So Steve and I began to pray and ask God for wisdom over the possibility of pursuing a second adoption. This was obviously not something we wanted to jump into quickly.
We had to pray through the financial roadblocks, how the travel would affect our son, the time frame to complete the adoption, as well as the complicated details of bringing another child into our home, hearts and lives.
We prayed. We fasted. We spent hours on the phone with different adoption agencies. Since we feel called to international adoption, we poured over the countries that allowed adoption and prayed through each one.
After about a year and half of thinking, praying, and seeking advice, we decided that it was time. We brought every "what if" to God in prayer...
- What if we don't raise enough money?
- What if our wait time is extremely long again?
- What if our wait time is extremely short?
- What if Dima has no desire to be a big brother?
The one "what if" we never considered was: what if Russia closes their doors to adoption? Not once.
We know that there is tremendous uncertainty with ANY adoption - domestic or international. As for dealing with Russia, the all too true quote was "the only thing predictable about Russia is it's unpredictability." We thought there may be bumps along the way, but we never thought that an adoption ban would ever occur.
So, we are blind-sided to say the least.
As with many of you who are following this journey with us, we are watching the news each day. One report will say that the ban has been lifted. Others say it will be lifted for those who have already been to court. Still other reports suggest that the ban is in full force.
Last Friday, we had a conference call with the U.S. Department of State, along with hundreds of other families who find themselves in our position. What we learned from that call wasn't much. Very little information is available at this time. We are in uncharted waters.
At this point, we are hopeful that there will be exceptions made for those 46 families who have met their children and have been to court. I'm praying that an exception will be made even for those hundreds of families who have met their children, but have not yet had court. As for us however, with where we are in the process, there is not much of a chance of our adoption pushing through.
So, where does that leave us? There is a big part of me that wants to toss up my hands and surrender to the difficulty. Life is good now. We have a son that we absolutely love. We live in a comfortable home. It just feels easier to take this roadblock and bow to it. But the easy choice is often not the right choice. And as I think and pray and cry out to God, I still have a deep sense in my spirit that says, "I'm not finished".
As I was reading the Bible a few days ago, I came across this verse. I like to picture "The Biggest Loser" personal trainer, Jillian Michaels, screaming this into my face in a motivating way...
"We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are NOT crushed.
We are perplexed (confused, frustrated), but NOT driven to despair.
We are hunted down, but NEVER abandoned by God.
We get knocked down, but we are NOT destroyed"
I felt like God was speaking these words right to me.
"Katie girl, You've been knocked down. But you are not destroyed. This dream and desire to bring new life to a child has been pressed on every side...but it is NOT crushed. Get up. Embrace the fear and move forward with strength in MY power"
So, we pick up this crumbled up, weathered up dream and lay it down at God's feet.
Last week, we said there were 3 countries that we were seriously thinking about. Well, after some conversations with our agency, we have learned that 2 of those countries are not options for us. Instead we've been given new options.
We are praying for much wisdom. Many of these options would bring very new and unique dimensions to our family.
I want to act quickly and deal with those details later. Steve is more of the type of person who likes to think through the details first and then make a decision. So, we are, as a couple asking you to pray alongside us. For wisdom. For unity. For clear direction from God. We really need it.
One thing we believe to be true is that God is not finished. There are hundreds of thousands of orphans in this world who need a mom and dad. And we are a family that passionately desires to bring new life to a child. But what that means, what that looks like, we just don't know yet.
Thank you for your prayers. We could not do this without you. Thank you for walking alongside us. I thought we were in the "boring part" of the process. It seems God has other plans.
Until next Monday,
love: Kate, Steve & Dima