Saturday, May 24, 2014

2 Years and Counting

WOW! I can't believe that it has been two years since we have started this incredible journey to our family. Just to be accurate, we applied for the Ethiopia program on May 22, 2012 and were accepted into the program on June 8th. In adoption world they don't count your wait until all your paperwork has arrived in the country you are adopting from, so by their calendar we have been waiting about a year and a half.  However you look at it, these past two years have been some of the most trying and most rewarding years of my life.

Jeffrey made the comment about a month ago that maybe this whole adoption process was designed by God to change us more than us changing a baby's life. It has definitely done that. In these two years, I feel like I have personally grown in so many ways and that our marriage has grown.

I have always been one to celebrate others and enjoy doing so, but I want to be completely honest here and say it hasn't been the easiest for me over the past two years. Jeffrey and I have been married almost six years (and I am so incredibly thankful for the time we have had to grow as a couple), but it can be hard to see people all around you starting their families and you just waiting for yours. Since we started the process, we have had friends plan to have a baby, get pregnant, and have their baby. This can be incredibly difficult because you see how long that you have been waiting. I have been waiting for a little more than 2 1/2 pregnancies ( if you count the time we started the process).  If you're reading this and you are one of our friends who have recently had a baby, I want you to know that we celebrate with you, and we couldn't be happier for you. In this time of waiting I have learned to rejoice with others even when it is difficult, but what I am even more thankful for is the experience of the pain. I have always felt bad for my friends who were trying to conceive and having a difficult time or those who have miscarried, but God has truly put these woman on my heart through this process. I don't want to say that I have developed empathy for them because I have not experienced what they have, but I have definitely developed a greater sympathy. Whether this baby is in my belly or in my heart, I have developed a longing and a very deep and real love for this child that I have not even met yet. I have learned the agony of just wanting this little one to be here, and many times when I would lie in bed at night crying, I would begin to shift my wants and desires into prayers for others who have been wanting and longing just like me. I have also learned to celebrate where I am in life!

I have learned to stop waiting for the end but to celebrate the journey. This has probably been one of the most difficult things to do. As a person who is very organized and structured, I like to have a game plan, and I like to be in control of what is going on. Adoption is one of the most unpredictable processes. Since we have started, at least 5 processes/requirements/laws/whatever you want to call them, have changed. When working with two different governments who don't always have it together, I have realized that I cannot control everything that happens; I cannot make things happen faster, so we cannot just sit and worry till the end of this. Jeffrey has been so awesome through the whole experience, and he has really helped me to see that although this is a huge part of our life, it is not the only part, and we must continue to live. Early on, there were many nights of crying, frustration, anger, anxiety, and fear, but now we rest and have peace that all of this will come to into place in the perfect timing. Don't get me wrong, I am not one of those people who believe I can just sit around, and if it is supposed to happen it will. No, while we wait, we are fundraising, keeping our documents up to date, praying, and preparing, but we are doing it under the mindset that this time of waiting is still a time in our marriage and in our lives that we want to enjoy for what it is. It's not that we don't care about what is happening in the adoption; oh trust me, I still check the list on a weekly basis, but I am checking it knowing that it may not be what I want to see, but I am going to enjoy this day/ week/month/year/  for what it is and not for what it is not.

Updates have been hard for me because quite honestly, we haven't really moved much. When we applied, they told us somewhere between 12-18 months was the average wait times. They are now telling the new people who are entering the program that it is a 4 year wait. On the unofficial list that I don't talk about very much, we are still in the 70s (yes, meaning 70 people ahead of us). It's hard for me to really explain the list, but over the past two years we have maybe moved 15-20 spots. Like I said, it is all so unpredictable. There have been things put in place that have really slowed the process down, but they are hoping it will actually see it speed things up once people learn how it works. All we know is that this is where we are supposed to be, so when you talk to us, and it seems like we haven't got a clue to how much longer it is probably because we really don't. Trust us, you will all know when Baby Woodson is arriving!

We ask that you continue to pray for us while we continue on this difficult but absolutely worth it path. We ask you to pray for our baby and for children all around the world who are in need of love and care. Thank you for all your support. We are enduring this so much easier because we know we have an amazing group of family and friends who hold us up and are walking with us.

TWO YEARS DOWN!



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