Greetings all! November is “National Adoption Month”. Throughout this process, the month of November has carried much significance for us. On November 13, 2018 we submitted our pre-adoption application to Lifeline Children’s Services to begin our journey of adoption. We endured months of paperwork, home study visits, medical and psychological visits, and too many finger print appointments to even count. An unexpected job loss in May of 2019 slowed us down, but God graciously allowed us to get back on track and eventually be dossier approved on October 9, 2019. Thinking the job loss would be the worst that could happen in terms of our process, the COVID-19 pandemic said “hold my beer” and created significant and soul crushing delays that extended our process far longer than we ever thought could be possible. For the better part of a year from October of 2019 to August of 2021 we did not hear much of anything. During the time period from August 2020 until June of 2021, we did review the files of several children. Heartbreakingly, our family was not the right fit for those children. Each file we had hope; each time we were crushed when we had to say “no”. “Emotional roller coaster” does not begin to describe this experience for us.
In November of 2020, we called upon our family and friends to join us in a season of intentional prayer. It was during that month that God begin to work in our hearts about shifting our age range to an older child. At the time we did not understand why this shift was happening, but in hindsight it was providential.
During our waiting, there were many tough days. We doubted that we would see a resolution. We rejoiced with others that started their adoption processes after us and were matched before us, while withering internally because we just didn’t know when good would happen for us. Though we tried to avoid doing so, at times we despaired.
But God…Our Good Father, the Master Storyteller, was at work. We couldn’t see what He was doing, but He being rich in mercy was preparing our gift for us!
597 days after starting this process, on July 2, 2021, we got a call that would change our lives! We were in Knoxville, TN visiting Laura’s mother. While Laura and her mom were at lunch, I received a call from Lifeline asking if we would be interested in reviewing the file of an 8 year old little girl. As our social worker was talking, in my heart I said “this is it!” I said “yes” to the review. We had the month of July to look over the file; we used every day of that month plus a couple more to conduct our review. We consulted with the International Adoption Clinic and other medical professionals. There was some intense spiritual warfare that took place throughout that month (we have a funny story about gnats for those interested), but at different times and in different ways God spoke to our hearts and granted us overwhelming peace (Cue Maverick City Music…we will share more about this in a future post).
Then, on August 4, 2021, once all questions we had were answered, we submitted our Letter of Intent (LOI) for our daughter! All the waiting, all the frustration, and all the tears finally made sense…we had found her! Submitting the LOI was certainly a joyous experience, but it was quickly followed by more (you guessed it) waiting. In our previous post this past June, we outlined our process of updates. All those updates had to be completed before we could officially be reviewed for the match. We got all the paperwork done and sent off to Colombia last week and were up for review on last Wednesday, October 27, 2021. Well in typical fashion for this adoption, nothing really comes easy and our initial review was no different. We were indeed reviewed for a match for our daughter and our paperwork was approved. Great news right? Well, the issue on that day was that our daughter’s paperwork had expired and updates to her file were needed before our match could be approved. We were heartbroken and frustrated last week, but God was faithful and provided answers far quicker than we anticipated!
So, with all that said, we are thrilled to announce that today…on November 3, 2021 we got THE CALL that we have been waiting for. We are happy to report that we have received verbal confirmation that…WE ARE MATCHED!!!!!!!
What’s Next For Us?
Needless to say, it’s been a challenge not being able to share our news with you all due to the lags in the process. Even though we had submitted an LOI, we were not able to go public because all the necessary approvals had to be met. To answer the question “what’s next”, the short answer is more paperwork…lol. The longer answer is that we have to apply with US Immigration again on behalf of our daughter. That application process can take up to two months. Once approved, we will wait to receive an “Encuentro Day” (Meeting Day) appointment and permission from the United States and the country of Colombia to travel. If everything falls into place we could travel as soon as mid to late January!
How You Can Be Praying For Us?
- Please pray for the paperwork process to move quickly in the next couple of months. We would love to get to our daughter as soon as possible and do not want to be significantly delayed due to bureaucracy.
- Please pray for stamina and means as we prepare to bring our daughter home. There are many things we have to do to prepare for her. It will take lots of time and money to get our home ready for a third child. This is definitely exciting, but it does create some mild stress for us.
- Please pray for our boys as we continue to prepare their hearts for what it means to have another sibling. They are definitely excited to know who sister is, but we need Gods help for them to have patience and resilience as our family grows.
- Please pray for us as parents. There is never really a “ready” stage when it comes to adding another child to the family through birth or through adoption. Please pray that God grants us the grace now to parent our boys well, but also to parent all three of our children well when the time comes.
- Finally, and most excitedly, PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR DAUGHTER! Her’s is a story of brokenness, but we are thankful that God rewrites stories! Please pray that her heart is ready to receive us as her new family. Pray for her spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being. Pray that her heart be knitted with ours and that she transitions to our family well when the time comes!
We are elated to be sharing this news with you all and thankful for your continued support of us over these last almost three years. This part of the journey is not quite over yet, and the hard part will start once we meet her. Please know, however, that we appreciate every prayer, every kind word of encouragement, and every dollar that you have offered up in support of us. WE LOVE YOU ALL!
We will do our best to keep you all updated as these next steps unfold. We will also give you all some details on what it will be like for us to bring our daughter into are family. Finally, once we get closer to travel we will provide some information on how you can keep up with what is happening with us once we are in Colombia.
THANK YOU for walking with us on this crazy journey and as always…WE’LL KEEP YOU UPDATED!