Anyway, we are still in "the wait." A few things have happened that have caused us to start moving forward again. We are watching the current wait lengthen, and lengthen, and lengthen some more. The families who are getting their babies right now have been waiting for over five years at this point, and it is still getting longer. We have already been waiting three years, and from how things are going, the best prediction is that we would have to wait another three to five years! We do not really want two separate families with one group of older children and one of younger children, so this wait is quite unappealing. We also have slowly come to realize that we are indeed open to a child from the waiting list. When we first started this adoption, we applied under the most limited guidelines we could - to get a healthy baby girl, under the age of one. As we have learned to live with the allergy fiasco in our lives, we have realized that all children have special needs and feel convicted that excluding a child simply because she has some medical need is not okay for us. Almost a year ago, we began to pray about switching our application to accept a "waiting child" rather than accept only a "traditional" placement. It is only very recently that Jerry and I are on the exact same page with what we are comfortable with, but when that happened, we started the process of moving forward. Because all of our paperwork from 2008 is out of date, we have to redo most of what we have already done. The first thing we did was start taking the eleven "parent training" classes that are required for the adoption. They are not really about parenting generally, but more about parenting in adoption situations and learning about adoption, needs of adopted children, and China specifically. We have now done three of the eleven classes, and they have brought about great discussions for us! I also called our wonderful adoption agency and told them we were ready to renew our paperwork. They are contacting our social worker to get the ball rolling on a new home study, which is the first thing that must be done with that. We also need to submit a "Medical Checklist" to our agency, detailing what special needs we are willing to consider. This is very difficult for us. It feels completely wrong to check a box that says, "Yes, we will accept this." and "No, we will not accept this." It feels like we are playing God! We have talked with our pediatrician about getting together to go over the medical terms on this sheet to know what each condition means for our daughter's long term health, and really need to set a firm time to do this. Once they have this checklist at our agency, they start looking for potential matches for us. By switching to the "Waiting Child" program, our wait will now be 6-18 months rather than just as many years (or so it seems...).
Please pray for us as we enter this new phase of the adoption. Please pray that we will know when we see a specific child on the list if she is the right one for our family. Please also pray that if God would want us to adopt two children (as is our desire) that he will work out the details for that. It is possible for us to bring home two girls instead of one, but there are many things that would have to line up just so for that to happen. However, if there is one thing I have learned absoultely for certain through this whole process, it is that God is more than able to line up every detail to accomplish what he wills - even the details that in no way should come together! I am trusting that this is also in his very capable hands.
Because all posts are better with pictures, I'll include some! :) The first is from our original adoption application sent to China, then one more recent to show a comparison!
June 2008 - Andrew is in my tummy, and Ethan is the same age in this picture that Andrew is now!
Aaron and Ethan showing off the banana bread they helped me make last week.