Bryan and I have known for years that our family would be built through the miracle of adoption. We have been blessed to see our family grow twice through both international adoption and domestic adoption. When it comes to the size of our family, we have never had an ideal number in mind. We just knew that our family was not complete yet, and had originally said we would begin a third adoption sometime in early 2013.
Our move to College Station proved to be a bigger challenge than we thought. There were many adjustments and transitions as we lived in a rental, moved into our new house, Bryan started a new job and the boys started attending a new school. Those changes proved to be especially difficult for Caleb and we truly struggled with him for the better part of the summer and fall. We attended an adoptive parent conference "Empowered to Connect" by Dr. Karyn Purvis at TCU and changed some of the ways we were parenting, especially with Caleb. We both agreed that early 2013 would be too soon to think of adding to our family again.
In late November I began to feel really convicted about our decision regarding any future adoptions. I felt like our reasons- while they were good - had led us to a decision we had not prayed about. We just made our minds up and left God out of the equation. I felt very burdened and almost like there was an internal push telling me that it was time and we needed to begin. Since my mind could not understand how my heart felt, I knew it was the Lord working on my heart and telling me we needed to trust Him with this part of our lives. After praying about it I shared with Bryan how I was feeling. At that point he did not feel ready. While that was hard to hear, I respected his opinion and began to pray that God would change one of our hearts.
When it comes to adoption, I tend to be the gas and Bryan tends to be the brake! I am quick to jump in and begin and say yes to something, while Bryan prefers to think things through at a slower pace. I am thankful that God gave me a partner who balances me out in that way! After several weeks of thinking and praying (and me keeping my mouth shut!) Bryan told me he was ready for us to start adoption #3.
We have been told that the average time from start to finish right now is "12-18 months". I say that with quotation marks because there is really no way for an agency to predict exactly how long it will take. We are prepared for a long wait, but our timing could be affected by our openness to different medical needs and how the process moves forward in China. While China has been a relatively stable adoption program for many years, we of course understand that there are no guarantees, especially after watching many dear friends suffer from a 4+ year hiatus for Kyrgyzstan adoption (where Caleb was born).
We covet your prayers for the following as we prepare to grow our family again:
-for our decisions regarding which medical needs to be open to
-for our decisions regarding which agency to work with in China, as it can have a huge impact on how smoothly (and quickly) our adoption goes
-for us as parents, that God would prepare our hearts to love and parent another little one
-for our little boys, that God would use this adoption experience to help them better understand their own adoptions
-for our daughter - that she is safe and as healthy as possible, and most importantly that there is someone in her life right now who loves her. I feel confident that she is already born and waiting for us.
We are excited to begin this journey and document it here for our daughter to read some day. It is our prayer that God would be glorified in our adoption journey and that His story of adopting us into His family would be made more clear!