...and guess where our dossier is headed.
Eeeeeeeeek!!!! This is such a huge step in our adoption process! We're officially on the waiting list for our referral.
Wow, that didn't seem real until I just typed it. We've talked about reaching this point for so long now, and it's hard to believe that we're actually here. I would love to say that the time has really flown by, but.....
...well, it hasn't.
Now don't get me wrong--it's been worth every. single. step. But it's been anything but easy. We've completed about 16 hours of training each (with more to come) and 10 hours of life-probing interviews with the social worker for our home study, and we've collected and/or filled out more forms than I could possibly count from places like our adoption agency, our home study agency, the police department, the sheriff's department, our bank, the states of Alabama, West Virginia, and Missouri (that's a gem of a story I'll share with you another time), our doctor, the kids' pediatrician, Josh's workplace, the Alabama Department of Human Resources, the IRS, the Alabama Secretary of State's office, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the passport office, the US Department of State, and the Ethiopian Embassy.
And in many cases, the forms had to be picked up or delivered by hand. And they all had to be notarized (a huge thanks to Libby!).
And as if that didn't keep us busy enough, Josh tossed in a severe leg injury that required two surgeries and four months of crutches and/or rehab right at the onset of our adoption.
Yes, it's been time-consuming. And yes, it's certainly been trying at times. But, we felt so strongly in our hearts that this is what God was leading us to do, and we've seen immense blessing come out of our decision to follow Him. I can't begin to tell you the peace and joy that our family has experienced throughout these past seven months. We've faced some really rough challenges, but God has sustained us through every one of them. We are living examples of Philippians 4:7: "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus".
As I was getting ready to post this entry, I thought of a passage that I wanted to share with you. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says "But [the Lord] said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." What a beautiful promise!!
Given the choice, I'll take tired, tight on money, and ridiculed at times for the decisions we're making every single day over a cushy life that offers me all the acceptance and "stuff" of this world. Because one day when my life is over, does it really matter if I pleased anyone here on earth? Is it of any significance if the lady at Wal-Mart, the people in the restaurant, or the moms at the park thought I was the greatest thing since sliced bread?
And praise God, I'm finally learning not to care if they don't.
Well, I really only intended to post that Ethiopia picture and sign off. I guess I had a little more on my heart than I thought I did! And to those of you who let us know you were thinking about or praying for Jack, by dinnertime last night, you wouldn't have had any idea he had ever been sick!!! He even wanted to go for a haircut today (and this one went much more smoothly than the last one). :-)