First, a quick update. Thank you all SO MUCH for your prayers, encouragement, and support since we voiced our plea for prayers on Nov. 7th. The picture of our adoption that we can see today is drastically different from the picture we saw that Thursday evening almost two weeks ago, and there is no explanation for this change apart from the grace and mercy of God. We are not out of the woods yet, nor will we be for about another week, but I can now state with reasonable confidence that our adoption will likely proceed without any lasting impact from the issue we faced two weeks ago. God is good, and our/your prayers are daily being answered. Hallelujah!
When we set out in March to adopt from Eastern Europe, we set out on what we thought was going to be a journey to adopt two children. We knew the adoption of our daughter’s biological brother was a toss-up at best and an impossibility at worst, but after much prayer, we still felt the Holy Spirit gently insisting that two children were waiting for “Araya” to be added to their names. We didn’t know quite what to make of this persistent prompting. Adopting a second child other than our daughter’s biological brother wasn’t something we particularly wanted to do. In addition, much adoption literature strongly advises against adopting two unrelated children at the same time. Our social worker told us in no uncertain terms that we should bring our daughter home alone if we were not able to adopt her brother. But still that small voice persisted: “I have two children set aside for you.”
Perhaps in our human way of “fixing” things to match the guidance of God, we tentatively selected a little boy from our daughter’s orphanage that we would consider adopting if the adoption of our daughter’s biological brother didn’t work out. Had you asked me about it during the month of October, before we left on this adoption adventure, I would have told you in no uncertain terms that we were coming home in December as a family of four, that we didn’t yet know whether our second child was going to be our daughter’s biological brother or whether he would be another little boy from her orphanage, but that we were bringing home two precious kiddos. No if’s, and’s, or but’s. We’d prayed, God had told us He has two children for us, and we were getting them both this go-around.
Goodness, God must love laughing at our human folly, at our way of “fixing” things to fit His infinitely wise plan. As I write this, we are working to complete the adoption of only one child, our lovely daughter, and we will be coming home as a family of three.
Just a few days after arriving in Eastern Europe, almost three weeks ago, we were given the news that we had somewhat expected but had always hoped we would not receive: we cannot adopt our daughter’s biological brother. There are many twists and turns to his situation, but the result of it all is that he will not be able to come home with us.
We then naturally turned our attention to the precious little boy we’d had in mind as a possible adoptive brother for our daughter. We met him the day after we met our daughter. He is indeed a lovely, amazing, incredible little boy, just like we knew he was …. but he also has a personality that is the polar opposite of our daughter’s, and from observing him, we can tell that he will need a drastically different parenting style and level of parental support than our daughter will need. This in and of itself wouldn’t be such a bad thing; after all, plenty of parents are raising biological children with polar opposite personalities and who need different parenting styles. But those biological children typically don’t enter their family simultaneously, and they almost never enter their family with the kind of struggles adoptive children face. Watching our daughter and this little boy interact and knowing what we know about the process of bonding in adoption, we knew it would be a huge struggle to bond with both children simultaneously, a struggle that would ultimately be harmful to the adjustment and growth of both children. While I would have loved to mother this precious little boy, we both knew almost instantly upon meeting him that he was not the right fit for our new family.
And God, in His wisdom, knew that, too. Less than 72 hours after we met this little boy, I spoke on the phone to his future mother and father, an amazing couple who have decided to adopt him. They will likely arrive here in early spring to adopt him and bring him home. God is good, and He is providing exactly the family this little boy needs.
So then we turned our attention elsewhere. There are plenty of boys in this orphanage who are available for adoption. One in particular took a liking to Arturo, and he is truly one of the sweetest children I’ve ever had the fortune to meet. But adopting him would come with several distinct complications, none of which I can share here. They weren’t deal-breaking complications, just issues that would make the process quite difficult. We prayed hard, and we discussed for several days, going back and forth. While we both wanted to parent this little boy and wanted to say “yes,” the decision to add him to our family was one about which we felt no peace. We finally asked the Lord to give us guidance so unmistakeable that we couldn’t miss it, and He did, in the form of unsolicted advice from three people whose faith, wisdom about adoption, and experience as adoptive parents we trust completely. All three emails arrived in my email inbox within 15 minutes of each other. Our hearts were heavy, for we truly love this little boy, but we ultimately made the decision not to adopt him, either.
But God, in His wisdom, again had a plan. Less than a week after we decided we would not adopt this second little boy, I received an email from his future mother. An awesome family has committed to bring him home and will likely travel in late spring or early summer of 2014.
At this point in our journey, after considering and ultimately deciding against adoption of two separate children, we took a step back, taking time to pray once again about the elusive “second child.” After those prayers, we finally reached a decision about which we feel complete peace, that “peace that passes understanding.” While we would have never thought it possible before getting here, we will come home as a family of three. Our daughter needs our full attention right now, and God has provided other families for the children we had considered adopting. After a bit more than a week living with this decision, we know it is the right one for us, for our daughter, and for the family God is building within and among us.
We’re not quite sure why the promptings and prayer answers we received for so many months earlier this year indicated we would soon be a family of four. I can honestly say now that we don’t know what God has in store for our family, besides the fact that our daughter is in it. As one of my closest friends commented last weekend, “I can’t wait to see how God fills that second bedroom.”
What I can tell you is that the children here have touched us more deeply than I thought possible. Their beautiful spirits, their hunger for love and family, and their kind souls are a blessing and a beauty to witness. Our daughter has already blessed us beyond belief, and our decision to adopt her, to take that leap of faith, is the best decision we have ever made. At this point, I fully believe that our daughter’s adoption will not be our family’s last. Perhaps God has a son set aside for our family somewhere else, a son that we can only dream about right now. I don’t know. I have no clue where this journey of life as an adoptive family will take us, but I do know that God’s plan is wise and is good, and we’ll find out what we need to know when we need to know it. God is good. Hallelujah.