Adoption - Baby Steps...

The one consistency in the process of adopting a baby internationally is that no one's story is exactly the same. From the first flicker of hope to the point at which you are finally holding a child in your arms is an emotional process that is difficult to describe. Certainly one can attempt to put a time-stamp on it. The date an adoption agency was chosen, the date the paperwork began, the log-in date in the chosen country, the date you receive a referral for a child, the date your travel arrangements have been solidified, "gotcha day." But it is futile to attempt to quantify the voyage of the heart. To put data to the feelings of hope, excitement, doubt, sadness, uncertainty, fatigue, impatience, joy, love...is impossible. For most, the process covers years of their lives and the dates are only milestones on what has truly been a journey of the soul.

As I have mentioned before, our adoption process started years ago. We had officially begun and were very close to finishing our China dossier when we had to take a brief hiatus for a "surprise" biological child. That surprise is now almost two and she has been our undeniable confirmation that children are truly a blessing from God and that we need to remove our selfish hearts from this process and let Him work.

Up until recently, the idea of traveling to bring home our baby still seemed a foggy vision. We've been focused on checking items off the adoption "to-do list" one by one...slow and steady. But what we just realized is that we ARE making progress...finally! Our China paperwork will likely be complete soon. The wait for China is nearing three years. We are committed to China, but it seems impossible to wait idly for the months to pass when there are so many children in need of homes. So we are pursuing Ethiopia in the interim. As my husband and I sat last week and carefully examined the timing of events, we realized that we may be bringing home a baby sometime in the next 12 months. Are we really to this point? Finally? I am almost unwilling to let myself believe it.

So this is where we are now. I continue to proceed with a fairly cautious heart. International adoption can be tumultuous. The timing is unpredictable and there is always the possibility that a country could completely shut down their adoption program for any reason they may choose. We are still taking baby steps (with hopeful hearts) as God leads us. But in stopping to reflect on how much progress we have already made, it is finally beginning to feel like much more of a reality.

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