Me in my hubby's office at SBC taking notes during our agency's conference call -- yes, I'm also online, so I can simultansously chat via our Yahoo Message Group with the conference call families & also look at pics on everyone's blogs so I know who's talking. Crazy...I know!
Yesterday was a long day. Not only was it my one day-off for the week, but it was also full of emotional events.
We started the day off remembering Andy Brown & celebrating his life during his funeral services -- a 28-year-old Christ-follower who was a member of our ministry at SBC -- he lost his battle with cancer Sunday morning at 9am. He is greatly missed...but...he is with Jesus.
Then after lunch we participated in a conference call with our agency (all families waiting for referrals were on the call). The main topic of interest for most families was our agency's recent fee increase. Ethiopian adoption is becoming increasingly expensive due to the nature of humanitarian work involved with each adoption. Ethiopia's program is the only adoption where the agency takes custody of a child once the child has been referred to a family. That means that the agency is responsible for the housing, food/diapers, medical and staff expenses for the two-three month period before a family can travel to pick-up their child. Most of the children come to the transition home malnourished and sick -- combine this with the famine and inflation in Ethiopia -- the process quickly becomes very costly.
The second topic was related to families who are expecting referrals in October (us!!). This is a long story I will try to shorten: during the court closures (Aug-Sept) families could not finalize adoptions, and therefore could not go get their children. So, because children were not leaving the orphanages/transition homes during those two months, all institutions have reached their capacity -- meaning that new children have not been permitted to move into these institutions due to over-crowding. This problem will correct itself by the end of Oct, as families begin to bring their children home. But here's the issue: it takes about one month to process a child's paper work...so if these new children's paper work cannot begin until the end of Oct, they will not be ready to be referred until mid to late-Nov.
So, a November referral could be a reality for us. But, then maybe not...it's hard to tell. Our agency tends to give us worse-case-scenario, to spare us from utter disappointment. Could we still receive a referral this month? It is possible.
Yesterday, we were emotionally exasperated -- but, today we are once gain hopeful. We have no desire to micromanage or manipulate this process. God knows the specific child He chose for our family, He knew this even before He set the earth in motion. Although the waiting can be unbearable, we steadfastly cling to His will for our family. We are not just waiting for any child, but our child...if that makes sense??
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
We know there is a much larger purpose at hand, even above God uniting us with our children:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? ... Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? ... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
...we ARE more than conquerors....