A few days ago I posted on Facebook that we had been presented with two groups of siblings that needed to be adopted. Let me back up just a second, for those who don't know the whole story.
I've personally felt a call to adopt since I was in 6th grade. Joel has always been completely open to it too...around orphans all his life as his parents helped to oversee an orphanage when he was growing up and he would play with the boys in the home. We felt the time was right to start the adoption process here back in the fall of 2009...Cass was about 18 months old. It's been a somewhat longer wait than we thought it might be...Cass is now almost 4. But, we were never really anxious about it...just curious about what God would do.
There was one little guy that was presented to the whole class of people in our adoption classes that were required by the state here (Fall 2010). Then there was a sibling group in another part of the country that we were called about (Fall 2011). But, both of those cases included some pretty hefty health issues that we are just not able to take in at this point.
So, we waited. Then on the 17th of this month, our 11th wedding anniversary, we received a call as Joel and I were out to a little lunch celebrating our anniversary. It was from Sao Paulo state...3 siblings needed a home.
They were *not* what we had put on our profile of children that we'd accept, but still we'd been called. There's not a whole lot we had said that we wouldn't accept...we'll take any race, we'll take any gender, we prefer totally healthy but will take someone who has health issues that we feel like we can handle, but we were pretty straightforward about the age.
When we first filled out the paperwork, when Cass was about 18 months, our children ranged in age from 18 months - 5 years old. We said that we'd take children age 3 and under. Just recently we changed that to 5 and under. But this sibling group does not fit this. Of course, there are the normal 'risks' that you get with older children...which is why almost everyone who adopts wants the younger children. But, we also have things to consider like the fact that we speak English in the home, homeschool, etc. When they are older, it is much more difficult to transition into a 'foreign' lifestyle. The theory with younger children is that they can just 'fall right in.' Doesn't always happen, but mostly it does.
The 17th was less than 2 weeks ago. I am not kidding you when I tell you it seems like it was 2 *years* ago. Soooo much prayer, soooo much discussion. Joel and I have talked about it non-stop basically. We've talked to the kids about it over and over again. We've talked to God about it for forever it seems. And...as I mentioned, we were also asked to consider another sibling group.
Long, long, less-than-2-week-but-still-long, has-so-many-dips-and-turns, story short...we feel sure that we are supposed to take the next step.
This has not been nearly as straightforward as we had hoped it would be. Of course we knew that was a possibility. But, there are so many factors that we hadn't anticipated.
We're not on the national list. We have an orphanage practically in our back yard. We have several friends who have adopted from that very orphanage. We hadn't anticipated that we would possibly adopt from another part of the country.
We put the ages of what we'd take in. We were called for children who are different ages.
We have a trip planned to the United States for brothers' weddings and support-raising and visiting family, friends, and supporters, and many other special things. We are supposed to leave the end of June, providing we can get tickets.
We don't have a vehicle that fits 3 more children.
We don't have a house that fits 3 more children. :) See the theme here? Technically we have shelter, which is more than some have. But, we are busting at the seams now, much less with 3 more children...and let's not even talk about all the visitors that we host.
We still don't even have the funds to take a trip to visit the children and get to know them and see if this would be a good fit for our family. Even though we have mentioned all of these changing circumstances and financial needs that go along with them, we actually got even less than the already low monthly 'salary' that we usually get. The thought comes that maybe that is a sign from God that we shouldn't do this.
But, despite all of this, the very simple fact remains...
These children need a family.
We have a family.
I don't see anybody else at the edge of their seats racing to give 3 older children a home.
And, God has spoken to our hearts about these kids. He is tugging. Even though it makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER.
So...we take the next step.
We are packing our bags, packing our lunches, hoping that we find cheap gas along the way, and heading down to meet them.
Please be in prayer for us. We leave tomorrow morning and will stay until at least Sunday.
So many things have to be made clear. Are they our kids? We just don't know. Could be that all of this is for some other purpose.
But, as Grady said, we have to go meet them...otherwise, we'll never know.
IF they are our kids and are meant for our family, so many other things have to come together in order for things to work out, us to be able to still travel to the United States with them, a smooth transition/adaptation for all, etc.
We are so very appreciative of your prayers and support in this huge decision and all of the many things surrounding it. Thank you so much. We will be sure to let you know more when we can. Thank you for standing with us. Thank you for the prayers.