One of our favorite shows on television is The Voice (SO much better than American Idol). On the most recent season the winner, Todd Tilghman, performed an original song entitled “Long Way Home”.
The lyrics from the song that really hit home for us can be seen below:
“Sometimes dreams get lost. Sometimes love takes time.
But the greatest things are worth standing in line.
And it’s never a race, long as you get where you’re going.
Sometimes the heart takes the long way home.”
We encourage you to take time to listen to the whole song because it is absolutely beautiful. It so crystalizes what we have been feeling during this season of waiting. So in that vein, we wanted to give you an update on where we stand in the process.
Where are we now?
We are exactly where we were pre-COVID. As we have highlighted before, our dossier was approved back in October of 2019. Since then we have been waiting for a match. By way of reminder, the matching process can take anywhere from 1 to 18 months post-dossier approval. To remind you how matching works, we at some point will receive a referral, and have anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks to review the referral. If we accept the referral, that will solidify the match; if we pass on the referral, we will have to wait for another referral to review. At this time we have yet to receive a referral. This is discouraging, but we were encouraged by our social worker recently that the goal for the Latin America team is for us as a family to receive a referral that we would want to accept.
That said, due to our period of waiting, some of our paperwork, specifically from our home study has expired. The last couple of weeks we have been working on updating that paperwork. During this time period we have both had to get physical examinations from our primary care physician. We’ve had to get fingerprinted by the GBI and FBI once again. We’ve also had to get new employment verification letters. Our case worker from Lifeline also made a visit to our home to ask us a series of questions and to conduct another home tour. Needless to say, we’ve been a bit busy.
How has COVID impacted our process?
The short answer to the question is not a significant amount. The country of Colombia is still under a pretty strenuous lockdown. At this time, no one can travel to complete their adoption. We know of several families that are in this position. For us specifically, due to where we are in the process in waiting for a match, the travel restrictions really do not impact us. In fact, the paperwork portion of the process has actually increased in speed for a lot of families because ICBF (the central authority that manages adoption and foster care for Colombia) and the in-country support teams for the various adoption agencies have had more time to focus on paperwork. We have seen several families get their dossiers approved very quickly during this season.
Our social worker did communicate to us that, in general, our group home that we are adopting from is currently not seeing as many files on adoptable children. The primary reason for this is because the courts and judges are not really meeting right now. It is necessary for children to be declared adoptable by a judge in order for their file to be passed on to our group home for advocacy. With less files coming in, that means there are less opportunities for us to be matched.
That said, our social worker offered us the encouragement that our group home loves us and brings us up often as they think through the children that they are hoping to match. We are praying that soon these conversations will materialize into a referral.
How can you be praying for us?
- Please pray that we be diligent to wrap up the last few bits of paperwork that remain for us to finalize all our our home study updates. These updates are time sensitive and ultimately impact our current U.S. Immigration approval. If we do not complete our updates on time it will set us back pretty significantly.
- One of the blessings of waiting is that it has caused us to rethink some of our parameters for our adopted child. In that light, and because our boys are getting older, we have decided to expand our age range from 0-5 to 0-6. This means that we could be matched with a child that is 6 years, 11 months old. It is our hope that this widens the net a bit and provides our agency with more options for advocacy. Please pray that God be at work in this decision.
- Please pray for patience for us and our boys as we wait and for us to be at peace with God’s perfect timing.
- As always, please pray for our daughter. We long to know her by name soon. We covet your prayers as we wait for this dream to become our reality.
Todd Tilghman is so right in singing that the greatest gifts are worth standing in line. Our daughter is so worth it and we cannot wait to know her soon. Right now, she is taking the long way home.
Thank you for sticking with us on this journey. Your prayers, and support both emotionally and monetarily are very much appreciated. We are anxious for the day when we can provide more significant news, but for now and as always, we will keep you updated!