If I could give one piece of advice to families considering adoption, it would be that - expect the unexpected. It is a journey that requires patience, endurance and flexibility. It is a journey that will change you and shape you in ways that you never thought possible.
In our last post, we had said that we were waiting to hear back from the Thai government to see if we could proceed with our international paperwork. Well, on the 15th of this month we got the word. We had been turned down to adopt from Thailand. It seems the Thai government is getting stricter on the criteria that they are requiring from potential adoptive families, and we no longer met the program requirements. This is one of the challenges with international adoption. You have to go into it understanding that things can change. While we understood that, it was still hard to hear. So, we had some decisions to make. We had been talking and praying about our options for over a month, since we first got word from our adoption agency that this might be a possibility. We did even more research on the different countries that fit our family. We still wanted to be able to request a girl, and we didn't want to have to travel more then once. And so, after much prayer and discussion, we have decided that the best fit for our family is to switch to a domestic adoption and adopt right here in the US.
Screeeeeech!! I can almost hear the brakes squealing to a stop as you all are processing that piece of news. Yes, it's true. We have decided to adopt domestically instead of internationally. We are already approved to adopt her in the US, and we are still able to request a girl. Plus, because we are open to any ethnicity, our wait time is going to be a lot less then it would have with Thailand!
Now this is not completely out of left field. A few posts ago I mentioned a training that we went to as a part of our home study. At this training they covered both international and domestic adoption. Honestly, this was our first look at what domestic adoption really was. I have to be honest with you, when we originally started this journey of adoption, domestic adoption was NOT something that we wanted at all! What we have learned along the way though, has opened our eyes so much to both international and domestic adoption and how both options work. We both had come in to this process with so many preconceived ideas, but me more then Daniel. I was absolutely SURE that it had to look this way and that way, and I wasn't willing to consider anything else. Along the way, part of my journey has been me having to lay down all of my preconceived ideas. The thing that the Lord has been showing me is that it's not so much about WHERE you adopt from, as it is about the HEART for adoption that He has put in us! And so, one by one, roadblock by roadblock, I am having to open up my vice-grip on what I think it should look like. It is actually very freeing!
Funny side note, all of this time, seriously since we first started talking about adopting, Titus has been referring to Ezra as "Baby Ezra". Despite many people trying to explain to him that she would actually be a toddler and not a baby at all, he has insisted that she is Baby Ezra. And from the very beginning, Joey has been begging us to please adopt a baby! He has a super soft spot for babies and REALLY wanted his new sister to be tiny! Of course, I was adamant that we were NOT going to have another small baby in this house! Nope. No way. I was so done with the baby phase. (Can you say my way or the highway?) ;-)
Weeeeell, we are now going to be welcoming a small baby into our home, not a toddler! How am I feeling about that you ask? I couldn't be more excited! Yup, I've done a complete 180! I have got baby fever like crazy, and have already been looking in to cloth diapers, cribs, strollers, the whole lot!
It's just funny to see the journey that the Lord had to take us on to get us to this spot, because honestly, if you had asked us to consider domestic infant adoption when we had first started our process, we both would have just laughed and said "nope, not for us!" . Yet, here we are, doing just that!
Now, practically speaking, what does that look like for us? Well, because our agency was only international adoptions, we had to switch to a new agency. We have found one that we are very excited to partner with! We will have to do a little more paperwork, because of the switch, but it's not going to be like the paperwork we had ahead of us in the international process! Once all of the paperwork and interviews with the new agency are done, we will be ready to be matched!
It's crazy to think of how close we may be to our sweet girl! We'll keep you all posted as our journey progresses! Again, thank you all for your love, prayers, support and encouragement!! We are SO blessed to have friends and family like you!