Thursday, July 12, 2012

God's Perfect Timing


The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Deuteronomy 31:8


As my sweet baby boy naps in his tiny bed in the next room, my heart is overflowing and I'm feeling so full and contemplative.  I knew this time would come...the point when I could look back over our journey and have some of our "whys" answered.  There were times in the last two and a half years where the waiting {and waiting, and waiting} was so daunting, so heavy, that I truly felt like I had lost myself.  Certainly, though all of it, though, I was comforted and carried by my Savior in a way that I had never realized I had needed before.

In the last two weeks since we picked up our son from the House of Hope, there have been several "ah-ha!" moments for me...where I have realized how God's timing made perfect sense.  I just want to share those epiphanies here.  Maybe this post is just for that I can look back on this time and remember how faithful Christ was to our family.  Or, maybe it will be an encouragement to you, whether you are in the process of waiting or just having a hard time seeing meaning in something you're going through.  Either way, may I never forget...

It was February 2nd of 2010.  We had felt the call to adopt three months earlier and, after research and praying, we were placed on a waiting list to apply to adopt through a ministry called His Hands Taiwan.  It felt right at this time and I began to envision our little Taiwanese babies and to connect with other adoptive families who had been blessed through this ministry.

It wasn't too long after that when we began to feel that maybe our child was not in Taiwan after all.  We were ready to be parents again, but HHT seemed like it was out of our reach.  After being on the waiting list to be able to apply for {what felt like a VERY LONG} four months, we began to explore other options.  We reached out to others who had adopted from other countries, though in the back of my mind, I was not ready to give up my dream of a Taiwanese adoption. 

Then, July hit and there was this strange sense of urgency to change.  God began to clear my mind of the Taiwan dream and through a series of events, He led us to Ethiopia.  Once we were introduced to Ethiopian culture and spent a morning with a few children that had been adopted from our son's birthcountry, it took less than 24 hours for us to realize that we would adopt from Ethiopia.  I was still unsure why we needed to move on from Taiwan, but the peace I felt about switching countries was truly from Christ {my own stubbornness would not have allowed for it otherwise!}.  What I know now is that our sweet baby boy was conceived in July of 2010...the same month that we switched countries and applied to the very agency that he would be adopted from almost two years later.

After we applied to CHI on July 31, 2010, the real work began.  Our dossier workbook stated that it would take 3-6 months to complete the compilation of authenticated paperwork known as the dossier and, in my type A personality, I only saw the "3".  I had it in my {thick} head that we would be placed on our agency's waiting list by Halloween of that year.  However, since the home study and fingerprinting process took longer than I calculated, we were not officially placed on the wait list until December 23rd.  What I know now is that, had we been placed on the wait list back in October, another little one would have been referred to us...our sweet baby had not even been born yet.

Once on the waiting list, there were a couple of referrals and one was a young sibling set.  At that time, my heart was set on a sibling set and these kiddos were just slightly out of our age preference {we were only allowed to adopt kids who were at least one year younger than our youngest child}.  My heart longed for our little Ethiopian siblings and I dreamed what it would be like when we received our referral for our kids and brought them home.

Shortly after that, the first lull in referrals came and we began to wonder if we would EVER make it out of the forties (there had been only five referrals in the time we'd been on the waiting list).  We felt this nudge toward changing our preference to include one child as opposed to waiting for two.  Through our yahoo group, a little blog-stalking, and a "hint" from our adoption consultant, it had become pretty clear that people requesting young siblings made up the first six or so on our waiting list and that they had been there a LONG time.  When I mentioned to our adoption consultant that we were leaning toward changing our preference to include one child, she warned us that we needed to be sure that was what we wanted.  Once we changed our preference, it was a pretty safe bet that we would receive a referral of a single child...especially since our preference included either gender up to three years old.  So, we prayed about it and felt this complete peace about changing our preference. 

And, then, we braced ourselves.  One of the referrals earlier in the year had been for a two year old boy and the family had only waited four weeks.  We just knew our toddler referral was right around the corner.  What I know now is that, had a toddler been available, we would have gotten our referral and we would have missed out on waiting for our little guy.

After our preference change, the lull in referrals lifted and late March/early April brought what seemed like referral after referral.  We went from #42 on the list to #25 by the end of April, yet we did not get our referral.  I really questioned then...why wasn't our agency giving toddler referrals?   I felt this ache in my heart.  I was so happy for the families receiving referrals, but really began to wonder why my heart was so heavy.  What I know now is that our baby boy was born right in the midst of this rash of referrals.  My heart was heavy because, on the other side of the planet, Bek's birthmother was giving birth to our son.

So, we continued to wait as we entered into the summer and into another lull in referrals.  There were a couple of referrals here and there, and we spent most of the summer at number 16.  In July, we received an E-mail about a little girl who was ready to be referred.  This E-mail went out to everyone who had a little girl of her age within their preference.  This was not typical practice for our agency, and we strongly considered putting our names in to be considered as her parents.  We had three days to decide and it took us two...two days of longing and praying and crying out to God...two days of agonizing over why He was saying "no".  Honestly, there was no reason for us not to ask for her referral, except that we were not meant to be her parents.  When we found out that her family was #17, we were filled with emotion.  What I know now is that God spoke clearly to us because we wanted to say yes, but the baby that was meant to be our son was sitting in an orphanage waiting for us.  {What I also know is that sweet baby girl is in an amazing family that is perfect for her...we're looking so forward to the day when we can meet them in person!}

Summer turned to Fall and we continued to wait...sometimes patiently and sometimes impatiently.  And then, finally, Halloween came and, along with it, came another referral and a new number.  An anxious anticipation overtook my long-lived frustration as a little girl was matched with her family, but it wasn't until one week later when a little boy was referred to a family right above us and I realized that WE WERE NEXT for a little boy.  It was a long seven days of barely breathing until we received the call that changed the course of our family forever.  There was a little boy in Ethiopia named Bahire and he was our son.  Our long wait was over {or so we thought}.  What I know now is that our baby was not paperwork ready, but somehow, God allowed for us to receive our referral since it was our "turn" on the list for a boy and B was supposed to be our son.

The next few weeks turned into months and our expectations were left unmet over and over as we waited for a court date.  What we were told would take 6-8 weeks actually took 15 weeks and we were left with many questions.  Why was this taking so long?  Why were some cases soaring through while others {like ours} seemed to be crawling along?  We finally received our court date and traveled just under five months after receiving our referral.  What I know now is that there was a hitch in our case that needed to be fixed before we traveled and that God was lining us up with a group of three other families that would be such a huge blessing to us!   What I also know is that being with these families gave me a glimpse into how much God perfectly orchestrates this process so that each baby/kid is matched with the PERFECT family for him/her.

At court, we were the only family of the group of four that did not pass.  Our paperwork was not ready and we ended up waiting an additional five weeks to pass court.  In the meantime, we found out about a complication with our case that delayed our court decree.  Then, we were told that our agency was ready to submit us to Embassy, but when they went, they were denied submission because they needed an additional document regarding the complication of our case.  We were SO upset!  We had no idea how long this would take and began to question why God didn't want Bek to come home during the summer, when we actually had time to bond with him.  What I know now is that we were submitted one week later, which allowed us the time to enjoy one last vacation as a family of four.  This week was filled with time to pour into our older kiddos and was priceless!

Today, our baby boy is HOME and is doing so great!  After all of the frustrations and anticipation and anguish, our little man, the one we dreamt about and prayed for and shed tears over and longed for is here in our family forever.  And we are forever grateful...grateful for the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than we ever imagined and grateful that God has placed the perfect child in our family.  What I know now is that this process has allowed us to not only gain a son, but a depth of gratitude and fullness of our Savior that we may never have known otherwise.  It has awakened a thirst within me to be faithful to His call, wherever that may lead...


I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.
Psalm 40:1



  1. Thank you for sharing. It seems like so many trials have occured in our adoption process. Somedays I get so frustrated, so I need to bookmark this post and come back to read it next time we hit a roadblock. :)

  2. :) Lumps in my throat as I read this timeline. Thanks for sharing and encouraging others. So glad Bek is with the perfect family for him forever. Love you friend.

  3. This makes me cry! All of those months we spent crying, waiting, wondering.... to see it all written out and KNOW that God had such a perfect reason for each moment. I can't wait to meet precious Bek. What an AMAZING answer to prayer!!

  4. What a blessing your story will be for others experiencing the inevitable bumps in the road of Ethiopian adoption. We too have found ourselves questioning God's timing, becoming so frustrated by what seem to be unnecessary delays. But now that things are lining up to bring our boy home it's clear that all has happened as it should.

    When we traveled for court, we saw the same thing. Each child seemed perfectly matched to their family. God is so, so good.


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