Several of you have been asking over the past few months how Nik and Stacy's adoption is progressing. They were kind enough to write an update so that you could know what has been happening.
Over the past several months, there has been a lot of discussion in the Ethiopian government about the condition of their international adoption program. The governmental agency responsible for the international adoption program released a 42-page document about the condition of adoption in their country, highlighting the challenges and other alternatives.
The document contains 1) pages of unsubstantiated claims about corruption and inefficiency in the adoption process and in orphanages, 2) suggestions for correcting these problems, and 3) alternatives such as focusing on domestic adoption (Ethiopian families adopting Ethiopian orphans).
This document became the basis for countless meetings of parliament and special interest groups that took place around the turn of the year. And it created much uncertainty for all families in the pipeline for international adoptions from Ethiopia. Basically, families were completely uncertain as to whether Ethiopia would remain open for adoptions.
All that to say, through our adoption process we have very much felt the meaning of "waiting on the Lord." When we started the paperwork, we were told it would be 18-24 months before we brought a child home. But we've already passed the 18-month benchmark. Over the past year, that timeline has slowly crept up to something more like 40+ months. Imagine being pregnant for 40 months! The anticipation is protracted and the hope seems distant.
But we know the Lord reigns over all of it. So we are patiently recallibrating our expectation to match what he has planned from the beginning. It may be late 2015 before we are matched with a child, or it may be longer. But we know that whenever it happens, his timing is perfect. And at the end of the day, this process is not about us and our timeline. It's about exercising the kind of patient love that God has shown toward us.
If you wonder how to engage orphan care, start with the biggest thing first: Pray. 1. Pray that God would graciously maneuver in the details of government to allow for safe and quick adoption, so children can receive care in loving families. 2. Pray that Christians in particular would take up the cause of the voiceless and needy, participating in orphan care in whatever way God leads them.
Nik and Stacy