Saturday, December 26, 2015

Two Adoption-Related Reasons we are VERY merry this Christmas

We are excited that there is new news to share! Our original agency, AAI, had a great month of referrals in November. So much so, we’ve moved up the list to number 9! We aren’t actually eligible for a referral until August of 2016 because of the biological child we’re expecting but we are last on the wait list. AAI is so optimistic they are even adding families to their wait list. By bringing on new families, AAI is committing to working in Ethiopia for a longer time. This is great reassurance for us considering how shaky things were this past May. We have a picture of our family two Christmases ago in which we were #69 on the wait list. That is a crazy thought how things have changed since then, in more than one way!

The second fun development is that we mailed our second dossier to America World, our new agency, on Monday! It has already been hand delivered to the State Department and is scheduled to be mailed to Ethiopia early January. Having that stack sent out is a great relief. There were so many technicalities we had to comb over or ask people to redo! Thanks to all our friends who helped us with certain documents included!

 (our adoption paperwork files are getting thick!)
(Troy was the driving force behind getting this paperwork done this fall)

(Ready to overnight our envelope!)
(Yay for mailing day!)

Four months ago we didn’t know if it would be possible for us to complete an Ethiopian adoption but today we are much more hopeful of it being a reality! We still know there are so many variables that can change but our God is the same. He has been faithful to us in the waiting of the last two years and will continue to be faithful. We trust in Him for the timing and completion of these adoptions.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Announcement and Status

If you’ve seen me lately, you might be questioning the status of our adoption. The reason for those of you who aren’t seeing us regularly is that we are expecting a baby in February! We are so excited for this new addition and anxious for his or her arrival!

That being said, our summer has brought a rollercoaster of adoption news and any given month, our plan may have changed.  We are still passionately pursuing international adoption from Ethiopia, so much so, we have two concurrent adoptions going!  It is too hard to break down that decision but I am pleased we took a few months to make our decision after our current agency, Adoption Associates (AAI), announced their sad news in May.  AAI’s Ethiopia program is still open and they are cautiously optimistic. The future is still very uncertain for their program which is why we decided to continue there, but also start the process with another agency.  Since we have the paperwork done with AAI and fees paid, it doesn’t hurt us to stay on their wait list to see if it will result in a referral.  In addition, as of September 1, we began another adoption from Ethiopia through America World Adoption Agency (we’ll refer to them as AWAA or America World, not to be confused with AAI).  Both agencies have approved us to have two adoptions going at once and AWAA in particular doesn’t let our pregnancy affect our progress in their program. 

How many kids could you be adding to your family you ask? We don’t know! We’re willing to let God work that out as well as the timing of potentially 2 adoptions with biological children mixed in there. AWAA is a large agency and has hundreds of families on their wait list. At the current pace adoptions are being completed in Ethiopia, they estimate the wait time will be 5-7 years. That is why we are starting this process now, knowing it may take that long.

Currently what we’re doing is just kind of sitting with AAI-playing the waiting game (still) and now trying to complete our dossier for AWAA.  We really want to get this paperwork done for AWAA before the end of October which will be tough but keeps us constantly working at it.

We hope that is the least confusing way to explain what’s going on in our adoption world right now!  Thank you so much for your thoughts, inquiries, and prayers for us these last few months. We are sticking with it but realize we have a long road ahead of us. With God all things are possible, that includes our adoption!  J We are putting our trust in Him who knows how He will build our family in the coming years.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

New information

We are overdue to update our friends and family on what is happening with our adoption! Here it is!

 In April our Immigration approval came up for renewal. It was two years old! We can’t believe we started this process that long ago! The renewal didn’t require too much, just paperwork and a home study update. During that update we did change some of our criteria. At the rate Ethiopian adoptions are happening we felt we needed to open up our age range a bit. As a result, we are now approved for a child up to 2 years of age (which is actually 2 years 11 months) and are willing to accept a sibling set. (up to 2 children)

In the middle of that update we received very shocking news that has affected our adoption since. Our caseworker informed us that our agency, AAI, was most likely completing their current cases with referrals (=not us) and then exiting work in Ethiopia as quickly as possible. They feel with the current difficulties with adoptions in Ethiopia the problems are insurmountable and cannot sustain their program at the pace it has been operating at. Their hands are tied as well as their representatives. I won’t go into more detail here but if you have questions, feel free to ask! Our agency highly encouraged the waiting families to find another program to adopt through or other plan but they cannot guarantee a referral in the future. The bottom line is AAI feels the future of adoptions in Ethiopia is bleak and our doorway into Ethiopia seems to have a time limit.

Honestly, we were pretty blindsided by this news and emotional about it. Here we thought the long wait would be our challenge! After the shock wore off and we could think clearly about what comes next, we really felt God’s peace.  The time we’ve taken has given us some perspective. We know that God still has a plan even when it seems to have gone awry. Our hearts are still tied to Ethiopia and the estimated 4.6 million orphans in that country alone. We know God will “work for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28) and He is moving is unseen ways.

Verses we have found comfort and encouragement from:

James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am you God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Philippians 1:6 “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…”

Our agency gave us a June 1st deadline to decide what we would do-- continue in the Ethiopia program, fully aware of the risks and unlikelihood of referral, withdraw, or transfer to another of their programs. The third option isn’t feasible because for various reasons we don’t qualify for any of their other programs beside domestic. About half of the families on the waiting list removed themselves from the Ethiopia program or transferred elsewhere.

What we decided based on the information we have currently is to buy ourselves a bit more time. Now our deadline is July 31st to see what happens in the time until then.  We have been encouraged by the number of families travelling this month from our agency and others. The likelihood of us starting with a new agency after July 31st is pretty high but we just want to be certain that it is the right move for us. You can pray for us as we seek God’s will as we continue forward and for confidence in what we decide.

With all that being said, we are number 17 now.  Thank you, sincerely, for those of you praying for us through this. Please continue and pray for a miracle in Ethiopian adoptions!

<3 The Averys