If you asked about our adoption in the past 2 months, I guarantee you got this answer:
“We’ve done everything we can. We’re just waiting on the agencies to finish their paperwork so we can send our big packet of papers to Congo.”
If I said that once, I said it a hundred times.
For months I had spent every spare moment working on adoption paperwork. I had color coded lists, sub-lists, stacks of manila folders and files upon files of scanned documents on a backup drive and in the cloud, just in case something happened to the originals.
Then we hit the point where it was out of our hands.
Our home study social worker had completed her interviews with us and was writing her report. Our adoption agency had to review the report. The home study social worker had to print the report and sign it, ship it the head office for more signatures and notarizing, then they had to ship it to us.
So for weeks we waited while each party finished their job. For weeks I checked my email constantly, waiting for news that the final packet was headed our way.
As October drew nearer, the wait started to wear on me.
October 7 would be exactly 6 months from when we first saw the faces of our beautiful children. From the start, I told myself we could submit that big packet of papers (called a dossier) in 6 months.
That seems totally attainable, right? 6 months is plenty of time to get a few papers in the mail.
But if you break down just what we were trying to accomplish, 6 months is no time at all.
In 6 months I wanted us to buy a house, move into it, compile all the necessary documents for our home study, pass the home study, get all of the agencies involved to approve, print and ship the home study report, compile all the documents for the dossier and then ship the dossier to Congo.
Oh… and pay $1,000 per month for foster care and all the adoption agency fees along the way.
Yeah… when you spell it all out it seems completely impossible.
But God, y’all.
The closing date on our home didn’t get pushed back, even though our realtor told us that regularly happens. Our painters finished early. A small army of friends and family helped us move everything in one afternoon. Some of our documents came in earlier than expected. The home study social worker was able to work us into her schedule much earlier than she originally anticipated.
I could write a post about each of those events, sharing the crazy and unexpected ways God worked in our favor.
It really looked like we were going to hit the 6 month mark. But as we got further and further into September, I started to lose hope.
We had done everything right. We had hurried and dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s. We had jumped through the hoops. Why were we not getting this report back? Why was it taking so long?!
If God had opened all those other doors, why wasn’t He doing the same thing now?!
The last weekend of September, it all became too much.
I had a total breakdown from all the stress of not being in control. From the uncertainty, from the overwhelming expenses, from trying to parent via email and across a language barrier.
And at the end of an especially long, ugly cry, I gave it all over to God.
That’s when I let go of my deadline.
That’s when I told Him that I could accept it if the 6 month mark wasn’t a part of His plan.
That’s when I reminded myself that these were His children long before He made them mine and He would not forsake them.
That’s when I poured myself into scripture and favorite hymns from my childhood, instead of venting via text to my friends.
That’s when it was no longer about me or Aaron or agencies.
That’s when we truly trusted that God was for us and that His control was more perfect than ours could ever be.
And that was when the report arrived.
On Tuesday, October 3, our mail carrier came unusually early. Aaron and Landon casually walked out to the mailbox but on the way back I noticed a quickness to Aaron’s step.
As soon as he was within earshot he called out, “Its here! What time does FedEx close?!”
I hurried to scan every page of the home study report and dossier documents for our records.
I gently slid all 40 pages into a big yellow envelope and triple checked the address the agency gave us.
We crammed photo albums, little toys and candy into a gallon ziplock bag for our foster family to give the kids.
Lorelei and Landon gave slobbery kisses and giant hugs to two little teddy bears to bring to their brother and sister.
In the FedEx parking lot, Aaron led our family in praying over it all, from the documents to the dum dum suckers, that God would use it all to fulfill His will.
Then with butterflies in our stomachs and tears in my eyes, we put it all in a box and shipped it off to the DRC… 4 days before my 6 month deadline.
P.S. Here’s our latest update photos of brother and sister. They are growing and thriving in their foster home! Such a blessing knowing they are safe and well cared for during this wait!
If you would like to learn more about our adoption journey or how you can help us bring our kids home, visit the Adoption page.