Jul 19, 2010

Oh me of little faith!

There are times in our lives when we are given a glimpse of the reasons why we have to travel the rough roads, to get to where God wants us to go. This adoption has been. For us, a very rough road. It has been filled with frustration, doubt, and hardest of all, waiting. When God gives us a directive, and we proceed forward, despite what others may say, somehow we feel as though we are standing alone when God doesn’t seem to back us up as quickly as we, or our critics think He should. We begin to question whether we really did hear from the Lord, or if we somehow dreamed the entire thing up for selfish gain and impure motives.

That is where I was last week at this time. So unsure about what God was trying to tell me to do regarding the adoption. I felt very strongly, and Chris agreed, that we were not to update our home study, but why? It didn’t really make sense if I really thought about it. Was it worth the risk of losing her after all these months of waiting? What about those who had donated financially to help us bring her home? Didn’t we owe it to them to continue? Do whatever it takes to get her home? Lord, what are you trying to say here? I knew though, that He was speaking very clearly about this, and from past experience, I knew better than to be disobedient.

To make a long and extremely complicated situation very short, there was a critical error in our United States Immigration Adoption paperwork that no one had discovered. It enabled us to adopt a child, but not a child with special needs. *W* is blind, and has always been blind. When we went to file for permission to adopt her specifically, it would have been denied. This denial would have been catastrophic for our adoption process. It would have literally sent us back to square one. If I had not refused to update our home study, our adoption agency social worker wouldn’t have found the error. She discovered it when she was looking through our file and researching whether we needed to update or not.

Now, there is no question. We most certainly do have to update the homestudy to correct the error and add the special needs provision. Of course, we now know that God was prompting this so the error would be found, and the adoption could proceed without any delay. If we had just gone ahead and updated, the error would have not been discovered, our application would have been denied, and we would have been forced to start again.

The Lord knew that we would take that denial, if it had happened, as a closed door, and would not pursue the adoption any further. We would have taken it as a sign that God was closing the door. A perfect example of God not testing us beyond what we can stand. The other thing to consider here is, if her paperwork would have come any sooner, the application would have been denied because the initial immigration paperwork, with the error, was not ready to expire. So, no one would have even looked at it before it was sent in. Again, it would have been rejected and we would have been back to square one.

Aside from no error whatsoever, this is the best possible scenario. It involves the least amount of money for us, and will take very little time to correct. Thankfully, we have a new social worker at our agency who is very on top of things. She makes sure things get done right. She is very careful, and exact. She is wonderful!!

I can only say that God has His hands all over this process, and I am amazed and humbled at His grace and love for us and our daughter! May we never forget how God has been faithful through this entire process, and may it be a precious treasure to *W*. That she may know always that she was chosen, not just by us, but by God.

Jul 14, 2010

Fish or cut bait

After much prayer and struggle, we have made a difficult decision. We have decided not to renew our homstudy, which probably doesn’t mean much to some of you. We’ve already renewed our homestudy once, and we really don’t want to go through it again. The homestudy is a collection of documents including criminal background checks, medical history, drug tests, police clearances, 911 records, and home visits from a social worker. Most of the process is just paperwork and time consuming. The biggest issue we have with renewing it again is the cost. It runs about $1,300 for each renewal plus the processing of the background checks, etc. This is money we really need to pay for the trip to Thailand.
The part that is most frustrating for us, is that the paperwork we need from Thailand is probably sitting on someone’s desk, just being ignored. We feel that, as adoptive parents, we get no respect whatsoever, from Thailand. Who cares if the family has to spent thousands of extra dollars… Who cares if it takes years until we get the paperwork together fo the family to travel. After all, we’re giving them a child, right? Well, I’m fed up with the total disregard that the DSDW has for us and our feelings.
The bottom line is this.. Our USCIS I-800A approval expires in November. In order to renew it, we would need an updated homestudy. If we receive our “To Whom It May Concern Letter” and updated background, we can apply for our I-800 and we won’t need to update our homestudy. If we don’t receive those documents, and we don’t update our homestudy, our I-800A will expire. The bottom line is that we have waited 14 months for this paperwork, and if it doesn’t show up by the time our I-800A is due to expire, we are going to let it expire.
We have invested so much time, money, and emotional energy into this adoption, and it breaks my heart to think that it might end this way. However, we can’t and won’t keep going indefinitely. What was supposed to be a short process has turned into a nightmare. If God is in this, and if it is His will, then He will make it happen before the paperwork expires.
We are praying that God will open doors that no man can close, and close doors no man can open. It’s in God’s hands now. What a nightmare this process has been!! If I could say one thing to couples thinking of entering the Thai program, I would say…RUN!! Don’t do it!! Adopt from a country that actually wants to see the kids get into their adoptive homes. Either way, the journey will come to an end by the end of the year.