So, again, it's been awhile since I've blogged... We have a lot to tell you.... I'll try to sum it all up as short as I can...As we went on in our waiting journey, I began to feel like we were not supposed to adopt one child... For some reason, God began molding my heart to two. One boy. One girl.... Funny thing is, our daughter Ilana seems to almost be prophetic. She knew before WE knew that I was pregnant with Aydan, that I had a baby in my tummy. She knew he was a boy before the ultrasound. She also knew God was going to give us a child before we began seriously thinking of adopting. And since we began the adoption journey, she has prayed every single night... For her brother AND sister in Ethiopia. No matter how many times we told her it'd just be one or the other, she continued praying the same. For her brother and sister...
Fast forward to February. After 7 months of hardly any movement on the wait list, I was frustrated and sad it was taking so long... But now I know why. During the wait, God was molding Michael's and my hearts. He knew a year and a half ago that we originally signed up for one "healthy" child. He was waiting for our hearts to break for the children with "HIV". And then not long after, He had us wanting TWO... We felt like HIV and only HIV was the way to go for our family. Upon telling our agency this, they said it could take even longer if we wanted specifically an HIV+ child, let alone 2. My heart broke even more, because I knew there were SO many children in Ethiopia with HIV that were just waiting for a family...I began to do research and found an agency with an Ethiopia program that also had a specific HIV program that had more children than families willing to adopt them... Meaning, the wait would not be long... We began praying about switching and weighed the pros and cons. We really felt like switching to this new agency was the way to go... On February 10th, we began the process of withdrawing our dossier from our adoption agency. As I was waiting for all of that to go through and deciding if this new agency was the one to go to, I began looking online at different waiting child lists. On Project Hopeful, an amazing website that advocates and teaches the facts about HIV, I looked at their waiting list, as I have on occasion. This time, a little boy, "M", with a birth date close to our new age range of 3 years old came up. We decided to ask them for more information. I got an e-mail back saying to contact the agency (keep in mind, there are lots of agencies that they refer to!) this child was with. It was the same agency we had already begun to switch to... Awesome!
So, as we inquired more about "M", the more we began to get excited... Then, we got to see a picture (that was about 2 years old, which was the newest they had at the time) of him. Michael and I both stood there in tears just staring at his sweet, sweet face. We were absolutely in LOVE! We immediately knew that this was the one. This was OUR son!!! I'd seen lots and lots of pictures of children on waitlists before and was always like "Oh, they are SO cute!" But never, ever, had I had a feeling like I did when we first saw this little boy... Michael completely agreed and said "He is ours, Amanda! That is our son!"
E-mails went back and forth. They said that all their documents on "M" were 2 years old and that he actually was not 3 and that he was probably around 5. They said that they knew he was out of our age range (of 0-3) that we were wanting and didn't know what we thought. I immediately wanted to say "I don't care how old he is, he is who God gave us, I have no doubt!" but I thought it would be best to discuss it with Michael. So I sat down with him and told him what I found out. He replied with "So? I don't care how old he is! He's ours!" Needless to say, we were both on the same page, and we told them we were okay with it!
We got another phone call to discuss referrals, because they knew we were looking for a younger girl as well. With this agency, we are able to adopt two non-biological siblings if they are HIV+, which is exactly what we were looking for. They said they cannot hold this little boy back while we wait for a girl referral, and so we needed to decide if we really wanted to pursue him and hope that during the time that we switch all our paperwork and get an updated home study that a little girl would become available or if one didn't, we'd have to let him go and just wait for a girl referral. We told them no, that we wanted this precious little boy and that if during the next month or so a little girl came up, then that's God's way of telling us to adopt two. If one does not come available, God is telling us to only focus on "M".
So... We officially got our referral papers tonight and we are going to sign and notarize them and sent them back ASAP and we will begin the process of making "M" a part of our family!!! So now what, you ask?
First of all, unfortunately, we cannot share "M's" full name or photos online (if you are local, hit me up when you see me! I'll have photos on hand!!!) until we officially pass court in Ethiopia. I wish I could show you his precious, sweet face, but I cannot... I promise, once we are able to, I will!! :)
We have to update our home study, update our fingerprints, and update a bunch of other documents, because many of other ones are a year old. We have everything done, except our home visit, doctor's appts., and finger printing. We're hoping to have all the documents and home study done by the end of the month, which they can then send the dossier to Ethiopia to be translated and then they can apply for a court date. We're hoping they can apply for court in May. If so, we will probably be traveling in July to meet sweet "M"!!!
In the meantime, if you would pray for us, for "M", and for God to decide whether we are to adopt a little girl or not, too. If it's His will, He'll have to provide a girl referral within a month! Either way, we are SO excited to be on this journey, even though it's SO completely different than what we originally planned.... Ahh, but God's plans are ALWAYS so much better than our own!!!