This is a baby Crissy doll. A black baby Crissy doll from 1973. I got this for a Christmas present. My grandma was not pleased and went right out and bought a white baby Crissy doll. I did not like the white baby Crissy doll. I only wanted to play with the black baby Crissy doll. In fact, whenever I played dolls with my friend Jen, I made her be the mommy of the white baby Crissy doll because the black baby Crissy doll was MY baby! I don't know if this is when the seed was planted or if this baby doll is the reason, but I have always pictured my daughter to be similar to this doll. I know it sounds crazy, but then here I am 38 years later from playing with that doll, finding myself on a adoption journey towards a daughter who will probably look somewhat like that baby doll.
When I look back over the last 2 years, I can't believe how much has happened and at the same time, how much hasn't happened. Physically, you can say that nothing has happened because I don't have a daughter home. Emotionally and spiritually, I can say a million and one things have happened. I am not the same person. Man, have I been s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d! Too bad I don't do yoga. Maybe it wouldn't have been so painful! Seriously, I am getting to a point where I can honestly say I am thankful for Nepal. Really. My faith and relationship with Christ has grown in ways I didn't think possible. I have seen miracles. I have shared some and kept some private. I have written them down for the babies so that they can one day, if they choose, share them as part of their story. It is their story anyway. I have been broken down and I have been lifted up. My perspective and ideas about things have been changed. I realize that I've been really stupid about a lot of things. Maybe ignorant is a better word. But it's all good because I'm learning and continue to learn.
So, ever since my watershed moment I've been praying about what God wants me to do about Sofía. I was really, really sad about Nepal and part of me was questioning if I was lacking faith by withdrawing- should I keep my paperwork in the program? I had a very long talk with my agency. I appreciated her honesty and she said to me essentially that doors close for a reason and that my daughter is not in Nepal. That she has been in the business for over 20 years and she has seen time and again whether a birth parent changes her mind at the last minute, a country closes, parents don't accept the first referral but that when they finally get their child, they all say, "THIS child was meant for us- they are PERFECT for our family." It kinda made me feel better. Kinda. But I was still wrestling with it. She did tell me that Nepal was extremely offended by the U.S. which, duh, anyone could have figured that out by their statement, and she thought that even if the U.S. lifted the suspension she didn't think Nepal would oblige the U.S. and allow intercountry adoptions.
At this point I would like to say that I give Nepal a lot of credit. It took the U.S. 14 YEARS to become fully Hague compliant. The U.S. is a first world country. Nepal is a 3rd world country and they have been working on becoming Hague compliant since 2007. When Cambodia, Guatemala and Vietnam closed several years ago, there were many pipeline families with referrals for their children who STILL DON'T HAVE THEIR CHILDREN! Nepal worked VERY hard to make sure that EVERY single child was able to go home with their parents. They supplied everything they were asked of and cooperated with the U.S. government every step of the way.
I told her that I needed to think about it still because I didn't have peace about it yet. Well, later that afternoon is when I got the phone call about Joaquín's grant. I talked with Becky for a long time. One of the things I told her was that I was so sad about Nepal, this was much needed good news. The first thing she said to me was, "Kristen- your daughter is not in Nepal." It was so weird that she said the exact same thing my caseworker said on the same day. I got that buzzing feeling like God was giving me confirmation. We talked for awhile and I'm so thankful for her! What she had done with Help Us Adopt is incredible. Her story is amazing and she continues to change peoples' lives. I am SO THANKFUL that I received that grant and that we are now part of the HUA family! After I hung up with her, I sat in my garden and just prayed. I prayed until I felt peace.
The next day, I called my agency and I officially withdrew from the Nepal program. I can't begin to explain the emotions you have - it's weird because for the last year and a half I've been so connected to this country. But, I know that God has a plan.
Funny how God works. Seeing now the direction I'm heading, I can see how he was lining things up. One of the positives of the Nepal process is that the homestudy I had to do was Hague compliant - the reason for all the crazy hoops I had to jump through. The country I am pursuing is a country that I was originally interested in and fully Hague compliant, but the wait times were longer and the old me was discouraged and impatient. God has since been working on me in that department :) Also, it's tricky for singles to adopt.
Late last fall, I was on the rainbowkids website and reading about special needs/waiting kids. Something in my heart fluttered. I thought, "hmm. Once the babies are home and settled, God- I would be open to a 3rd if it's your will." I thought a lot about that verse in Matthew 25:40 - "Truly I tell you, Whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me." I know that everyone wants their child to be healthy, beautiful, smart, and the best they can possibly be. I get it- that's totally natural and I had and have that desire. But there's also a longing for the children who are left behind because they aren't "perfect." So I'm starting to question, who defines "perfect?" Then, there's a blog I follow, http://weloveourlucy.blogspot.com/
(which is how I got hooked up with Ordinary Hero fundraising!!) and their journey of adopting a waiting/special needs baby, and the pieces just started to all fall into place. I was talking to my mom about it and when I actually said it out loud, this wave of peace washed over me. It was crazy! I researched a ton of agencies and talked to them. I found one agency that I connected with immediately. I spent about 2 hours talking on the phone asking all kinds of questions, told them all about Nepal, everything that is going on with the Congo, asked about a zillion and one questions and he patiently answered them all! So here's the deal:
-My homestudy is in India being reviewed by the Indian officials to see if they will allow me to adopt a special needs baby girl. Adoption by singles is case-by-case basis.
-The process is lengthy, about 18-24 months or so. I have total peace about this.
-As I was praying about this whole situation, God gave me this verse: "According to your faith, let it be done to you." - Matthew 9:29 I am at a place where I am completely open to God's plan. If it's his will for her to come home from India, then I know that all things will work out accordingly. I don't have any sense of anxiousness or worry or stress. And I don't have any money! All the money I spent on Nepal is gone so I'm starting from square one. But I know that God will provide. He has shown me that. That's what is even stranger to me because you would think that it would stress me out even more but I just have peace. I don't know, I'm just trusting him that he will bring everything to pass.
The great thing is that the agency that I've been working with for India has done everything for free! Crazy, right? He did tell me that in India they have no sense of urgency. I laughed when he told me that. I have no idea when I will hear back from them but I don't expect it to be soon. In the meantime, I will pray. Pray for God's will, that he will lead me to Sofía wherever she may be, in his timing and that I will continue to have peace and patience while I wait.
I can't begin to express how much your support and love has meant to me throughout this journey. Seriously.