
as they have longed for me to do.”
The Lord’s promises are pure,
like silver refined in a furnace,
purified seven times over.
Therefore, Lord, we know you will protect the oppressed,
preserving them forever from this lying generation.
-Psalm 12:5-7
It reminded me that even though I may not understand everything that is happening, circumstances will never diminish God's power.  Whatever is happening, God has allowed.  He promises that he uses all things for the good of those who love him.  And the most comforting thought as I go through this process?  That God loves her more than I ever could!  I know He has a plan and I'm excited to see how it all ends up coming together.

 The Congo
Nothing super exciting to report, except that if I had dreams of  pursuing a life of criminal activity,  those are down the drain.  I'm still tracking down documents for my dossier including the state police background check for the 3rd time.  The last time I did this, it took about a month to get back so, we shall see.  It doesn't seem like it should be that hard since I just did this for renewing my teacher's license and the Nepal adoption.  I am really, really wanting to get everything wrapped up and  *hopefully* have my dossier en route to the Congo by the end of March.  In the meantime, check out the quilt that a friend who used to teach with me made for him!  I LOVE IT!!!!
a close up of the pattern on front

the back- love the animal theme!!