The first time our paperwork went to Colombia, we waited in limbo for almost two months before we got an answer. We never dreamed it would be a denial, so we spent those two months preparing ourselves and our home for the addition of two new family members.
Less than a month after receiving that denial, we again sent more paperwork as an appeal to Colombia. That time, we waited for three entire months, still believing with everything in us that those kids would soon join our family. Once again, we just weren't prepared for the negative answer we received.
Three years after that, we once again sent paperwork to Colombia to see if now they would consider our psycho-social reports "approvable". Fortunately, we waited less than two weeks to find out that we were "okay" this time around.
So, now, here we are for the fourth time, waiting on a final answer regarding the rest of our paperwork. This time around, I somehow keep expecting a no and find myself surprised when things move to the next step. Besides setting up a bedroom for the home study, we haven't made a single preparation in our home. We haven't saved a penny because we haven't had a penny to save. Even mentally, I've pushed the thought of a larger family aside and have begun to accept (and enjoy) life as a family of three again. With the adoption process, online trainings, and paperwork behind us, I find myself enjoying every little moment with David. I adore that little guy and can't seem to hug him, squeeze him, or kiss him enough these days.
Yet every once in a while, I feel that longing in my heart, knowing that someone is still missing. I got to stay in touch with "Juan" for a few months after our process got underway, but then I lost that contact with him in the middle of December. Thankfully, I got to talk to the person who made that decision to interrupt that contact and convinced him that my being in communication with "Juan" was a positive thing for every one. However, nearly two months later, I'm still trying to get through a tangled mess of red tape to reestablish that contact. Ugh. My heart hurts for him because all I can imagine him thinking is, "Great. It happened again. They tried and didn't succeed." He has no clue that we've been fighting for him for the last seven months. We left him with the knowledge that we would try, but that it likely would not be possible to get the case reopened. (I don't think he ever knew that it did get reopened). However, we promised that we would at least try to get permission to stay in his life, and for three months, we were able to do that. I just can't get it out of my head how much love that boy expressed to us over our four days together in Colombia and our short phone calls over a three month period. It was like he couldn't say enough just how much he loved us, and there was such a longing in his voice every time he said he loved me before I said goodbye on the phone. My heart hurts for him, wondering what he's thinking now that I haven't called him for the last two months.
This has been a long, lonely road, to say the least. So many ups and downs, not knowing what to expect next. I keep to myself a lot more than usual, knowing this is a spiritual journey more than a physical one. I cling to God a lot more now and crave His presence and wisdom like nothing else. There's not a whole lot of people out there that I can talk to, but believe me, I stay in very close connection with the few people that really get it. I'm deeply grateful for God putting those people in my life, and I don't know what I'd do without them.
In my Bible study in James this week, I camped out on the verse that says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds." I don't know that I would have ever considered this to be a joyous occasion in my life, but our challenge this week was to consider what other options there are....Let's see, I could....
- Consider it pure joy to wait without answers
- Make phonecalls to everyone I have contact with over my case (which is almost everyone, this time) to demand answers
- Fret with anxiety over all that could still go wrong or fall apart
Where do those options get me?
- According to the book of James, the first option will result in perseverance, blessing, and maturity.
- The second option would likely get us into a big mess by offending someone or doing something culturally inappropriate.
- The third option would result in a ton of health issues, including the inability to sleep (been there), possible ulcers, inability to concentrate (been there, too), or being short-tempered (let's not even go there....)
I think I'll take my chances and stick with Scripture here, considering it pure joy to be going through this whole ordeal, again, because I know the results (perseverance, maturity, blessing) will be more than worth it.
I asked God yesterday that if it wasn't time for the answers, would He at least show me somehow that He's still there. Then I heard the song posted on the top left hand side of this blog that inspired me to write the first half of our story, You raise me up. David and I heard it once on the way to school (it hasn't played on the radio in quite awhile), and then we heard it again when we were coming home. We both agreed, God was answering my prayer. After walking through the valley, He will set us back up on the mountain again.