Thursday, May 2, 2013

Front Row Seats

So this week...yowza...hard...just hard.  It was this week that we really sensed there were some major problems with our cases, and it was this week that we got all that confirmed.  At one point during this week we thought neither of our adoptions were going to happen.  Then we found out some of the things we thought were terrible might not be as bad as we thought.  And that some things we thought were probably fine, were more complicated than we had guessed.  But the short of it is that, sadly, both of our referrals have major complications.

So the gut reaction that springs from me immediately is "why?"  Why does it feel like we have to fight every step of the way?  Couldn't there be one thing in this process, just one thing, that goes easier than planned?  (Maybe God is saving those things for end of the process.  One can hope, right?)  And so we've had our moments of grief, and anger, and second guessing, and questions.

And then we remember to breathe.  And to pray.  To look out, and around at the "beautiful things".  (Thanks Erica)  To give thanks for what we have.  To give thanks for the hope that these sweet boys will eventually make their way home.  Then friends and family come out of the woodwork ready and willing to let us lean on them.  Strangers tell us beautiful stories of redemption.  Our adoption community embraces us, gives us much needed understanding, and reminds us we're not alone.  And we regain focus.  We regain our resolve.  

To speak to some of the specifics:  Our older boy is from a region in Ethiopia known as the SNNPR.  (Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Republic)  This is a Southern region in Ethiopia.  There have been some big issues with this region over the past 2 years, because of new local regulations.  I've seen the word "unadoptable" thrown around online as applied to children from this region.  The good news we learned is that a change in personnel of the local government has improved the outlook for prospective adopted children from this region.  Our agency is hopeful that movement on his case will take place soon.  ("Soon" is such a subjective word, isn't it?  But I digress.)  We're still dreadfully behind, and there are MANY hurdles yet to be jumped, but we'll take any forward movement at this point.

Our younger boy's case looks to be the more difficult one at this point.  Wes and I have discussed what parts of this we should make public, and it's tough.  The stories of the boys' birth families are their stories, not ours.  While we're ok sharing OUR story publicly, we feel like we should allow the boys to decide how what is known of their birth families should be shared.  We try not to say too much about them publicly.  So to that end, I'll say this:  Issues with his birth family have caused a change in the way his case is categorized.  It means re-doing most of his paperwork.  He's likely still adoptable, it hasn't changed the fact that he's currently sitting in an orphanage, but it will take many more steps to accomplish this.  I'll also say this:  his biological family, specifically his biological mother, could use your prayers.  She's often in my thoughts these days.  I've been painfully aware from the beginning of this process that her deep pain and my great joy will coexist in a single event.   I believe with all my heart that adoption is a beautiful example of God's redemption in difficult situations.  And my heart breaks for her.

Our agency has offered to put our cases through the courts separately so that if one boy moves through the legal system more quickly, we could get him home sooner.  We agreed to this.  It means four (at least) trips to Ethiopia instead of two, but we don't want to wait a day longer for either one than we have to.

They've also offered us new referrals which we, of course, declined.  We've seen their faces.  How could we go on knowing we didn't do everything in our power to see them into loving homes?  (Our adoption coordinator actually told us "I know you won't want to do this, but I am supposed to offer it."  :)  Can I just say we love her?  She's been publicly and privately praying for us over these past few weeks, doing everything she can to annoy people into giving us information.  So thankful we have her advocating for us.)

The boys' room is officially complete, ready and waiting for them to come home.   Wes and I often wander in there from time to time during the day.  It stays very neat right now.  I think of how much I wish there were little boys here to mess it up.  I find myself in there most nights before bed, praying over them.  Because their days are our nights, I'm likely catching them just as they start their day.  That's how I like to think of it, anyway.  I hope that when they look back on this blog later in life they will see the ways they were loved before we were officially in their lives to show them.

A friend, and fellow Ethiopia adoption mom recently told me this of her adoption journey:

"I almost miss the tension of that season of waiting.  It made us so aware of the beauty of God--It almost felt like we had a front row seat to what God was doing."  

It's a way of living we are working hard to embrace.  To see every challenge as an opportunity for God to work.  To live each day on the verge of a miracle.
And so we sit.  Here on the edge of our front row seats.  Desperate and excited to see what God is doing.  


  1. beautifully written. my heart aches for you and for your boys, but I am also filled with such hope & joy as I read your words, knowing that God is at work. The enemy does not want these boys home, but HE who is IN US is greater than he who is in the world. Our God is at work...I'm standing before his throne begging for movement in your cases and that His will would be done.

  2. Wes and Nancy, I cried as I read your Blog. Mine is a bit different story, but I understand the frustration and pain as you move through this process and face many delays and hurdles. I loved your thoughts about adoption being a reflection of redemption and I have seen that so evident in our lives. I too believe the enemy does not want these boys in a loving Christian home and he will fight to keep them where they may never have the opportunity to learn about Jesus and His love for them.

    Stand strong and know you and they are being prayed for. Isaiah 41:10 has become my life verse - "Do not be afraid for I am with you. Do not be discouraged for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you with my VICTORIOUS right hand." Remember, He has already won the battle!

  3. Praying the boys are in a healthy and safe place now and you can get them home soon...and I agree that is a very subjective word, especially with adoption. Many blessings, Vanessa

  4. Whispering prayers for all of you and quietly waiting for the good news. Love you guys!