Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ethiopian Adoption Journey: The First Day I Saw My Children

One year ago on this day, Patrick and I were about a year and a half into our adoption journey. We had applied, gone through our training, and completed the very in-depth process called our "home study" to adopt two children under the age of two years old from Ethiopia. We were preparing both our hearts and our home for babies!

And then on this day, May 19th, 2015 at 1:30 in the afternoon as I sat at my computer doing some work, God intervened and He showed me these three beautiful children via a post in our private Facebook group. Our agency had recently started working with a new orphanage and these kids needed a family, but didn't match the criteria listed in any of the adoptive parent's applications, including ours. It is rare that our agency posts pictures of waiting children, and in fact, I only remember them doing this one other time in the past two and a half years.

The post was a simple note to families asking if anyone knew of anyone who might be interested in adopting these 3 African siblings. There was absolutely no information given, not even which country they were from.

My heart began race and something deep inside me instantly felt the connection. Patrick was already amazingly on-board with the wild idea of adopting two children, I couldn't imagine him considering THREE. And we had been talking about babies for so long, there's hardly anything about our adoption that would be the same if we adopted older children instead. Not to mention the fact that girls are requested 3:1 in Ethiopia and since we were open to either gender, we were told it was most likely we would be adopting two little boys, so BABY BOYS were what we were ready for! And from a financial perspective...was I CRAZY? Three older kids?!

This post I saw of the kids was online for a total of 2 minutes before I emailed our agency asking for more information. The email I received back said "Yes, I can give you a little bit more information. If your friend would like any other information please have them reach out to me."

HAHA, my FRIEND?? Needless to say, our agency rep was quite surprised when I told her that I was inquiring on our own behalf (though I didn't mention that Patrick knew nothing about this yet!)!

I learned that the kids were from Gambella, Ethiopia and they were currently 3, 5, and 9 years old. And as I stared at their sweet photos, I sobbed and I prayed. All day I wrestled with God trying to figure out why I felt so strongly about these three kids who I had never met and why He would put them so strongly on my heart when I just KNEW that there was no way Patrick would go for this! And I just KNEW that there was no way we could afford this. And I just KNEW that it was unrealistic.

But I just KNEW that these were OUR KIDS!

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And when God wrecks your plans to implement a more beautiful, perfect story for your life, He also works out all of the wrinkles!!

When I shared with Patrick that night what I had learned about the siblings, he was immediately intrigued and excited to learn more! WHAAAAAT?!?!

And the finances?? God has faithfully showed up!

We spent a couple of weeks researching, learning, and praying over these kids and the idea of adopting them, and on June 4th, Patrick and I, with more joy in our hearts than we've ever felt before, officially accepted a referral to become their mom and dad!

Please continue to pray with us that we can complete this process soon and bring our precious children HOME!!

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