Thursday, August 30, 2012

Adoption House Updates

The adoption houses in Colombia were on hold as they were being re-accredited, but we have recently heard that they should be "opening" again soon in the next few weeks! What a praise to hear that!

We also received an update that the adoption houses (that Bethany works with at least) will no longer be issuing referrals for children under the age of 5 anymore (except for specials needs, or possibly if part of a sibling group?). Since our dossier has already been submitted, we are not expecting this change to apply to us. We are generally not told the specific reasons why changes like this are made, but we believe it must be in the best interest for the children. The governing agency, ICBF, will still be issuing referrals for younger children, so referrals for this age range will not stop completely. (you can pursue an adoption through a specific adoption house or through ICBF- ICBF generally just has a much longer wait time)

We are praying for all the waiting families- in Colombia, in other countries, and right here in the U.S.!

a friend recently shared this video-it gives an insight on how we have always felt about adoption: we arent pursuing adoption to simply save a child. yes, it is a factor, but we want to grow our family & we feel the desire to share/pass on to others what God has done for us! :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

bitter-sweet times, but mostly sweet!

We are still walking the bitter-sweet line, trying to understand and go along with God's plan for us. Yes we are soo excited and can not wait to get to know this little one more, and yet there are times when my heart drops when I think about the "whys" .. why did He allow us to get pregnant now when we were so "close" to our adoption? why does the only program that seems to require us to go on hold for so long have to be Colombia? why is is that He allowed us to pregnant when we were ok with not going down that path right now? why does He allow us to get pregnant now, when we weren't even trying, when there are so many others who are desperately praying for a child? (oh how my heart breaks for those who face that battle: I don't think I even know half the pain or tears, our journey only touched that pain so slightly...)

As this little bump grows and I feel like I am slowly transitioning out of the "does that girl have a little beer gut or is she pregnant" stage, it is slowly becoming real what is actually taking place! (as if the toilet hugging didnt- to which i must note that every time i was sick, I said a little prayer thanking God!) As a first time parent-to-be, I am obsessed with the little updates I receive in my email each week/per the baby center app on my phone: "your baby is the size of a fig!" (what is that?!) or "This week, even though your baby's eyelids are still fused shut, he or she can sense light"!

Life is such a miracle! The idea that this child's features and growth are "just happening" doesn't make sense to me. Sure, there are these scientific stages and reasons for what is happening, but at some point science can't answer every question or have a reason for everything. And the idea that you and I both started out as something so minute and small, and we evolve and grow - mind boggling!

One moment I am thinking how amazing it all is, and the next I fall into sheer terror as I remember that Nate and I will be responsible for our children's every need, that every decision we make (for the short and long term) will affect them. That is about the time when I start facebook stalking people's pictures of their newborn babies or the pictures of their little ones doing something cute, and I remember it is all worth it and it will all be ok :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

bad news, good news

The bad news: Nate and I are disappointed to share, that against our deepest wishes, our adoption will be on hold for the next 18 months.
The good news: we are expecting to be having a baby in February. (yup, we are preggo!)

We are blown away by this miracle and the series of events God has led us through. I'm sure you may have some questions, so I will try to answer some of them!

I thought this was not possible?
About 10 months ago, we sat in the office of a specialist who told us that it would be "pretty much impossible" to have a child on our own right now. He suggested IVF was our only real chance. We already knew IVF was not in our plan right now, and since adoption was always in our plan, our decision was easy.
Now we have heard the stories: "My friend started the adoption process after years of trying to get pregnant and as soon as their adoption went through, they found out they were pregnant!", or, "As soon as my friend stopped trying, she got pregnant!". I am sure the "not trying" theory definitely has some ground in the medical field, and I am not trying to deny it. But when someone tells you that there is something wrong with you, and can point to a picture of your own body to tell you why, and has the name of a condition to go with it,  you don't really believe that "not trying" is going to solve your problem.
We knew that it was not completely 100% impossible (even if they told us that, I don't think we would have believed them- our God does amazing things). We talked about if I should go back on birth control or not- and we decided no. I think it came down to two reasons: 1- if you know anything about a couple who is adopting due to not being able to have a child on their own, you know that adoption does not cure the pain of infertility. Yes, we still wanted a child of our own and we didn't want to just throw a chance of that completely out of the picture. 2- we left it in God's hands. Before we started trying, we told God we wanted Him to have control of how we grew our family, so us trying to "stop" anything, didn't seem like the kind of trust we wanted to give Him. If God wanted us to have a child of our own, we were happy to let Him bless us with one.
Some may think we hit the one-in-a-million. We know we hit a miracle.

So how exactly does this affect your adoption?
Colombian adoption policy states that if a couple gets pregnant, they will be put on hold until that child is one year old. Yes, we are extremely disappointed with this news. This does not mean that we are going to stop our adoption or even look at other options. There are other programs we could pursue that would not require us to wait, but we feel deeply dedicated to Colombia, Los Pisingos(the adoption house), and every relationship we have made that relates to this process.
We tried to argue against this rule, but it looks like they are not willing to budge. While we are devastated, we understand that in the end we are in a win-win situation and are thankful.

Did you think about giving up on your adoption plans?
Not.even.for.a.second. Adoption was always in our plan, having a child of our own does not change our passion for it. I don't think our motives have really changed at all either. 1:We still need them, and 2: they still deserve a loving family.
Before we found out for sure we would could be delayed, I was prepared to go down to Colombia 6 months pregnant or with a 3 month old if they would let me. (Ok, cue the "you are crazy" from all the parents out there). You can call me crazy, stupid, or just un-knowing, but when you have been dreaming of this little baby waiting for you, and you desire that child so much, nothing will stand in your way (well, except a foreign government I guess). The idea of stopping this adoption, to me is sort of like considering aborting this baby- you may think that is a drastic comparison, but it is the best way I can explain it! So in short: we plan that the day after we celebrate our little miracle's first birthday, we will be calling our case worker to get things moving again.

What about the fees you have already paid and the money that has been donated?
We will have to re-pay some of the fees (a couple things will need to be updated). We are extremely thankful for the people who have donated to us and feel utterly terrible that some of the fees will have to be repeated. We don't expect it to be a lot (and are praying it will stay that way). We do still have some money that we have in a separate bank account for this adoption, and not a penny of that will be spent until we are back on the road again. For now, we plan to invest it (wisely, no risk) so that it can grow in preparation for our future adoption (we still will have a long ways to go financially when the time comes!)

Will you keep up your blog?
Yes! I am excited to share the story of our growing family, and hope you will continue to visit!  :D

Monday, August 13, 2012

Adoption House Re-Accreditation

It may be easiest if I simply quote part of the message we received today from Bethany...
(reminder: ICBF is basically child protective services, they oversee adoptions etc)

As a result of these new regulations being passed by ICBF, some of our adoption houses have had to apply for re-accreditation through ICBF. This is a common procedure and is not something that normally would be a cause of concern. However, due to the extensive pieces of information that ICBF is requesting during this process at this time, some of the adoption houses have chosen to put all cases and matters on "hold" until they are re-accredited. Two of our adoption houses, Chiquitines and Ayudame, have made this decision at this time. We have not heard whether or not Los Pisingos or CRAN will also make that decision...

I think my heart just stopped for a second there. We knew there was "stuff" going on, but we have been anxiously praying that this would not happen..
While it has not been confirmed that Los Pisingos will put us on hold, it is possible and I am trying to prepare myself for it. My heart breaks with all the families who are waiting. We obviously want what is best for these children, and yet it is hard to not be disappointed. We can somewhat handle disappointments, but it is hard to think that there are children who have to wait longer in order to meet their forever families...