I have been asked a lot about why we are adopting and thought I'd write about our story. I have wanted to adopt a child internationally since I was in High School. I remember reading an article in my mom's Ladies Home Journal about the orphanages in China. I knew at that moment that I would adopt someday. Eddie and I dated all through High School so he knew what he was getting into way before we got married! I didn't know exactly when we would adopt but knew it was something I had to do. After we had two boys I started thinking about adoption but didn't think it would be possible for us until after the boys were older. Then Eddie and I attended a Steven Curtis Chapman concert and he showed a video about his adoptions. At the end of the video, he announced that adoption info was available in the lobby. I was crying by the end of the video and Eddie turned to me and said "let's go get the info and get this started".
Because I had read about all the baby girl orphans in China, we decided to start the process with China. We were in the China program for several years. It was very discouraging hearing about the wait time increasing with every month. I started getting an uneasy feeling about our adoption and started wondering if God was really leading us to China.
About the time I was feeling uneasy, I remember watching Oprah one afternoon by myself. (I don't watch her anymore since she's so mixed up on Christianity!) The show was about the people in Africa, mainly the women and children, and I sat there and cried as I watched. Usually if something is sad to me I turn it off, but I sat and watched the whole show. I knew at that moment that I really had a heart for the people of Africa. Then of all things, it wasn't too much longer until American Idol did it's first Idol Gives Back and it showed a lot of clips of Africa. Once again, I was just drawn to it. I recorded it and watched it several times by myself. I started thinking that maybe later on down the road, we could look into adopting from Africa. It's funny to think that God could use Oprah and American Idol to get my attention, but I truly believe I was meant to see both.
Then one day while I was pretty discouraged, I pulled up America World's website just to read and see if there was anything new on their site. I couldn't believe my eyes. They were starting a new program.....in Ethiopia. When I read it, my heart started pounding fast and my eyes filled up with tears. I knew God had some different plans for us.
After a lot of prayer and discussion with Eddie, we decided that the China program was not for us. We dropped out of China and began the Ethiopian program. We lost most of the money we had paid over the years for China, but we knew it didn't matter and that God would provide a way. So far the road to Ethiopia has gone so smoothly. Looking back at our process with China, we ran into so many snags along the way. Now I can see that it wasn't meant for us and that God is truly guiding us throughout our Ethiopian adoption. People have asked me if it was sad for us to back out of the China program after we had waited for so long, but I can honestly say it wasn't sad for us. We had total peace about it and knew God was totally in control.
Now we cannot wait until we meet our little Ethiopian princess. The journey to bring her home has been a long one and a little crazy at times, but we know it will be worth it when we hold her in our arms for the first time.
Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act. Proverbs 24:12
Sunday, May 4, 2008
We got some good news on Friday! Our dossier arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia safely and very quickly. We had been told that it might be delayed in Europe for several days and if it did not to worry. However we found out it went straight from Delaware to Addis Ababa without any layovers. We have been very blessed with how smoothly things are going with the adoption process. We can feel God guiding us with every step!