Awhile back (in May) I wrote a post entitled "Beginning A Journey" (read it HERE) in regards to the decision that Micah and I were looking into regarding foster care and adoption. I thought I would post an update since it's been awhile and some of you have asked me about it...
Over the past couple of months we have continued to discuss, process, and pray about this decision. Although there are still so many unknowns, the Lord has given us some more clarity and direction in our journey regarding the following things:
Adoption vs. Foster Care
We decided that adoption would be the best option for our family at this stage of our lives. We are looking to grow our family and desire the permanence that adoption offers. Eli is still too young to really understand the idea of having a foster brother or sister and that the temporary aspect of it would be especially difficult for him. We do think that foster care is probably in our future though, and at a later point in time we will be looking into it again.
Domestic vs. International Adoption
We believe that God is leading us to adopt internationally. Although there is a need for adoptive parents throughout the U.S., the need for adoptive parents in other parts of the world (especially impoverished areas) is even greater. The main obstacle to overcome will of course be the financing... international adoption is very expensive and we don't have the funds to do it on our own. But, we serve a big God who wants us to have to trust Him in this!! Our pastor reminded us today to pray BIG and take steps to do things that you know would be impossible to do without God coming through for you. We know God has a special place in his heart for orphans, and by being obedient to his calling we have faith that He will provide the resources necessary for us to adopt.
In the beginning, we were leaning toward adopting from China. However, we encountered some "red flags" early on and came to realize that this was not God's plan for us, at least not now. We knew he was leading us elsewhere... I received an email from an adoption agency soon after this in regards to the need for people to consider adopting from Ethiopia. After doing some research and learning that there are close to 5 million orphaned children in Ethiopia, we knew that this is where God was calling us. One boy that I learned about was abandoned as an infant because his top two teeth were the first teeth to come in. There was a superstition in his African tribe that if the top two teeth come in before the others, the tribe will be cursed. So the family either has the choice of killing the child or being exiled forever from the tribe. Thankfully, the family did not kill their son. But sadly, he was left without a family. Stories like that just break my heart and create even more of a burden in me for these precious children. Although nothing is official yet, we are looking into adoption programs through the country of Ethiopia.
1. Pray that God would lead us to the right adoption agency. Right now we are feverishly researching agencies that have Ethiopian programs and trying to determine which one we should go with. You need to be pretty sure before applying with anyone due to the fees involved just to submit an application. We are hoping to choose an agency and submit an application within the next month.
2. Pray that God would provide clarity regarding the age of the child we would adopt, as well as any other factors that we are considering (ie - siblings, special needs, gender, etc.).
3. Pray for our family, extended family, and friends (that might be some of you?!?)- although we are the ones adopting, we know it affects everyone who knows and loves us. Pray that our loved ones will stand beside us during this time offering their support and wisdom. Pray that they too will hear God's heart for orphans and come to a fuller understanding of why we are choosing to adopt.
4. Pray for the child that will join our family someday. He or she may be out there right now just waiting for a family to call their own. Pray that God's protection would be over him/her and that the love of Jesus would be made known to this child even now.
Thanks for your prayers!!!