Tuesday, June 30, 2009

May I Have Some Whine with my Cheese?

Ok... this is where I start whining. The wait is too excruciatingly long! If I'm this annoyed with the wait this early in the game, I'm going to be bald by the time we have our first child.

The paperwork has been turned in. We were told that we'd be getting information on how to put our profile together but haven't heard a peep out of them for a week. I know... I know... there are bigger problems in the world. I am thankful for this awesome opportunity. Kurt and I have already started talking about ways to raise funds for the adoption. I guess that's why I'm anxious about getting our profile finished and "out there". But, I have to keep reminding myself that God has it all under control, and He knows what He's doing, even if I might disagree with His time line!

On another whiny note, I'm pretty discouraged with America World Adoption Association. As I mentioned in a previous post, we were inspired to submit our application with them for the Russian program after learning that previous "mental health issues" would likely not be a problem. But we learned that those issues were indeed a problem and that door was closed. We filed a grievance with the company but just learned that we're not going to get our non-refundable application fee back. Yes, I know that there is never a guarantee, and no one ever made a guarantee to us. But we wouldn't have applied had we not been inclined to think we stood a chance. Furthermore, the letter stated that the application fee "covers the compilation and review of your application by our staff, and because these services were rendered to your family, we are unable to issue a refund for the work that was done..." Really? It costs $250 for someone to look at my application? Wow. I'm in the wrong business.

As I said, I'm just whining over here. If I step back far enough and look at it from a neutral perspective, I guess I can understand things but I'm not neutral in this. I'm waiting for my child! I wonder if this is just a tiny glimpse into what parenthood will feel like.

Well, until God is ready to deliver our child to us, I guess I have to keep on waiting. Please excuse me while I go get some more cheese!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Seeking Baby

Since the door to adopting in Russia has closed, we have moved forward with a local Indianapolis agency, MLJ Adoptions, and decided on domestic adoption. As we said before, we're a bit freaked out about that concept but we keep reminding ourselves that God already has our child picked out for us. He's in complete control over things, and nothing will change His plan for our lives. Sure there might be some heartbreak in the midst of this adoption process, but I also know there will be great joy. And if God can use us to encourage others and point them toward Him, it's worth it.

Ok... I just got off track there but I speak with great joy and confidence in God's purpose and provision for our future forever family!

What I wanted to say is that we're looking for a baby. Yeah, that sounded pretty weird. I keep hearing that one of the best ways to find a birth-mother is to advertise. I'm still having a hard time swallowing that idea though. I mean, what does our ad look like: Married Caucasian couple seeking healthy newborn of no more than 10 pounds? That's just so unnatural.

And actually, that's not exactly what we'll do. But it feels like that's exactly what we're doing. Sure there is some legitimate advertising that goes on but the agency handles most of that. Our part comes about as we let people know that we're indeed hoping to adopt a newborn (but it doesn't matter how much he or she weighs!). Perhaps you know someone who has a teenage daughter who's gotten herself into a sticky situation. Maybe you're an OB/GYN who sees women who aren't ready or are unable to handle another child. Suppose you have a neighbor who has a cousin in Oregon who has a daughter in Alabama who needs a forever family for her unborn child.

What we're saying is that we'd welcome the connection.

There... I said it. And somehow, it still feels weird! But I know that our God is a wonderful God whose ways are not our ways. And we know that He can do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could have ever imagined. So, if this is part of the road we must travel, so be it!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

When One Door Closes...

Everyone's heard the phrase, "When one door closes, God opens another."

My Canadian friend and politician, Serge, often says that in order to be ready for that door to open, you first have to be in the hallway. Well, Kurt and I are in the hallway waiting for the next door to open.

The door to adopting from Russia has closed permanently and apparently has deadbolts on it. We sent in our application - and non-refundable $250 application fee - to America World Adoption Association early in May. There were a number of things that drew us to this organization but one of the biggest things is that I had a positive conversation with a representative about my previous diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. She felt that the diagnosis would probably not be an issue even though we wanted to adopt from Russia, a country that will not consider anyone with a history of "mental health issues" such as depression, etc.

A few days after sending in the application (and our non-refundable $250 application fee), we received a call from another young lady from the agency. After going back and forth with them for about a week, we received word from them: We would not be considered as adoptive parents in Russia. Final answer.

I expressed my frustration with the young woman and told her that we felt deceived. They now had our $250 non-refundable fee but we never made it past the application process. (I am curious to know what they did with that $250 - aside of just telling us that we can't adopt from Russia after they told that we probably would be able to adopt from Russia.) She recommended we go through the Grievance Procedure to see if we could get our money back. I'm not holding my breath.

Kurt and I are incredibly disappointed but it has become clear that God doesn't want us to adopt from Russia, and we're learning to accept that. This experience has also shown us the tremendous risk in adopting. We specifically chose to go with international adoption because there seemed to be less risk than domestic adoption, where a birth-mother could easily change her mind. But if you look at it from the international perspective, it may not be the birth-mother changing her mind. It could just be the country that changes its mind for one reason or another.

My mom was pretty ticked off when I told her the news. And a few others have made similar comments: "They'd rather leave a child alone in an orphan without the love of Godly parents..." But I'm trying to remember that in this process, it's not about finding a child for a family. It is about finding a family for the child.

We did our due diligence and checked with some other agencies about this issue. The response was always the same. In some ways I feel responsible - like I'm some sort of freak of nature because of my diagnosis. But I can't change what happened to me. And I am proud of the person I have become despite those obstacles.

A new path is being forged. We are now moving forward with domestic adoption and have chosen MLJ Adoptions as our agency of choice. We hope to have a profile completed very soon so birth-mother's can start to consider us as possible choices to raise their child(ren). It's all in God's Hands; and they're mighty Hands indeed!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fund Raising Efforts

First, let me give a great update to the prayer request blog from a couple of days ago. It appears that the potential moratorium on foreign adoptions in Ukraine has been averted, at least for now. Thanks everyone for your prayers on that issue.

Our good friends, Mark and Diane are in the midst of the adoption process and hope to bring home their little girl from Ukraine by the fall or, at the very least, later this year. (Mark is one of the pastors of our home church, Zionsville Fellowship.) As part of their fund raising efforts, they are hosting another gigantic garage sale this weekend. Won't you consider helping this family as they seek the money needed to add to their already wonderful family? Here are the details:

Garage Sale Location: 4403 Owl Court, Indianapolis 46268
Dates: Friday, June 5 and Saturday, June 6
Times: 8 am until 2 pm both days

Tell your friends and come shop for a great reason. Donations (without a purchase) are also welcome.

Thanks, as always, for your prayers for us as we continue in our adoption journey. We appear to have hit a snag with the international adoption about the issues of depression in our history. So, we're seeking God's will right now.

Bless you as you consider ways to help the Goins Gang!