A very wise friend of ours said something to me that really did a great job of summing up Mike's and my feelings about orphans. She said "I can't advocate for the adoption of children with special needs abroad- specifically those with Down syndrome- and ignore a child in my own back yard that's also living in the "system". "
You see, as much as there is a HUGE need for international adoption, there is definitely a need for adoption here within the US as well. When we started our adoption of Emma and Micah, we fully intended to do a domestic adoption. Then we learned a few things and we also felt strongly called to Ukraine. What we learned was that US born infants with Down syndrome are usually pretty 'easy' to place and there is a waiting list of up to 200 families at a time wanting to adopt an infant with Ds! This is WONDERFUL!!! Also, there are not often children in the US Foster System with Ds. It just isn't something that you come across too often. And of course we learned of the fate of the children abroad.
So we went to Ukraine, we brought home the children God brought into our lives, we came home, had another baby and here we are. God has FIRMLY closed the door for international adoption for our family and we do not even qualify at this time according to US guidelines. But the knowledge that we continue to advocate for the adoption of children with Ds and other special needs continues to make me think and wonder--- who is there in my back yard??
We did NOT intend to add to our family quite this quickly... in fact I'm kind of surprised how open we both are to it with Lynae being just 4 months old. But we both feel confirmation that we should continue to put one foot in front of the other until God closes the doors.
Tomorrow we will start the state-mandated MAPP classes in order to pursue a domestic adoption through the FL foster care system. We actually decided this several days ago and took that step.
God's working in all different ways, though, and yesterday He asked us not to let money get in the way of what He is asking us to do. And when we said YES, we meant YES. You see, there's a child that is available and that caught our eye just a few days after we told God yes. After Mike was in Kenya (ok, so he caught MY eye LOL). We went forward with inquiries and determined that we believe he would be a good fit in our family and both Michael and I said that we don't feel there's any reason to say "no".
Just a few days ago we were told we needed to have private representation at this upcoming meeting to even see whether we would be chosen to parent this child. Private representation = $$. And we have NO IDEA whether we will be chosen or not-- there are several other people that have put their homestudies into the pot as well.
There's only one reason we wouldn't pursue this child. Money. If we don't pursue this child, our entire adoption would likely be at no cost to us. If we do, it will cost a pretty significant amount (for us-- no comparison to international costs though!). So do we step forward and get a private homestudy? Or do we 'pass' since it's nowhere near a sure thing and assume that God has someone else for this child... and someone else for our family? The only difference is whether we put in the money.
Since the only thing that was stopping us was money, that decision took no time at all. We will not allow money to make our decisions for us! And so... I called to schedule our homestudy. A private one. Which we will pay for. And guess what?
Our social worker gave us a significant discount because he believes in what we're doing. We said YES. God took care of it. Well, part of it anyway... and there's no doubt He'll care for the rest!
Then today. What about the prayer request today?? There was a time period in there that another "thing" happened which had the potential to stop us from pursuing this child again. And we accepted that if the answer was yes, then we would continue forward. And if it was no, then we would continue with the classes and homestudy, but knowing that we would not be getting that child. A very TIGHT time frame was put on us to get the homestudy visit in because this child will be matched soon and we need to be represented at that specific meeting.
So I called our social worker.
I got a call back when I was out.
I returned their call.
Then I waited 2 hours and called them again :) A classic case of phone tag. Who ever said patience was a strong point of mine? LOL
And Monday night is our homestudy visit.
God Prevails. That was our wide open door.
Do we feel secure that this specific child is who God has for us? Not entirely. We would be thrilled if it is. But if it is not, we know that God has used him as the catalyst that got us walking through the doors that He opened for us.
We don't know where this is going. We won't pretend to have the answers.
But we are excited to see what God has next, and we are following with open arms... open eyes... open hearts.
Please continue to keep us in prayer as we learn what God's plans are for our family and how He intends to use this situation. The best things in life have always been the ones that God laid out for us!