Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Year Ago Today... (Part 1)

Over and over in Scripture, God tells His people to remember His great works... Remembering reminds us of God's greatness and power, it can renew and refresh our sense of awe and wonder and it can strengthen our faith. The journey to adopt Abby was an amazing process where we saw God's hand over and over, so I thought I'd take a little time and remember the days leading up to receiving our referral for Abby.

When we first decided to adopt, in May of 2007, I just assumed that we would adopt a child who was non-special needs and as young as possible. But as I worked on our dossier, God worked on my heart... With each passing week (it seemed) He moved my heart to consider older and older (Scott was already there).

Almost from the start, I watched the Waiting Child lists for different agencies, because I knew somewhere deep in my heart that that's where we would find Abby. I didn't know how we'd find her, I just always knew that I would know her by her eyes.

We signed with an agency almost immediately after deciding that we would adopt, but I was incredibly frustrated by how they were handling Special Needs referrals... It seemed like it changed every month and so I kept watching other agency lists, even though I knew Scott would never agree to changing agencies because we already had quite a bit of money invested in our agency.

I worked hard on our paperwork from May to October and as I left for Africa, in November of '07, I sent a huge packet of paperwork to our state government. My plan was that it would be here when I came home and I would only have one last step before we could send everything to China.

But in Africa, I tore my ACL... With the swirling emotions of what we had experienced in Africa, trying to decide what to do about my knee and a complete loss of peace about submitting our dossier, that final packet of paperwork got put on a shelf and the process to adopt came to a screeching halt.

On December 14, 2007, I had my ACL repaired and the following week, as I sat in a chair recuperating, I decided to check the Waiting Child program of an agency I had followed from the beginning... They had a new list, in fact, their last paper list before China went to its new way of referring special needs children...

As I opened the list, this was the face I saw...


There was just something about the eyes... I opened the rest of the file ( I had gotten a password from them months before) and these were the other two pictures...



As I sat and looked at her picture I said, "Lord, could it be her?" Then I laughed at myself... We were with a different agency, she was adorable and all of their clients had the first opportunity to review her file, I couldn't even inquire about her. So I said, "Ok, if she's ours, then you'll have to move some hearts to make it happen."

As I expected, her file was placed on hold after the first round of applications and every few days, I would check to see if she had been changed from 'available' to 'referred'. And every time, she would still be listed as 'available.'

As January turned into February, I was feeling so hopeless about the whole adoption process... I had no peace and I just could not bring myself to send off that final packet of paperwork. And with each passing day, I would hold my breath as I checked the website to see what had happened with 'Dani'... that was the name the agency had given her on their website...

One year ago today, February 25 was on a Monday (last year was a Leap Year)... In Community Bible Study, leadership meets on Monday to prepare for Tuesday, so normally, that's where I would have been. But I was sick that day... I had had some scar tissue develop in my knee from surgery and it was causing tremendous pain at night and I wasn't sleeping... I was worn down, worn out and so I stayed home that day.

As I sat curled up in my favorite chair, there was a nudge in my heart... 'Finish your paperwork.' And in my heart I whined, "But I don't want to." "Finish your paperwork." I was so frustrated, even if I did finish, who would I send it to... I still had no peace about our agency, which was translating into no peace about the adoption in general... "Finish your paperwork."

So I drug myself out of my chair and went upstairs to my computer to print off and complete those 'pain in the rear' forms that are necessary to have your documents authenticated by the embassy. I filled out the FedEx envelopes and everything was ready to go, except the money orders... That would just have to wait until the next day... And so will you to read the rest of this story! (Yes my friend April, I'm taking a page from your playbook!!)

Stay tuned because it's a cool God story!!


Jeff said...

What is it about the eyes? I can't say that was THE factor for us, but there was definately something in Lily's eyes, in several referral pictures, that haunted us and drew us to her. I can't explain it, but I understand what you are saying.

Chris said...

don't wait too long to finish this!
So many of the waiting child stories have a part where Satan tries to discourage the parent from proceeding with the adoption

trina said...

I already know the rest of the story but can't wait to read more!

April Isaacs said...

Ahhhh!! I feel honored that you would take a play from my book! Yea!

I love reading this story. I didn't know you tore your ACL and had surgery! Yuck!

I love the referral pictures of Abby but I am here to tell you... she looks WAY happier in pictures now! Way to listen to God!