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Friday, March 25, 2016

Contentment

The end of last year and the beginning of this year on the adoption front has been a roller coaster.  Right before Thanksgiving last year we received an email from our agency that the wait time with Ethiopia is increasing to 4-5 years from dossier submission.  They were offering a discounted transfer to India or China.  This would mean that what we were looking forward to being closer to a referral in April was yet another year or two, maybe more away.  So over the month of December we considered and prayed about transferring to China.  The beginning on January we decided to make the transfer.  To our knowledge we met all the requirements.  We were excited, hopeful, and had a renewed spirit.  About three weeks later we were told that there were other requirements that had been overlooked, that we did not meet, so our application was denied.  They could possibly make an exception if we were willing to accept a child with more moderate to severe special needs.  We felt that this was not an option for our family.  So we began the process of transferring back to Ethiopia with the knowledge that it would be a long wait.  We began doing some of the home study update paperwork again.  Then we received yet another email the beginning of February stating that Ethiopia was proposing changes to their international adoption requirements.  The requirements included age limits of 25-50, no more than 2 children in the home already, and a 6 month stay in country for bonding.   As you can probably assume the last proposed change is a deal breaker.  The officials in Ethiopia then met with the agencies and took their input into consideration, however did not make a final decision on these changes.  They did not give another meeting date and have begun transferring children out of the agencies care and back into the state orphanages.  The agency told us that this most likely will be a lengthy process with increasing wait times, and encouraged transfer to China or India once again.

After all of this consideration and turmoil with Ethiopia, I say with a heavy heart, we feel God has called us to leave the adoption and Ethiopia.  All of this has been painful and it was not an easy decision to say the least.  We are grieving now for a child and the family we envisioned we would have for the last 4 years.  For 3 years now we have been waiting for a referral and we have tried to be patient and continue to live life.  It is apparent to us that God has closed the doors to China and Ethiopia.  We have looked at other options for adoption and feel that currently they are not options for us.  So now we are coming to terms with the possibility of only having one child.  We are trusting that if God wants us to adopt then He will make it happen and "drop" a child into our laps.  Choosing to step away has been so difficult and torn my heart.  The hope for a sister for my girl seems like a distant dream and makes me ache for her as well.  This was such a difficult decision, but we are embracing the new life without the uncertainty of our family and trying to enjoy our daughter.  

Through all of this process we have learned a lot.  We took the opportunity to learn about Ethiopia, try new foods, and most of all learned patience.  We also learned and continue to learn about jealousy.  I am being frank now, but seeing other friends adopt and have it go smoothly and quickly has brought feelings of jealousy.  We wished we had what they did.  But that was not God's plan.  It may seem that we are being impatient, but in reality we feel that we need to rely even more on God to provide a child and stop "looking" for one to put into our family.  If He plans adoption for us, He will make it happen.  If not then we will enjoy being the parents of one child, and have the ability to give her our full attention and provision. We are focused on accepting God's plan and blessings for our lives, our family, and being content with what He has already given us, a beautiful almost 6 year old daughter!

We appreciate all of the support that we had as we started and remained going through this process.  Thank you to all of our friends and family who supported us emotionally and financially, it will always be appreciated and never forgotten the love and support given to us. Thank you all and please continue to pray for peace, contentment, and support our decisions. 

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