Sunday, June 4, 2006

The Family Picture, But Someone's Missing...

Wait... isn’t there supposed to be three kids in that picture? Someone is missing. My Ethiopian daughter. I know her name, but not her face. Who is this little brown-skinned baby of my dreams? I pray for her, I long for her, I ache for her... I wait for her.
It has been over a year now since we realized we had someone missing in our family. May 2005. At the time we thought we’d start the paperwork in a couple of years. Then God let us know He had different plans for our lives. We started the paperwork in July 2005. We were told we could have our baby home by Christmas. We were so excited. We bought new nursery furniture since of course our only daughter deserved to have her own set of furniture instead of hand-me-downs from her brothers. We bought nursery bedding.... told all our friends and family the great news....
Then began the delays. Delays with our homestudy. It was completed in October instead of August, like we had hoped. Delays with Immigration approval. They denied my first set of fingerprints (no explanation given). The 4-6 weeks turned into 3 and 1/2 months. Finally in January we had our Immigration approval and our dossier complete. Now the waiting begins. (1/24/06) Except by now, we are caught in the Angelina Jolie traffic jam. What is that, you ask? That is the large number of families that are now adopting from Ethiopia after Angelina brought her baby home. We were hoping to avoid the traffic, but our delays put us right in the middle of it. When I’m not feeling selfish, I can admit that all the new families adopting from Ethiopia is a good thing. More kids/babies getting adopted. But I’m feeling selfish now. I just want my daughter.
Due to the sheer numbers of families adopting from Ethiopia, the wait to be matched with a baby has now increased from a matter of days, to 5+ months. I was doing really well the first 3 months. Now the wait has become unbearable. The pessimistic side to me says it will never happen. We are in month 4.
The twist: Ethiopia courts close during the summer for 6 weeks, every year (for vacation). If we don’t get matched with a baby before the end of June, then when we do get matched (sometime in July), the courts will be closed. That means we will have to wait until the courts re-open before finalizing our adoption in Ethiopia and we won’t be able to bring our daughter home until late September or early October. If we DO get matched before the end of June, we will likely get a court date before the courts close and therefore will be able to pick up our daughter only 6-8 weeks after we are matched. (August)
Prayer: My prayer is that God will arrange for us to be matched in time to get a court date before the courts close. I can accept all delays up until now as part of God’s plan to make sure we are in the right place in line when our baby is ready to be matched. But once we are matched, I don’t see any good reason why our baby should have to sit in an orphanage for 6 weeks, while the Ethiopian court employees have their vacation. So my prayer is that we will get a court date before the courts close... but if we don’t.... my prayer is that God will give us the patience we will so desperately need to hold on to that picture of our dear baby girl, and be strong until the courts reopen. Then we will be given permission to get her and bring her home.