Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Unexpected Delays and God's Timing

It is so difficult to be patient during this adoption process. There truly is nothing easy or fast or efficient about it. It is much less of a process to get pregnant and have your own baby (in most instances, anyway)--that's for sure. I was warned early on in our journey that adoption was not for the faint of heart. Well it is proving to be very true---

We learned last week (April 15th) that our homestudy had finally arrived to Journeys of the Heart for their review (takes approx. 4 weeks to review). We were ecstatic!! Finally, we were on our way to getting on that wait-list (after beginning the homestudy process October 2, 2007). We had been told we could be placed on the wait list once the agency found our homestudy acceptable. But, as we were celebrating our big step forward in the process, we received another email from our social worker that until Journeys of the Heart reviewed it, she couldn't send it off to DHR for their review (2-4 weeks) and then on to CIS (Immigration) for the final approval (2-3 months). And, until the homestudy had passed through all of those hoops, she (our social worker) could not sign off and send a notarized copy of the homestudy to our agency (they require a notarized one in order to put you on the wait list). So, after waiting 6 months to get the homestudy written in rough draft form, we could be waiting another 5 months before it is signed off on and notarized. We are looking at a homestudy process that could take 1 whole year before we can even get on the wait list for a referral. Currently, the referral process is taking between 8-12 months for a girl (after you go on the wait list). Once you receive your referral, it is another 5 months (or so) before you can travel to bring home your child. Who knows what the wait will be in another 5 months--as this program is growing by the day.

As frustrated and helpless as we feel in this process, the good news is that it gives us "time". . . time to raise our funds for this adoption ($30,000 is ballpark figure for a Taiwan foster care adoption), time to tour the adoption concert to more churches and hopefully affect more lives, more families and more children, and time to record my album and hopefully begin a successful career as a recording artist. I can't see all of the steps on this journey yet (probably won't until we are well past it), but I do feel God's hand in it. I don't know exactly what He's doing, but I feel Him working. And, it is interesting to see what each "next step" is--usually totally unexpected. It sure has been up until now. This is certainly becoming a "faith walk journey" more and more every day.

Here's a nutshell version:

It started when we began running into walls in our personal lives and professional lives a few years back. We weren't having success in anything we were trying to accomplish --including having another child. Then, unexpectedly, after much prayer and scripture study and broken-heartedness--God calls us to China to adopt a child. It is confirmed over and over again, so we faithfully begin the process--not knowing how, exactly--just knowing it is what we are supposed to do. Then God lays the concert on my heart as an answer to how we could raise funds and at the same time do something with a further-reaching impact. Then, the timeline for a China adoption grows to an excrutiating 3+ years and we "just happen" to sit next to the Michelle and Byron at an adoption seminar. Through them we learn about the Taiwan program. After several other delays and gliches with the China program (making it too much of a long-term process) we feel led to switch to Taiwan and to Journeys of the Heart (great program, much quicker timeframe, and right off the coast of China). Then the delays continue as the wait times grow a bit and we sit waiting for our homestudy to be written and submitted for review. During this time, I am recording the track for a song in my concert and the owner of the studio (who has been in the recording industry for almost 40 years) hears me sing and informs me that he would be interested in producing an album with me if I was interested in pursuing a music/recording career---a lifelong dream of mine that (until now) had only been a dream. I didn't have anyone who could help me make it a reality--all of a sudden, now I do. AND, once this album gets recorded and begins selling --it could be an answer to our fund-raising for this adoption!!

Could it be that through our faithfulness in answering God's call that He is giving us our heart's desire to have another child AND answering my life dream of a music career? Could it be that God has bigger plans for this adoption concert and is delaying our adoption in order to bring His plans to fulfillment? Who knows?? Only time will tell--but it sure is interesting to watch as it all unfolds. . . as long as I keep my Alka-Selzter nearby. . .

Hopefully, soon we will receive news that Journeys of the Heart has reviewed and passed our homestudy. I'll update as soon as I learn more!