Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It's Really Real Now....

So today we sent out our agency agreement. The first boatload of money was sent in the form of a check along with it. Yikes! But I feel GREAT about it! Wes and I spent about 4 hours yesterday evening filling out all the home study questions, criminal background check forms, this and that form, scanning birth certificates, insurance cards, licenses, marriage license, getting the vet to sign off on our animals not being a threat to our children, etc. etc. etc. And that's only the beginning! There is so much more to come, but at least that's done and over with.

On Sunday we will travel to Owensboro, to participate in an "Education Interview", which basically is a time to learn about all things international adoption. There will be three other families there that are adopting from Nepal, so we are truly excited about meeting them, because we will all be able to relate to one another's experiences. I'm really looking forward to this.

It's funny, I look at that little adoption ticker that's at the bottom of this blog, every day. Sometimes I just stare at it, wishing that it said 200 or 300 days already, making it closer to the day we bring home our baby girl or boy. Today it says, 6 days.

Of course, my heart for Nepal started growing about 6 and a half years ago. And when we first found out about the infertility, I immediately thought of Nepal as the country I wanted to adopt from. The four months I spent there in 2003 really had an impact on me. And last night, as we were filling out our Animal Safety form, I remembered that our cats' names are Nepali names. Himalaya and Sati. Himalaya for the mountain range, and Sati for the word "friend" (Sati actually means "virtuous wife", but the way you spell friend in Nepali is "sathi", and we knew americans would never pronounce it right if we spelled it that way). :) So anyways, we thought that was kind of cool.

I feel like I have been in a constant state of anticipation for the last two weeks. Some days it is good anticipation, and other days are not so good. That evil fear has crept up on me at times, trying to torment me with the idea that something would go wrong with our adoption, and Nepal would deny our application. I feel confident in the fact that this is the way in which we should walk. It's funny when something actually just clicks. There are so many questions we have throughout our lives. There are so many times when I have wondered if I was doing the right thing, or if it was actually God that spoke something to me. There is often that lingering voice saying, "What if you made this all up? What if it wasn't actually God speaking to you, but just your own selfish ambitions crying out?" What's unique about this situation, is I don't feel that at all. I feel confident that this is where the Lord is leading us. The other day a woman at a certain adoption agency told me that she wouldn't recommend Nepal for adoption if we've had any large medical concerns in our past. Of course there was a momentary, "What if she's right? What if it all fails?" But in the very next instant, I felt absolutely certain that this was the right course of action. I felt that God was saying, "I will go beyond every obstacle, and make the path clear. This is the way you should walk. Walk in it." Even as I repeat those words, as I speak them out loud, I feel overwhelmed at the weight and beauty of those words. As humans, we question our ambitions all the time. What is our motivation? What if this is all selfish ambition?

This past week I was reading The Strength of Mercy by Jan Beazely, an AMAZING story about how she and her husband came to adopt their little girl from Romania (I cried tears of joy throughout the entire book!). I loved how she described her dream to adopt, and God's place in that dream in her book: "The word of God tells us that the Lord wants to give us the desires of our hearts in accordance with His will (Psalm 37:4). Sometimes we fear our desires and longings. We assume that our yearnings are not spiritual enough to merit God's approval. In reality, our deepest hopes often are rooted in dreams that God Himself has planted in our hearts. Without the pull of our emotions, that compelling sense that this is the direction we should go, I doubt we would ever have the courage to move forward." I LOVE that! Those words really ministered to my heart. I felt confirmation from the Lord that my heart is not deceived! This is the way He is asking us to walk!

I realize that this journey is only beginning, but I cannot wait for the days to come. I am aware of the frustrations and complications that come with international adoption, but I can only trust in the One who called us to it. I have to believe that His ways are perfect and good, and I am confident in His plans for me. I don't know what all of them are, but I know He has the best for His children.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

We've Been Approved!

Ah yes, two posts in one day! But I simply had to write a little snippet, sharing with everyone that we have been approved by our agency! So we just made it into the last two spots for 2010! Yeah! So what does all that mean? Simply that they will be sending out all of our paperwork tomorrow for the agency agreement and piles of information to get everything started. So here it begins. How am I going to stay calm and patient for possibly over a year of waiting! :)

And yes this is a slightly old picture, which has been scanned on my horribly inept scanner. But it is meaningful to me, all the same. The pic is of me and my Nepali friend, Rekha. This is moments before I had my nose pierced with a giant stud in a store on the side of the street. Ah, the memories....

You can't always guess God's plans

Okay, seriously. I Really have no clue as to how God works sometimes, or why He does the things He does. I could pretend to have an answer, but I truly don't. Okay, straight to the point.

About two weeks ago, our church had entered into a weeklong time of 24/7 prayer. Honestly, I didn't feel much throughout any of my scheduled times there. I continued to pray, though, and I pretty much stuck to playing my guitar and singing the Psalms. One night in the middle of the week (the night of Sept. 2nd going into the 3rd), I had a dream about Gautam & Rekha. This is a couple I spent a ton of time with when I lived in Nepal. I loved them dearly, and the love was mutual. I dreamt I was in a large hall, kind of like a big school gymnasium, with the stage at the front. There were tons of people there, with long rectangular tables set up throughout the room. The tables appeared to all be set up for a meal. I was sitting down together with Gautam & Rekha, and the thing that struck me the most was that Rekha's English was much improved (when I lived there, Rekha spoke very little English). Unfortunately, we couldn't hear each other very well, because there were so many people there, and a lot of noise. So the three of us decided to leave the hall and go for a walk. We went from the hall, directly into a multilevel parking garage. I really don't remember what we talked about. I just remember how happy I was to see them again.

I don't know what all that translates into, but I believe it was a God dream. Because of it, my heart was awakened to Nepal again. I feel as if my heart for the nations has laid dormant these past 2 or 3 years. And now, I feel as if something is stirring within me. That same week, Wes felt God speaking to him about Nepal. And he also mentioned adopting from Nepal. Both of us started kind of getting excited about it. That's a FIRST!!!! Wes and I have not been on the same page, emotionally, about adoption since we started this journey. This was another indicator that we needed to pay good attention to what the Spirit is saying.

So a week later, on September 9th of 2009, we sent in our preliminary application to Kentucky Adoption Services. On September, 12th, they approved it. On September 14th, we sent in our formal application. And once that is approved, we will one of the final two or three spots left for Nepal in 2010. WOW!!!

So what's next? Well, immigration papers and home studies. We're used to collecting paperwork and home studies. Working with the State has prepared us for that. And what about the foster care/adoption route with the State, you may ask? Well, I think we will be putting that on hold as we embark on our journey to adopt from Nepal (there are many regulations on international adoptions, and having a child enter our home from the State right now might halt our international adoption process). We feel that this is the route we are supposed to take, and honestly I am SO excited! I have a little bit of fear that wells up once in awhile, and that fear concerns Wes's medical history. Since he has had a form of cancer, it puts a little black mark on our applications, but we are hoping that it won't make a difference. Where's the money coming from? No idea! :) We are able to kick start the adoption process with a very generous gift, and after that we have about $20,000 to go. Ironically, the biggest road block (rather the excuse that I used) for international adoption for me was the insanely large amount of money that goes into it. Money we don't have. But now it seems like nothing. YEs, another indicator we are moving in the right direction. Wow. We have no idea where the rest of the money is coming from, but we know that God will provide. Isn't that crazy! :)

Now Nepal is a crazy unstable country when it comes to their government, so you never know what will happen next. But I think God is just asking us to trust Him. If all goes according to plan, then we should be traveling to Nepal in a year or so to pick up our little one. Isnt' that nuts! To think that some Nepali woman is probably pregnant with a child right now that is going to be our son or daughter! HOly crap! That's amazing!

So for the select few that actually read this blog (thank you faithful ones!), be praying for us. Pray for our hearts. Pray for patience. Pray for finances to come in. Pray for this child that's about to come into the world! Pray for the child's birth mother and father. Just pray!

Thank you all. I will definitely be writing more in the future as we go through this process. Frustrations, joys, and all.