When we started the adoption process there was a powerful sense of expectation, countered with fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Adoption is anything but predictable. Amy and I prayed about whether to adopt, and we both got the sense that yes, we should. We prayed about where to adopt from, and again God was gracious in giving us agreement; Ethiopia. We started down the long road of adoption through Christian World Adoption in 2011. The paperwork required is a daunting task for any to accumulate. We didn’t progress very fast, but we eventually got it all done. We had been on the waiting list for a referral as of October 2012. Basically, we were waiting to see who our daughter is. We got our tax return early in 2013 and thought with relief that our travel costs were then covered.
Then we got an email. Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Cases transferred to another agency. All money gone. Sorry. A day of highs thinking everything was paid for with the incredible low of realizing we had been halted in our tracks and couldn’t proceed.
Amy and I were punched in the gut with surprise. An oppressive weight fell suddenly and forcefully on us, and it seemed hard to breathe for a while. Some of our friends don’t have a frame of reference for what happened. What it means. Having experienced both, this was akin to a miscarriage. Praise God that at least in this case, we didn’t lose our child. No child died, just our process to go get her sooner; at least sooner than it now will be.
In 2008 we were pregnant with our first child. We were wildly excited and awaiting the birth of this child. This creation of God. This life to steward as our own. Only, God took this child home with Him before we could meet them. That was easily one of the hardest things we’ve been through as a couple. Like David in 2 Samuel 12:23 “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me” We shall meet this child in Heaven. I mention this because we well know the pain of losing a child. I do not draw this comparison lightly, and certainly miscarriage was harder as you grieve the loss of a child.
Fast forward 5 years, the wonderful gift of our son, and the long process of pursuing an adoption. In the referral stage, you are essentially done and are “waiting in line” for a child. A referral comes, you accept, hit court in Ethiopia, a visa appointment, and bring home your child. Your newly adopted son or daughter. We were at the last stretch, long laboring in the pains of a type of “childbirth.” Until this particular labor is stopped cold by the bankruptcy of the adoption agency, all money lost, all progress gone. The clouds certainly gathered, the rain falls, and it would be easy to give up. Understandable even. Except….
Except, we are sure of our calling to adopt. We are sure this is God’s will for us. Sift the broken pieces; what can we re-use? What can we reclaim and throw in to this process all over again? Can we start this process over?
Do we have it in us to walk this long broken road again?
No. We don’t. But Christ does.
We have restarted, essentially from scratch, this process of adoption. We have a new agency, an empty bank account, and a lot of faith in God. He will see us through to whatever resolution He has decreed. We could stop and ask (and have) “Why did you want it to go this way Lord?” We wondered if we were to adopt after all. We both agree that we are, and though we do not understand why God choose to stop the first go. We feel sure of what He has called us to do, and where He has called us to do it from. We wonder at His plan, but yet we rest in the knowledge that despite this long and broken road we have to take to bring Sophia home, we will bring her home.
Somewhere in Ethiopia, is or will be our daughter; Sophia.