Thursday, July 28, 2011

Finding an Agency

We conducted a phone interview with EAC.  We have been very impressed with their rapid response and the amount of information they have provided.  Should we decide to adopt from Russia, we would definitely use EAC.

I have also talked to a local agency, Lifeline, that has also come highly recommended should we decide to adopt from China.  Tonight we are meeting with some friends who have adopted from China through Lifeline.  I am excited to hear about their experience. 

We are off to the beach next week.  I hope to make a decision regarding an agency soon.

We have narrowed our country choices down to China and Russia.  Each country has differenct requirements for adoptive parents.  The two most important factors for us are age of child at adoption and length of stay required in-country.  We feel comfortable with either choice.  We are leaning towards China for several reasons.  First, we like the idea of a local agency.  This will allowing easier networking with other families pre and post adoption.  Second, we would be adopting a "waiting child".  This is a term used for a child who has some sort of special need.  Because we already have two children, it is important to us to make sure that our family is able to meet the needs of our future child.  Third, China only requires one visit. It is difficult for Michael to be away from work for any length of time and and we don't want to be away from the boys too long.

Hopefully by tomorrow we will have the information that we need to submit an application to one of the agencies. . . .!

You want us to do what?

Although the thought of adoption had been on my mind for several months, it was one of those ideas that would float by and become quickly dismissed.  I have two precious little boys that bring me immense joy (and complete exhaustion) and a 14 year old stepdaughter that is growing into an amazing young woman.  I am just getting back to work and somewhat gaining control over my day to day life! 

But wait. . . who is in control of my life?  Oops, I almost thought it was me.  However, on July 18, 2011, I was reminded that there is someone else who has plans for my family and He is ultimately in charge.

We had spent the weekend with family and I had a little down time on Saturday.  I went to a blog of an amazing lady that I had meant a few months earlier that had adopted twin girls from Russia.  The idea of adoption was on my mind and I was curious so I went farther and began doing some research.  On Sunday, we spent the day at Dollywood.  We had a great time, but I left with the feeling that I can't keep up with what I have, another would be silly!  Poof.  The thought of adoption had evaporated just like before.

On Monday, I went about my normal routines.  Around 11:30 am, as I am driving, I am instantly overwhelmed.  My heart feels as if it is being twisted, my ears are burning and feel full, and I began crying.  I hear what I have never heard before.  I hear God speaking. . . to me.  I know it as sure as I sit here.  He said, "This is what you are called to do.  You're little girl is out there.  It is your job to find her."  It was one of the most intense moments I have ever experienced.  I wasn't sure what to do so I simply prayed.  I acknowledged God and expressed my belief and faith in what He was telling me.  However, I told Him straight up that He had some work to do in Michael Bailey.  There was no way he was EVER going to be on board for this.  I know he loves me and will do most anything that I ask.  But this, no way.  I prayed, "God, if this is truly your will then you open his heart.  It can't be You if Michael is against it." 

I was SCARED to death to bring up this subject.  I was so afraid that if Michael was against the idea that what I truly felt was the voice of God would simply be a figment of my imagination.  He was on call Monday and came home very late and exhausted.  That was not the time to tell my dear, sweet husband that I wanted to adopt a child!  Tuesday was a terribly long day anticipating and knowing that I would have to tell him.  I couldn't keep my experience to myself any longer and was desperate to see what God would do.  I did the old, "sit down, we need to talk about something" routine (that'll raise your heart rate a few dozen points alone).  I explained to him what happened and that I felt like God was calling us to do something amazing.  I braced myself for the response I had been dreading.  I didn't want to have to convince him, beg him, or try to talk him into going down this path.  I needed to know that God was directing us and this would mean that Michael would have to agree.  . . .  "Of course."  WHAT?  In a nutshell that is what he said.  "Of course we will look into adoption if you believe that God spoke to you. Of course we will look into adoption if this is something that you are passionate about."  I needed that.  Not because it meant that I was going to get my way, but rather it confirmed that we were being directed along a path we would have never taken on our own.  It also meant that my husband, the man I love more than life, was also listening to God and had a heart open to His call.

The next few days were spent gathering information, praying, and thinking constantly about the idea of adding to our family.  By Saturday, I had managed to set up a telephone conference with an adoption agency.  I had also managed to become terribly nervous, afraid, doubtful about what seemed to be taking place.  I needed more confirmation that what was happening was really being directed by God. 

Since Januray of this year, I have been participating in a read-through-the-Bible in a year program at our church.  I had been fairly consistent with my reading, but at times would get a few days behind.  The weekend out of town had caused a disruption in my daily routine and in my daily reading.  Needless to say, I was several days behind and was reading on Saturday in hopes to catch up.  I read July 16th and then 17th.  I then wondered and prayed that God would give me something that would confirm what I was feeling and strengthen my faith in Him.  I certainly hadn't forgotten what had happened on the 18th and thought, "I wonder if He has something for me on that day."  I began to read . . .

The reading began in the book of Isaiah, Chapter 43.  When I got to verse 5, God came through and gave me exactly what I needed.  "Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west."   Oh my!  Once again, I felt like God was leading me, strenghthening me, and blessing me with His voice. 

So here we go.  Full steam ahead, no hesitation.  We are certainly anxious about the unknown.  But it is an excited anxiousness, trusting in God to lead us to our daughter.  The journey begins.  Please keep us in your prayers as we begin walking down a road we never dreamed of. .  .