Monday, January 17, 2011

Adoption update (!) and adoption musings

Well lo and behold, I found out that our dossier was submitted to Ethiopian court a little over a week ago!  Which means that we should be hearing about a court date soon!  Hooray!

In case you didn't know, our family is in the process of adopting two little girls from Ethiopia, ages 18-ish months and 4-ish years old.  Both girls were born with Down syndrome and have been waiting quite some time for a family.  We are so, SO excited to be their mommy and daddy!!!  These girls have been without a family for WAY.TOO.LONG.  We can't wait to get them home!

Part of why it is taking so long to get a court date is that the Ethiopian government has, in recent months, begun requiring additional paperwork for cases submitted to court.  Things that were NOT required when our girlies first came into care at our agency's transition home.  (And THAT is the point where our agency gathers everything to go to court.)  SO, our agency has had to go back and obtain more documentation on these children.  Thus the wait.

Anyway, it's hard to believe that we might know our travel dates within a few weeks.  Even crazier to think that we could potentially be in Ethiopia within a couple of months (!)

And to be honest, it's also kind of scary!  It's feeling more and more real (but also more SURreal, if that makes any sense) that, my goodness, we are going to have two new little girls in our family!  I honestly have NO clue what to expect this transition to be.  No idea.  Though that's probably for the best--we definitely made an effort the first time around to not have many expectations, and it worked out well I think. 

I will say that I AM expecting to be exhausted and overwhelmed.  I'm expecting grief and tears and tantrums and a potentially long period of adjustment.  (I meant on their part, but probably on mine too.)  But I'm also expecting to fall in love with these precious girls.  I'm expecting lots of cuddling and giggling.  And I can't WAIT to see those sweet smiles in person.  That, so far, I've only seen in video and in photographs.  It's going to be crazy hard, but I'm trusting in God's grace that it will also be crazy good.  Even if/when it doesn't feel that way.

The Down syndrome piece of all of this is in the back of my mind too.  Wanting to get them home so we can obtain any necessary medical care and, when the time is right, get them into early intervention to help them meet their milestones.  It has been a struggle for M. (4-ish years old) to learn to walk, for example (she also has a diagnosis of mild Cerebral Palsy, but who really knows if it's just developmental delay due to institutionalization + Down syndrome or actual CP), so I'm really anxious to see her progress, and to also help her continue to develop this skill.

I just keep thinking that these girls, soon to be our girls (!), are created by God and that He loves them so, SO much.  He wants them, like all children, to have a mom and a dad.  He wants them, like all children, to experience love in a family.  He created them because He loves them.  They have had to wait, but maybe they won't have to wait too terribly much longer.  These girls are strong--they're survivors, really--and God has had His hand on them from before they were even born.  How beautiful is that?  And we are receiving the great honor and privilege of bringing new life into our family.  Two new lives.  How crazy blessed are we??!!

It's strange to think that on the one hand, these two little ones might easily earn the title of "the least of these", that Jesus talks about in the Bible.  And that would probably be a fair assessment, considering that they were not only born with Down syndrome (therefore not necessarily seen as the blessings they truly are by way too many very-deceived-people), but they also lost their birth families.  And have been living life in an institution.  They are vulnerable. 


On the other hand.

These two little ones are loved by an amazingly huge and merciful God.  They are beautiful souls.  They have dignity.  They have experienced so much loss in such a short time, yet soon will be joining a family who will love them to pieces.  They are soon to have sisters and brothers who draw pictures of them and think about them and pray for them.  PLEASE don't get me wrong, any time a child loses their birth family (and birth culture for that matter), there is profound brokenness.  I won't minimize that.  And oh how I wish their respective birthparents could have had the distinct joys of raising these sweet girls.  But I know too that amidst the brokenness, there is a God who is about the business of redemption.  Who brings beauty from ashes.

And really, WE are the blessed ones.  WE are receiving these beautiful children and WE will have the joy that comes with having them in our home.  Their lives are precious, beyond valuable.  I have a feeling I will have a lot to learn from my new daughters.  I have a feeling they will give me new and beautiful insights into the very heart of Jesus.  Through their struggles AND through their achievements.  Because that's how God works.  The world may see them as "the least of these", and while in one sense I agree, and believe we need to relentlessly advocate for the adoption of waiting children who have no other options, I have to say that we see them as priceless treasures.  Beautiful gifts.  Delightfully created. 

So we are beyond thrilled.  And we are getting closer.  And God is amazingly, amazingly good.


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