I never knew how much could ride on a single day in time, but there has been so much riding on today's date that I feel like I've been in the race of my life for the last six months leading up to today. Let me back up and explain how this all started.......
As I made clear in my book, we understood and accepted that the journey God led us on was always meant to lead us to Julian, our son, though we could never officially adopt him. He was already past the age of being able to be adopted internationally, and we had already lost our chance with Colombia, anyway. Once denied, always denied--that's just the way Colombia worked. Our hearts, over time, learned to let go of the younger siblings, though we knew we'd always love them. In February, however, I went through an intense period of questioning with God all over again when "Juan's" second adoption fell through and he found himself back in that same orphanage. I still vividly remember the day I sat out on my back porch in late February or early March of this year, with tears streaming down my cheeks, and I boldly asked God to give him back to us. Not long after that, Julian started begging us to somehow try again to adopt his brother. Personally, all I wanted was to see the boy again and to be able to be in his life. I had no desire to go through an international adoption process all over again. However, in May of this year, God put a certain person on my mind to contact (someone I barely even knew), and when I did so, the whole world turned upside down again.
That person sent me a link to a specific part of the U.S. immigration website, saying that if he was reading it correctly, it looked like there was still a chance to adopt BOTH boys......if Colombia would agree to reopen our case to adopt "Juan". So, I clicked on the link and read it, and then I got to the part that said an I800 form had to be filed for the sibling who was over 18 before November 30th, 2012. No big deal, right? In order to file the I800, you needed birth certificates for both boys to prove they were brothers, evidence that you were adopting the younger sibling, and an approved I800A form (which can take up to 90 days to be approved for). Before you can apply for the I800A, you have to have a home study completed. Our minds started spinning. It was already May. In just six short months, we would need to find a lawyer in Colombia to help us see if our case could even be reopened, we'd need convince our agency to work with us again, we'd need to update our home study (which we didn't know would have to be completely redone by a new home study agency because our first one had closed), receive our I800A approval from immigration (which could take up to three of those six months), get both boys birth certificates, and file the I800 form with immigration for Julian. Plus we would be in Colombia for one of those six months. I remembered clearly how long the first process took us, so I never really believed this could be done. I had a feeling God was up to something in order to give "Juan" back to us, just like I'd boldly asked, but I never believed it would be possible to win this race against time to adopt Julian, too. However, without even having time to think it through and convince ourselves that it couldn't be done, God seemed to push this whole thing into action, anyway.
Needless to say, we had a lot of hurdles to jump. NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, went as planned. Absolutely everything took way longer than we hoped or expected, each time adding fuel to my belief that there was just no way to adopt Julian. We'd never win this race against time. Once we turned the page on the calendar to November, I said, "God, there's just no way." And God said, "Really? Why don't you just sit back and watch, child." So we did, and He showed up in ways we could never have fathomed over the last 29 days. Here we are, at the end of our timeline, with Julian's I800 already filed, word from Colombia that we are "approvable", and so incredibly close to completing this adoption of what appears at this time to be BOTH boys. (I say incredibly close, but until it's complete, it still seems so very far away). Nothing is written in stone, yet, but I am finally letting it sink in that we will very likely be bringing both of them home. Everything that we'd been told and believed was impossible (getting a second chance in Colombia, period, and also adopting a child over the age of 16), and it looks like God has made a way.
Once again, I stand in awe........
- I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother. Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing. Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.