Do you want the good news or bad news first?
Ok, I'll give you the good news... our dossier was sent in the mail to our agency! Hallelujah! Feels so good to get that off of our plate. Now it will be reviewed by the agency and once everything is A-ok it will be sent on to the Philippines. So we now start a new waiting season. We are not sure if it will be a couple months or a few months until we hear back from the Philippines - please pray for "a couple"!!!! Either way, we are one step closer to bringing our Little C home! :)
Alright, now the bad news, or frustrating news at least... we are completely lost on what to do about our Ethiopia standing. Let me back up a little first -
In the last few weeks we have been given word that there is a good chance Ethiopia could close international adoptions (meaning we would loose a future adoption, as well as all fees we have paid for already). We thought for sure they would close within a week or two, and then got word that it is all good and open - at least for now. We have also been informed that the waiting period for adopting Ethiopian children has gone from about 1-2 years waiting time, to 3-4 years waiting time. Ouch. Those are not fun numbers to hear. However, older child adoptions and sibling adoptions do seem to be moving a little faster, which is what we were open to adopting. Due to these events, our agency has given us the chance to transfer our funds to a different program in their agency. This is not something they regularly do. Sounds like a great plan right? Not so much. Because fees are often used right away for different things (such as translation costs), they will only be transferring a little less than half of what we have already paid. Ouch again.
We have until the end of March to make the final decision, well, in theory we do; but of course, our situation has to play out differently. Because we are ready to pay our final fee to the agency for our Philippine's dossier, we need to know within this week whether or not we want to transfer the fees to our Philippine's adoption. Nothing like adding a little pressure to the situation.
This has all been weighing heavily on our shoulders, and the answer that we can come to is... well... there is no good answer. There are so many variables and what-ifs involved that it is hard to make a clean-cut decision, one that we are 100% happy with. Tonight we even sat down and made a t-chart with the titles "Yes Ethiopia" and "No Ethiopia". How sad that this chart is even being made.
The good news about this process is this... we still plan to adopt again after Little C arrives. But we are wondering if our plans are changing. More and more the thoughts of Domestic adoption have crept into our minds, as well as looking back into Foster-to-adopt since Caleb is starting to get older and Little C also won't be very young. We are also wondering if it would make more sense, if we still want to adopt internationally, to adopt a second child again from the Philippines, versus a different country.
So many questions with very little answers. Frustrating, to say the least.
Here's the ultimate struggle I have right now - I keep believing I should just "Let Go and Let God". Great - in theory - but how does one do this when there are no clear signs? I doubt God is going to send a lighting bolt that writes on a tablet of stone spelling out exactly what to do, nor will He speak to me from the heavens above. So how do we know the answer? How do we let go and trust in Him to lead us to the right path? In regards to this looming decision - nothing seems "right" at this moment.
Do you have any thoughts? Seriously, at this point I'm welcome to hearing all positives and negatives to staying with the Ethiopia program or moving on. We're at a complete loss as to what to do, and maybe someone's words of wisdom will help us get on the right track...
In the meantime, I've got this guy keeping me smiling and reminding me why we are in this process in the first place. I know many of you have already seen this video, but thought I'd share in case you have not. Good reminder of letting go and trusting yourself. (ps ~ the last 1/3 of the video is my favorite and was recorded by Caleb while I was off doing something else!)
I'll be waiting (most likely impatiently!) to hear your thoughts! Prayers are welcome too!
We thank you for being such great supporters of our family and future little ones!!!