AGENCY? We're using West Sands Adoptions this time. We wanted a smaller agency that had more flexibility and personal contact throughout the process. CWA was great and we are forever grateful to them and all their hard work to get Malachi and Hadassah home!
HOW MANY? 1 or 2. With Malachi and Hadassah we were 2 all the way...no other option for us but 2 kiddos. This time, we keep picturing 1, but want to stay open to 2. If God brings 2 children our way, we will not hesitate. Some days I find myself wanting to specify 2 again and others I'm terrified it will be 2! God knows and He'll prepare us. With our first adoption, our initial "request" was 1 male infant...HA!...we came home with a 3.5 year old boy and 10 month old baby girl so we'll see!
GENDER? Girl...we think. If there's a 2nd child, either gender. We're holding this loosely.
AGE? 0-12 months. M and H have an amazing bond and chemistry. We don't want to interrupt that birth order they've established. Haddie is 18 months, so we'd like to give some space for her. As she gets older we could open this age range.
TIMEFRAME? I wish I knew! We know God has a special child(ren) for us and it will happen in His time. It sounds cliche, but walking through our adoption for M and H, we saw firsthand the amazing miraculous timing of God in an adoption. For now, we're 1 month DTE and that's all I know for sure;). We do get a # each month. Last month we were #39 overall which includes ALL families in their Ethiopia program. We haven't gotten our new # yet this month.
HOW DID YOU GET HERE? Only God. When we first got home from Ethiopia in July, I really didn't think adoption was in our future again. I remember sitting on my couch and telling my sister and mom that our family was complete. I was totally broken for our kids and us, I felt like a tornado had come through our nice little life, I was completely overwhelmed by my 2 needy children, and I was deeply struggling with my new role as a mommy which demanded complete sacrifice and selflessness of me. I had a lot of fears when we first brought our kids home that clouded everything God was actually doing in my heart through this struggle. I could write so much more here and maybe I will someday, but those first few months home were just plain hard.
But, what I found as the fog lifted, was that adopting M and H has only deepened and intensified our heart for adoption. On the other side of those first few months, we found ourselves longing for another child(ren) through adoption. I found myself reading blogs of people in process and wishing we were waiting again too. I missed anything and everything about Ethiopia and adoption.
On November 6th, 2011, we dedicated our little ones at church. We came home that day and put the kids down for naps and really talked about adopting again. We had been having passing conversations, but nothing serious, nothing here and now. That Sunday, we decided to jump and see what doors God might open. We didn't even know if/when/who/where we could adopt from. Why He was calling us, we didn't understand. It's not that we felt like we had "arrived" in our transition with M and H. We actually felt very much like we were in the thick of adjustment still. But, that almost confirmed even more that God had to be in this. We knew our flesh was weak, our hearts were fearful, we felt completely inadequate...and yet, we knew in our hearts there was another child(ren) waiting for us in Ethiopia and God was calling us to move.
OTHER TIDBITS:) In many ways getting back into an adoption journey has been like putting on a pair of well-worn shoes. From the moment we started our paperwork, it just felt so right and familiar. I wrestled a lot with jumping back in "too soon", but those fears and doubts quickly dissipated as we started putting one foot in front of the other. It's just felt right.
Malachi's favorite thing to pray for is his baby in Ethiopia. We tell him his adoption story often and he just loves talking about our new baby in Ethiopia, waiting for a mommy and daddy just like he did.
We're excited, but also I think more sober this time around. We understand more fully what we're getting into this time (that sounds awful, but I don't mean that in a bad way!). We know it's hard, beautiful, painful, scary, broken, and SO worth it. We know this child will suffer loss. We know it's a calling. We know God will equip us. We know God's in the middle of it all! This time, we know these things in our hearts, through memories/experiences, and from our present reality. Where before, we only "knew" it because we'd been told all those things.
I know I've been pretty pitiful at keeping our blog up-to-date, but I'm really hoping to start posting more! For now we await seeing the face(s) of our next child(ren)! We deeply appreciate any your prayers on this journey!