Well it's been 2 weeks since we received the optimism-wrecking news of MOWA's change to Ethiopia's adoption protocol. Since that time, we've experienced a multitude of emotions, changing not only daily but sometimes hourly. During this unexpected, unexplained turn in events, we'd found ourselves sinking into very low, dangerous places. However, with almost continual prayer along with supportive, encouraging words, texts, emails, and cards from so many family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers, we've begun to feel not only a peace about the uncertainty of our situation, but have truly begun to feel HOPE about our journey.
This hope can only be explained as a sense of God swiftly moving to make sure his children are taken care of. The decrease in cases is not a plan following after God's heart for the fatherless, and we don't believe he will stand for this decision as a permanent thing. Not surprisingly, within a very short time of MOWA's disturbing decision, many of the organization's leaders were terminated from their positions! As new personnel are shifted to fill the positions, the US State Department and US adoption providers are optimistic and hopeful that a positive resolution is going to be made! (What encouragement!) Although high powered, influential humans are making great strides to push for these positive changes, I believe God is stirring the hearts to fully produce these changes. He is the Hope to the Hopeless and Father to the Fatherless, and is still in control of this situation. This has been a statement I've had to repeat to myself several times to fully embrace the truth in it. I needed to be reminded that God doesn't just know what's going on...He KNEW this was going to happen before we were ever made aware of the situation. He KNEW of this decision before MOWA ever started contemplating it. Even more amazing, he KNEW all about it even before the world was formed. While these statements can begin to bring up questions such as why he allowed it to happen, the hope I have in him and his plans, tells me that his power will outshine the darkness of the past two weeks. In fact during these past 2 weeks, we have still seen him moving - our agency has still been getting referrals, court dates are still being assigned, families are still travelling to pick up their children.
Our case is moving forward as well! Our dossier was shipped this week! After a relatively short discussion with our case worker about whether or not to send it off, we decided to move forward despite the current uncertainties. Although we know our process now could change from months to years (a thought that is painfully hard to swallow), we are 100% committed to this journey, no matter how rough the road turns. Honestly, I've been surprised at the number of people who have asked me "Are you going to switch your adoption to a different country now?" after hearing our news. Sadly, according to our case worker, a number of couples have decided to withdraw from the Ethiopia program based on the uncertainties of the process timeline. I can certainly relate to their uneasiness, weariness, nervousness and true distaste for the situation, but my question remains: "Where is your HOPE for the children you've (most likely) already envisioned as a part of your family?" How thankful I am that God, as our father, doesn't give up on us when the decisions we make don't reflect his heart.
We will keep (prayerfully) pressing on, no matter how long or difficult the wait. We have seen God's careful hand mapping out our journey, and as surprised as we may become at any unexpected twists and turns in the road, we are committed to following him as he leads us to our family.
Please continue to keep us and our children in your prayers as we push through this set back and as we face the unknown. Also, please continue to pray for all the decision makers worldwide, as they sort through past protocol, new regulations, and future recommendations to begin setting up the most ethical and efficient process for everyone involved.
As I finish my thoughts and updates, I want to leave you with some words of truth that I've been clinging to these past few weeks (emphasis mine):
"We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy. Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. " Romans 8:24-28 (MSG)
"What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31 (NIV)