Our blog has been pretty quiet this past week as we have struggled through an ever increasing wait time for referrals at our agency. I spoke with our specialist yesterday and she confirmed that wait times have continued to increase over the past few months and she indicated that our wait time will now exceed 18 months. When we began this journey, the wait time was approximately 12 months. It then went to 14 months at the time we joined the waiting list. People not in the process may not understand the significance of a few more months (or 6 or 10). Imagine one of your children is in another country. You know they are there. You know they need to come home and you're told you need to wait another 6 to 12 months to bring them home (in addition to the expected 1 year you've already planned on waiting). This is our dilemma.
My heart has been completely unsettled about this issue -"Hope deferred makes the heart sick...." Proverbs 13:12. Last week Nick and I decided to pray daily and specifically for patience, wisdom and clarity regarding our next steps in this process.
It is hard to know what is the calling of God to make a change and what is my impatient heart wanting to speed up the process. The bible says, "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord" Psalm 27:14, "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret..."Psalm 37:7.
The bible also says that "You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised" Hebrew 10:36. One thing we are totally clear on is that it is God's will for us to bring our children home from Ethiopia.
We are called to live by faith, "But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him" Hebrew 10:38. It is by faith that we began this journey and by faith that we continue it.
We are now contemplating changing agencies. This is a huge decision as we have already paid for two-thirds of our adoption and only half of that money will be refunded. It is also huge that we follow God's calling for our family and that we do it His way and not ours. Our way of course would be that the agency we are already with would have a short wait and we'd be home with our children next year. Unfortunately, we will probably not know who they are until 2011 with our current agency and there probably will not be a "they" because our agency has repeatedly told us how unlikely a sibling referral would be (I know, this should have been a red flag to us in the beginning, but I was honestly blinded by the paper chase and getting on "the list" that we overlooked it as a minor detail, when in fact it is pretty major).
So, this leads us to our next big steps:
1) we decide if we should leave our agency (an agency with an excellent reputation in Ethiopia and a stable program and strong record)
2) we then have to pick another agency (kind of scary to start the process all over again)
3) we begin the process of re-collecting documents to send to the new agency and Ethiopia
4) we find ways to make up the financial deficit that changing agencies would entail
5) we wait patiently for God to bring our children home
We will continue to "seek His Kingdom" and pray that "these things will be given to (us)" Luke 12:31. The bible says, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart" Psalm 37:4.
Please pray for wisdom for our family as we pray through these decisions. Please also pray for the children that are waiting in Ethiopia and orphans in general who are longing for families.