Warning: this may be the longest post EVER………also, we are waiting to post a picture and share birthday/name on the internet until we have ICPC approval (explained below). But, both grandparents have pictures and all that info and if you are with them, I am sure they will show it to you 😉 We have […]

" /> BIG News | Growing in Faith & Family

BIG News

By admin. Filed in Uncategorized  |  
TOP del.icio.us digg

Warning: this may be the longest post EVER………also, we are waiting to post a picture and share birthday/name on the internet until we have ICPC approval (explained below). But, both grandparents have pictures and all that info and if you are with them, I am sure they will show it to you 😉

We have said all along that we feel God called us specifically to Ethiopia and even during the long closure/wait said that we were going to trust in God’s will, that if He wants us to move we will move, if we are to stay, we will stay.

As you may recall last month was a great month. We finally began to see movement on the waiting list after a grueling 8+ months. This month’s movement was good too, we are officially #26 on the Ethiopia waiting list.

However! On May 20th we received a call from a family friend that her daughter was considering putting her 3.5 month old son up for adoption and were we interested. Um, YES!!! Because we were contacted directly by the family, we did not have to go through an agency, though several were involved for various services, it made the process as relatively quick and simple as possible (though for the record, NOTHING about this was easy). We called our home study agency and had our home study amended from international to domestic, contacted a local attorney, and made contact with the NY attorney. Lots of paperwork, phone calls, email, prayers, and lots and lots of tears later…we are here.

I will not discuss his birth mother’s situation but will ask that you pray for her. She loves her son so much and though it was extremely difficult for her, she did what she believes is best for her son. Who can possibly judge a mother when that is her motive?

For two weeks we scrambled to get all the paperwork here for birth mom to sign. It seemed that we were hitting road blocks all the time. I really began questioning whether we were supposed to pursue this adoption. Then I would have those moments of complete clarity and peace – and I knew: our son was in NY. Though I still questioned why God would call us to Ethiopia first just to ask us to go on hold to come for this little guy.

So, June 3rd (Tuesday) we were at my parents house in Corbin. I had planned a surprise BBQ for my Mom’s 50th birthday. (She had no idea we were planning a party!) Then, we got the call that the birth mom was going to sign her paperwork on Wed. June 4th which meant we needed to be here. Though I was a little disappointed to miss my Mom’s big day, she was thrilled we were on our way (I was still wrestling with fear).

We left Corbin Tuesday and got almost into Pennsylvania before we stopped for the night. Not that it mattered for me…I hadn’t slept in a few weeks and certainly couldn’t sleep that night. Thankfully, Warren is a much calmer and more rational person under stress that I am and he got some sleep to finish the driving the next day.

We began the morning with a call from the birth mom. She wanted to talk with us before she signed the paperwork. That call went about as well as anyone could expect those types of things to go. So my nerves were calmed a little but the clock and car were just not fast enough for me.

Then, about 12:30 we got a call with what at the time seemed like devastating news…….she only signed half the paper work! Are you kidding me‽ After all this, all the stress, tears, prayers, time, effort, money, conversations….everything….she didn’t sign?

The birth mom had never met us; she was going on faith that her “Mom” had found a perfect family. See, in NY, if you agree to an open adoption, then you are legally obligated to fulfill those terms once the adoption is complete. Once the lawyer explained that in KY, once an adoption is final, any prior agreements are null and void and it’s up to the adoptive parents to keep their word with no legal recourse from biological families…she wanted to be sure that we were going to honor our agreements.

The thought of this meeting terrified me. This is not what I had planned for! I was supposed to hop on a plane, and pick up my child from an orphanage. A child who had no living relatives or if they did, ones who had already relinquished their rights.

What was I supposed to say to this woman? How was I supposed to assure her that her son was going to be loved so much and that we were going to do absolutely everything we could to care for him? How could I assure her that we were going to always tell him how much she loved him and assure her that when he’s ready he can search for her? So we prayed, we prayed that God would give me strength and that He alone would be speaking through me.

So fast forward through a lot more driving and tons and tons of tears and we arrive in Albany, NY. Then we receive the best news of the day…….the baby gets to spend the night!!!! So all Wednesday night we love on and get to know this precious boy, and we pray that all things worked out for the good of all involved.

Fast forward again to Thursday evening. Warren and I packed up the baby to head out to meet birth mom, praying the whole time that it goes well and that we get to leave with baby. There was a very real possibility that she could change her mind and that we would have to hand him over right then.

The meeting went very well, all things considered. We conveyed how much we had already fallen in love with this precious gift. We talked about her life, her choice, the birth father, expectations after things are final, hopes, dreams …just a little of everything really. Toward the middle of the meeting she asked if she could hold him and tell him goodbye. Now this may not seem too significant to you, but just think about that. She was acknowledging that roles were changing and she was relinquishing control to us. Birth mom was able to meet with the lawyer on Friday evening to finish signing the last of the paperwork.

Now that all of her paperwork is complete, there are a few more things that need to happen.

  1. the NY attorney will submit us for ICPC approval on Monday. This just means that all of the paperwork will be sent to the NY Dept. of Children’s Services and they will either approve or deny the adoption. If approved they will give us clearance to leave the state of NY and will forward the ICPC on to KY
  2. the KY attorney will send our NY approved ICPC to the KY Dept. of Children’s Services who will decide if we will be able to finalize in the state and will give us permission to enter the state.
    It can take up to two weeks for ICPC to clear both states. During that time we are not allowed to leave the state of NY. It also means that birth mom can rescind her consent at  any time and we would have to take him back to her.
  3. once we have ICPC approval we can come home and we begin a 20 day waiting period (technically it’s 45 .. but not really, I can explain further to anyone who really cares for this particular detail).
    During this time the birth mom can still change her mind. The difference, though, is that if she changes her mind after we are back in KY with ICPC approval, we all have to go to court where it will then become an issue of custody rather than adoption. Because the birth father is not named, he has to remain out of the picture and unnamed for 90 days. We know that is not a problem if they count from her pregnancy but are unsure of how that works should he show up during this time.
  4. after the 20 days post ICPC approval is passed we will be submitted for court sometime within the next 3 months to finalize our adoption in the state of KY. We are really out of the danger zone once we are 20 days post approval

There’s a lot going on and nothing is final until it’s final!

Please be praying with us:

  • Peace and protection for birth mom. People are being really ugly to her and it’s making an already difficult situation harder. We really need her to stay firm in her decision. She is also not a Christian and she has a lot of evil influence in her life right now. She did say it was a top priority to find a family who were Christians and would teach baby about God so I know she has to be struggling herself.
  • That birth father stays away, I know that sounds harsh but in this situation it truly is what’s best for baby. Even if birth mom changes her mind.
  • We receive ICPC approval soon! Partially for the added security of being home should she change her mind. But, also because we are stuck in a hotel room until we can go home. Hotels are cramped, uncomfortable, expensive, and not the best place to bond with your new baby. Not to mention that we have very few items for baby and certainly not many with us here at the hotel and there’s just not space to buy a lot. We just want to go home as a family and be in the comforts of our home.
  • Our baby boy. He is only about 15 weeks old so he adapts fairly well. However, he has never really had consistent care from a single caregiver. He is struggling to teach us about him and we are trying hard to bond with and learn him. It’s a great big scary world and he was suddenly just given to people he doesn’t know and doesn’t trust.

And no, we are not leaving the Ethiopia program. We will remain at #26 on the waiting list for at least 6 months – but possibly longer until we are ready to resume. Adoption is the way that God has given us to grow our family, so we are still trusting in the Lord to open doors and light our paths to all the children He has for us.

We have really appreciated the thoughts, wishes, prayers, emails, texts, etc over the past few days – your love and concern have been overwhelmingly helpful and encouraging!

Leave a Reply