For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, let me clarify...
My brother and sister (in law) started the adoption process the same time as us. Also adopting a healthy infant girl from Ethiopia. We found out that we submitted our applications the same week and decided to tell our parents together (funny enough, our boys are 3 weeks apart in age and we announced our pregnancies the same weekend, unaware of each other's). We are both so excited to be on this journey together, especially knowing that our girl's will have each other to lean on down the road. Because, undeniably, adoption isn't always easy.
We did sign with different agencies however. We both felt called in different directions, but both know that it was God's perfect plan for our family. They signed with Holt, one of the most well-known, most established agencies around. They had known families from their church adopt through that agency and had great experiences. Though Holt has been around for nearly five decades, their Ethiopia program is relatively new - meaning there are less families in their program right now than the average agency, making their wait list very short.
We signed with All God's Children International. Although we didn't know any families that personally adopted through them, we were drawn to their orphan mission and high values. After joining their listserv online and "meeting" some families in the Ethiopia program (many adopting for the 2nd or 3rd time), we just knew it was right for us. AGCI has not been around as long as Holt, but their Ethiopia program has been around longer than Holt's. AGCI has a very well-established list (we got placed on the girl's list at #48) making our wait much more significant than my brother's family.
So although we started our journey at the same time, theirs is already coming to a close. They leave on Wednesday (tomorrow!) to go pick up Maleah.
This past weekend, I hosted a baby shower for her (with the help of my other two sister in laws - pictures to come). It was an absolute pleasure to shower Laura with gifts and food, and to celebrate Maleah's life. I couldn't be happier for her! But I had a few friends and family members concerned about me, knowing how long we have yet to wait to see our baby girl.
But I want you all to truly know, I am really okay. I have loved being on this journey with someone. To share our stories and compare our experiences and to have someone who truly understands my fears, and my worries, and my stress. Yet our homecomings are going to spaced far enough apart that we can celebrate separately as well. I am completely at peace with God's timing right now (ask me in a few months and it may be a different story though). When we started this journey our goal was to have her home by the end of 2010. We wanted our kids about two years apart or a little more. Although we may not have her home by the end of the year (we'll cross that emotional bridge when we get there) the age difference between our kids is right where we planned. And God knows financially what we can handle right now. We are still working to get out of debt. We are still working on fundraising for this adoption. And we are still working on adding a third bedroom to our house. If Baby Girl was coming home next week, I would be in panic mode. God knows what timing will be perfect for our family, so we are going to trust him with that.
I am SO excited to be an auntie again. I am SO excited to see Maleah home! And I SO appreciate everyone coming and talking to me about my concerns rather than just ignoring it. But I also want you to know how okay I really am! =) I love you all!
"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." Habakkuk 2:3