We found out last week that our fingerprints had expired. This could stop the whole referral process and put our adoption on hold. So JJ and I both went last Wednesday to get our fingerprints done again – without an appointment. It was a crazy day because Andrew also had his elementary school graduation and lunch. But we got in and got our prints done!Wednesday night we emailed USCIS to request expedited processing. Thursday morning we got an email from the USCIS that our fingerprints were approved – in less than 24 HOURS!! That is incredible. The director of adoptions told us she’d send notification to some the Embassy in Addis that our records are now valid. Seriously, that is some God moving progress!
I went by our Pediatrician’s office Wednesday on my way to the fingerprinting office. Our Dr was swamped with patients and meetings all afternoon so I didn’t get to see him. I left Baby Aster’s health records, photos and paperwork and prayed Dr. Glass would see them and call us that night so we’d know what step to take next.
Dr. Glass called Weds night at 8:30pm. He spent over 20 mins asking questions and explaining what he could read on the baby’s medical report. He felt good about her health but wanted to know more about her progress in the last month – socially and developmentally. He requested to talk to the Dr in Ethiopia to ask more questions. We were blown away by the personal interest he was taking in us.
On Thursday morning, before we could even send his request to our agency, the agency emailed us an update on Baby Aster’s healt that came to them overnight from the Ethiopian Dr. It had almost every single one of our Drs questions answered in a progress report. Baby Aster has almost doubled her weight in a month and is growing in length and head circumference.
We couldn’t set up a conf call so we emailed questions to the Dr. in Ethiopia. Then we waited all of Thurs and Friday for our Dr. to look over the new progress report. The biggest thing we wanted to know is if Baby Aster makes eye contact and interacts with people, so we could see if there were any neurological defects from her malnutrition.
In the midst of all of this we were praying for Joshua to feel called to this huge change in plans b/c he’s been hesitant about getting a baby. Thurs morning I read Aster’s background to him, why she was orphaned and talked about what babies are like since he’s been around so few. We have said all along this is a family decision and we all have to be 100% sure it’s God’s plan. During my prayer and journaling time I asked God to please move in Joshua’s heart as a confirmation for us.
Joshua came to me a later that day and said, “Mom, I’m okay now with getting a baby.” I asked what had changed and he said, “I don’t know but I feel like this is what we are SUPPOSED to do. I am actually excited now. I don’t know what happened but I am more excited than I was about getting older girls.” Well, I knew what happened. God had moved – way faster than I expected!
We left Thurs night for New York. On Friday, our Dr called to say he was pleased with Baby Aster’s growth but still wanted to know how she was doing socially and neurologically. No word from Ethiopia so we knew we would not hear or know anything until Monday.
Monday came and so did the Dr’s report, stating Baby Aster is very playful and shows no more signs of malnutrition and no sign of any neuroligical delays or concerns. All our questions had been answered. But I was not in a good place. I had had a ton of time to think about the reality of having a baby. As I shared on Weds, my imagination and concerns were running wild!
I had been praying continually about my concern, and all the changes a baby will bring. I’d told God I needed to know how He’d provide help. I’d been praying He would bring someone to us. Someone we know, love and trust. I’m not sure how much help I’ll need; I just needed to know it would be there. Friday morning, I’d called LeAnn at work and shared with her my junk. She was so sweet and assured me that we’d figure it all out in the office and offload whatever I needed.
Wednesday after I blogged and journaled all the ways God had smoothed out these rough places in our path, I told JJ I needed us to talk alone and pray. He knew I was struggling. We went for a drive and he reminded me of promises God has fulfilled in our lives over the past 15 years. Ways He has lead us down paths we have not known, and turned our darkness into light. Rough places He has smoothed and impossible mountains He had moved. ( Isaiah 42:16-17)
He reminded me that
sometimes God provides just enough light for the step we are on right now. And when we take that step, He gives light for the next step. Then he assured me that God and he will stand in all the gaps for me. We prayed and I cried.I thanked God for all that He had done but told God again that I wanted a big confirmation from Him. Something clear and bold printed. I opened my cell phone to check to see if the agency had emailed us about our deadline to decide and there was an email from my friend Bev.
I wept as I read it. She’d read my blog and shared how she could only imagine how hard it must be to think of starting over with a baby. She wanted me to know that she woud be “honored” to help me in any way, and would be there if I needed childcare or just relief on days when I feel overwhelmed. I hadn’t even thought of asking Bev. God wanted it to be HIS idea. This was my BIG confirmation. A huge peace came over me. God had provided what I told Him I needed – someone we know, love and trust who will be there if I need her. My Elizabeth!
Were my fears all gone? No. Were my questions all answered? No. Did I have peace? Yes, and nervous excitement. I knew God was telling me to walk in faith and trust Him in every way to provide every bit of what we need. I sensed He wants me to expect His sweetest blessings in ways we have not known because we are walking along paths we have not known and trusting Him to light the way.
So my friends, we are GETTING A BABY!!!!
I’ll tell you more about the process when we get home next week. For now, I have more vacation to enjoy with my wonderful family of boys which will be transformed by pink precious girly sweetness sometimes very soon!
We drove all day yesterday from Lake Placid to NYC. Today through Friday we’re spending in the city!
On Friday, I have a devo running about respecting our husbands so be sure to stop by to see what He’s teaching me about that, too! He’s always working on this heart of mine.