I've taken a long hiatus from this blog, and while part of the reason is that the kids have been keeping me pretty busy, it's mostly that there really isn't much to say! Ethiopian adoption has been moving very slowly lately. The USCIS introducing PAIR (see previous post) along with the general trend of international adoption slowing down has meant few referrals. We're sitting pretty around 180 on our agency's unofficial wait-list (as in one HUNDRED eighty!). In January we "celebrated" being 6 months DTE, and in the past 6 months I believe we have moved 3 spots on the list.
When Michael and I originally discussed adoption and felt the calling from God, it was very, very clear that our path was to pursue international adoption (and Ethiopia specifically). I can't explain it, exactly, but it was just so clear and things lined up one after another and it became undeniable. It was also very clear (at that point) that foster care or domestic adoption was *not* the plan. We have talked on and off since we were dating about maybe someday in the distant future, after our kids are grown, doing foster care, but it wasn't really something we had considered for now. It wasn't that we didn't see the need, just at that time we didn't feel like it was our calling (and I hold to that ~ we are in the Ethiopia program for a reason, and if we had pursued foster care from the get-go we wouldn't be in Ethiopia).
When we started to understand the timeline for Ethiopia, I spent a couple of months angry and disenchanted about the whole process. It was hard to understand why God would call us to something like orphan care and then be like, haha j/k I want you to do nothing for the next 5 years. So we started to explore what we wanted to do. We prayed and talked and prayed and talked, and it sortof came down to 2 choices ~ update our home study to adopt a MUCH older child (like teenager) or a child with profound special needs, or pursue foster care. Through our church adoption support group we've heard from lots of foster families (and foster children) and both of our hearts were softened toward the need in our own city. We both feel like it's something tangible we can do right now to fulfill what we believe is what God is calling us to do.
So, in mid-March, Michael and I will start the required training to get our foster care license. It will take a few months, and at this point I know better than to try to put a timeline on *anything* related to this adoption journey, so I'll just say we hope to be licensed sometime between the last snow of this winter and the first snow of the next ;)
What does this mean for our adoption process? Well, nothing! We are able to concurrently pursue foster care and stay on the wait-list for our agency. I am so thankful that our agency allows this (not all do ~ another reason I am so thankful we are with America World :)).
Like with adoption, we are not so naive as to believe foster care will be an easy and fun journey, but we are confident that this is the direction in which God is leading, and we are continuing to lean on Him.
As is becoming a trend, here is a song that has been the theme of my thoughts these past couple months. Listen to it, it's great. Also, the song is from the movie "Fireproof" which you should see if you have not ;)