Out of Our Hands
We did it. [Big sign of relief.]
We somehow (i.e. Jesus, friends, and coffee) successfully completed our initial adoption paperwork (for the second time) in the busyness of the back-to-school/back-to-work madness....and all without strangling each other. Yes, you can applaud.
Adoption is hard y'all. Compounded by the typical August/September schedule (and our desire to complete this paperwork in record time), it was downright insane around here. I'll spare you most of the details of distress, tears, trips all over the city, an inability to find a notary who's commission lasts more than a year, sleepless nights, difficult decisions and absolute chaos at our house. I'll spare you the disappointment we felt as we rushed to get everything done by October 1.....and then had to sit and wait for 3 WEEKS for other people to finalize and submit it. I've lost count of how many documents had to be redone due to India's strict requirements and scrutiny. I'd like to lose count of how many people refused to help us with documents or made it even more difficult than it needed to be. The most difficult part of all, though, might have been getting our "threenager" to dictate and SIGN a letter (that had to be notarized) about her understanding of adoption (lol). The good news is, all that paperwork is D-O-N-E, and I'm so ready to kiss it goodbye. Our adoption is primarily out of our hands at this point and is now largely dependent upon other people. (That feels so good and yet makes me feel so powerless all at the same time.)
We are now 1 step closer to a child in our arms, which is wonderful after having to take a few steps backward earlier this year when Ethiopia halted international adoptions. We got an e-mail today letting us know that Ethiopia has officially decided to close international adoption. 5 MINUTES after that e-mail, we received another e-mail: As of TODAY, October 18, our file has officially been submitted to India's Central Adoption Resource Authority for approval to adopt in India! It was like God was saying, "See, I lead you to India. Keep following me." Pray with us that our file would be accepted (quickly), despite Hattie being under 2.
Once our file is approved, which could take up to 8 weeks, we will be eligible to be matched with a child. We are waiting to be matched with a boy age 0-1. We are praying for this to happen by Christmas, even though we have a pretty narrow age range that we can accept, per India's adoption guidelines. I can't think of a better Christmas gift ....besides, you know, Jesus...than seeing a photo of our baby boy.
Our giant stack of paperwork that we've been laboring over for two months (our dossier) will be ready to send to our agency any day now, and I cannot wait to get that out of our hands as well. It will be rechecked (again) at our agency and be in queue to send to our son's orphanage in India once we are matched. This will be used as our official presence in court.
There's not much for us to do now other than wait to see a photo of him. (Not much, you know, besides getting 20 documents state certified, making five copies of all 75+ pages of our dossier, applying for a new immigration clearance for the 4th time in our lives, applying for additional adoption grants, and praying for the whole process to avoid any major hiccups along the way- no biggie.)
It's seems unreal that almost exactly 4 years ago we were in the exact same position: all of our paperwork out of our hands, most of our checklists complete, waiting with open arms and so much anticipation to be matched with our son. I really can't believe that it's taken us 4 YEARS to get right back to this same spot....but then again, I'm just working off of my limited, human view of things. We continue to praise and trust the God who sees the whole story- even when our view of the past is painful, even when our view of the present is blurred, and even when we can't see into the future. God's already got this all planned out. It has all really been out of our hands and in His hands this whole time. Every twist and turn, every set back, every delay is really just leading us to our son. We are excited to see how He works it all together for good.
You guys, our next update *could* mean that we have seen his face. Ahhhh!!!! Keep praying!