Tuesday, February 28, 2012
How God Works- Part 2
This post is the second phase of the "How God Works" series, so if you have not read the original post, click here first.
So, we return from China as a family of four and the transitions begin.
When you begin the adoption process, as part of your homestudy, you are required to complete many hours of what I called,
training. It is very important that you are properly prepared for all the things that your new child might need and the challenges that they will likely face as they adjust to such a completely different environment.
As a result, we were ultra aware of all the possibilities and expecting the other shoe to drop any day.
Well, 6 months later, still
Seriously, this boy has been amazingly well suited to this family. He is so sweet and helpful. He loves to lend a hand in his family and is incredibly protective of his brothers. Of course, we have seen growth in him, both physically and emotionally, but he has truly been the "easy" child and not at all what we were prepared to face.
(I think this was also part of God's plan since HE knew that we would be doing this again- S.O.O.N.)
As you can see, Tommy took to him immediately and has adored him ever since!
Over the course of our first few weeks home, I kept up to date on the other families that were traveling and specifically checking in on the older children that had not yet found their families- like the one I mentioned yesterday.
I asked around and learned that he still did not have a family. At this point, I began to actively advocate for him with the help of my dear friends, Kim J. and Annie! They, along with countless others around the country who were smitten with this pretty boy, began to beat the bushes in search of his Family!
I emailed the agency that was holding his file and they were, understandably, very particular about the families with whom they would share his file. When I asked to see his file so that I could better advocate for him, I was denied. Several weeks went by and he was entering my thoughts almost daily. I told my friends countless times that this boy HAD to find his family.
Here I was, a brand new adoptive mother, feeling such a pull to advocate for another needy child. Now back then I did not consider myself a child advocate. Not at all. I knew many of them and they were/are amazing human beings with a heart of gold and a deep sensitivity to "the least of these". That wasn't me.
So when others began to refer to me as an advocate, I was uncomfortable with that term.
After all, child advocates are selfless people. (I'm not).
Advocates work around the clock for these orphans and families all around the world (That wasn't me).
And yet, here I was losing sleep over this child (and others) who were about to run out of time. Children JUST LIKE MY COLIN who might never get to know what it's like to have a family who will always love them.
Do you see what God is doing here?
So, as the story continues, being the patient, (NOT!) long-suffering (HA!) and gentle (I mean PUSHY!) soul that God made me....LOL, I persisted in reaching out to his agency for help.
As the calendar flew by, it became very clear that the only family who could now adopt this child was one who was already through the homestudy process and already had their dossier logged in. There was no longer time for a brand new adoptive family to come forward.
This realization made things even more difficult for those men and women who were searching for his family. The pool of prospective parents just grew significantly smaller.
It never occurred to me at the time that God was closing doors so that the right family would be able to see the door opened for them more clearly.
Now, as we fast forward a bit and acknowledge that WE WERE THAT FAMILY, I would say that it was not reluctance that kept us from jumping ahead for him. You see, most agencies, if not all, have a rule that families need to wait a year or more before bringing home a second adoptive child.
They have these policies for a reason. In MOST cases, adopted children need this time to secure their place in the family and to work through any adjustment issues that they might be facing. This does not happen in a matter of weeks. No, it takes time. In some cases, it can take years.
So, when I finally reached out to the agency and requested that they consider us for his family, they of course said "No".
Ok. I get it. We just got home.
But, his time was. running. out.
I knew that I was in love with him. There was no doubt.
But, was he our son?
We prayed that the Lord would bring his family forward and that He would provide clear direction about our role here.
Another week went by and still no family for him. We emailed the agency again. Since there was no family waiting for him, they agreed to send me his file so that I could more aggressively advocate for his family. As I reviewed his detailed medical records and other reports, I saw nothing that would scare me away from this boy. I sent his file to a friend with experience in reviewing these documents. A much trusted advocate who had reviewed many, many files in the past. Within minutes of sending her his information (which had his specific location in it), she called me barely able to speak.
You see, what she noticed, that I had not, was his Location. This child, this boy who God has laid on my heart several months before, knowing nothing at all about him-- this boy was in Wuhan!
So what? What was so special about Wuhan? Well, in God's divine providence, this child was in the same city as my advocate friend's daughter. With Billions of children in China, the odds of this boy being in the same exact place as her child were unthinkable.
I knew then that God was orchestrating something amazing here!
We had prayed for confirmation about our role and we were starting to see clearly that God brought that photo across my screen those months before for a specific reason.
Stay tuned to tomorrow's post for the continuation of "How God works".