It has a been a while since I’ve updated our blog, and I have had several people ask me lately where we are in the adoption process. We are currently on a long road of waiting to be matched with a child. I was recently reminded that we are not alone on this journey. I’ve often heard the phrase “waiting on the Lord,” and I understand why people might use that phrase. Lately, I feel that God has led me to a better way of thinking. We are “waiting with the Lord.” No matter what it is you are going through, God is with you the entire journey. You may be waiting for an answer, for healing, or for restoration, but God has not abandoned you. He has walked with you the entire process and will continue to walk with you throughout your journey.
For my family, the waiting is in our journey to adopt a child from the Philippines. We were placed on the Roster of Approved Applicants (RAA) on August 17, 2016. Praise God! That means the board in the Philippines has approved us to adopt, and now we wait for them to match us with a child. The matching process can take a while. It’s very common to wait around 2 years, but it can be shorter or much longer. It is hard to explain how full of love your heart can feel for a child you have not even met, seen a picture of, or even know if it’s a girl or boy. The anticipation and expectation is great. So, do I pray that our time waiting will be shorter? Of course, but I also pray for many other things.
*I pray for God’s will to be done. As God walks with us through this I know he has a plan for our life and that his plan is greater than ours. Throughout this journey I have prayed Ephesians 3:20 over our story and for all the orphans that God will “do immeasurably more than all we ask or image, according to his power that is at work within us.”
*I pray that my trust in God will grow. I ask God to help me in the times I do doubt. I am reminded of the story of a father who brought his son to Jesus to be healed. “The father instantly cried out, ‘I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief.’ ” Mark 9:24 I think God will honor our request to build up our faith if we ask him. Trust is hard because our human minds cannot and will never know the things God does, but we want to be in control. I do not know the future or the timelines of our adoption story, but God does. I am reminded to “Trust in the Lord with all [my] heart; do not depend on [my] own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
*I pray for wisdom. I pray that God will grant us wisdom to prepare us for the child we will raise and the two children we are raising now. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Proverbs 2:6 “For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
*I pray for our child in the Philippines. Our family prays for the caregivers our child may have. We pray for the orphanage he or she may be in. We pray that our child will be shown the love of Jesus while we wait. One of our family’s favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11. “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’ ” I pray that our child will be able to say that one day and see the beautiful story God has written.
*I also pray that we live in the present. I do not want to get so caught up in the waiting that I do not live with joy today, where I am now. I’ve watched how quickly my kids are growing up now and want to treasure every moment I can with them.
As our family waits we will trust in God. As we anticipate the call that we have been matched, we will trust in God and know he is with us now in the waiting! I ask that you join us in praying for our journey and that if you are waiting for something you realize God is with you right now.
Today was a good day! Excitement is just one of the many emotions I felt when I received an email from Jenica at CAS letting us know we now have a date scheduled for our dossier to be presented to ICAB for approval. ICAB is the board in the Philippines that we need approval from to be able to be placed on a list of families waiting to be matched with a child. I do not for a minute believe it was a coincidence that it has been exactly one month since we made our trip home from our mission trip in Antigua. We had such a great time with the children and Villa church members.
Madalyn’s smile and joy with some of the young children at our VBS brought such a smile to my face.
I watched Lane build relationships with younger children at our church. Kids who still run up to him when we see them at church or school.
I loved seeing Will entertain some of the girls at the Villa church.
The smiles of the children absolutely warm my heart. I kept thinking about our child that we haven’t met and don’t know anything about, but is somewhere halfway across the world. We may not yet know who that child will be, but God does. The time in Antigua just made that desire grow stronger.
This past Sunday August 7, I underlined and felt very convicted of a scripture from Mark 11 we read in church.
I underlined it and yes made a note to pray boldly. I have very much been at peace with God’s timing throughout this process. I did think though maybe I am not praying believing enough. So I decided to ask God for some news or an update this week. I asked him to help me trust His sovereignty more and to know that He has bigger plans than I can imagine. I know his timing is perfect and I trust Him, but I also might should pray Bigger prayers. So I will keep praying and try to pray bigger bolder prayers, especially for our child and others waiting on their forever family.
Today we got news that we are one step closer in this journey. We received approval from immigration which is part of the requirement before our dossier is presented to the ICAB board. Now we will wait for approval from ICAB.
To us, every step in this process is a big deal!
The little steps and the big steps forward are moments to be celebrated. All of them mean we are just a little bit closer to eventually being matched and meeting the newest Lambert. Do we still have a LONG time to wait? Sure, but we will celebrate each stage of the journey.
Our two teenagers are proof that what may seem like a forever long journey ahead can pass you in the blink of an eye. Our kids are growing, maturing, and changing each day. It doesn’t seem possible that they can be the age they are. This is one picture I will treasure of my children on mother’s day with me, my mom, and grandmother. When I look at picture like this it doesn’t seem that long ago when they were little, and I had no idea as a young mother how quickly those days of chasing toddlers would pass.
As we enjoy our growing teenagers we will wait patiently but longingly for the next approval in our adoption process. And, while we wait… we will pray for our child halfway across the world even though we don’t know who he or she is. We pray for the caregivers too. Most importantly we will trust God. We will trust his timing and his plan.
One of my favorite verses is Ephesians 3:20 ” Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us…”
This verse reminds me He is able to do more than even what I can imagine. May He be glorified through our journey.
This is a short and to the point post but still such fun news to share. Today our dossier is on the way to the Philippines! It will have to be approved and will also have to wait on our approval from immigration. We head to get our fingerprinting taken care of tomorrow and that will wrap up what we need to send to immigration. We are one step closer. Thank you for joining us and being part of our journey. Your prayers mean so much to us, but even more to know so many are praying for our child that is half way across the world.
Once we knew we could start the process, we were all in. As we began to fill out paper work, we were overwhelmed with what we had always heard about and what that really looked like now that we were in the thick of it. I don’t think anything can prepare you for the mountain of documents you will fill out, or important paper you will need to find, questions you will answer, papers you will have notarized, and so on. We knew how long the process can be for international adoption, but we were determined that we would do everything we could to keep things moving during this stage. Night after night we would come home complete paper work, read books, and go through online training course. Three months later, all of that has been completed.
During this process there were some God moments I want to share. First, we believe God’s hand was in the process completely so far. We had asked many questions of the agencies early on and really didn’t know which one would be the best, but without a doubt we know that God placed us with the right agency. We have been blessed for them to walk us through the process and answer any questions we’ve had along the way. We didn’t have an agency in our state that had an adoption program in the Philippines so we are working with an out-of-state agency. About one month in we also were able to connect with a family who adopted from the Philippines and whose children go to the same school our children do. We found out they used the same agency we were now using. We just felt God’s hands were all over this. We also had to have an in state agency to complete our home study. Initially, we thought we knew what agency we would use for that, but that didn’t work out. We couldn’t even get phone calls answered. We ended up with another agency for our home study and a wonderful case worker. We had some curve balls and unknowns, but God had worked it all out.
Second, we believe God led us to adopt from the Philippines. We had several reasons initially for choosing that country, but began to learn so much more through the process. The adoption setting there and number of children adopted is a much smaller scale than other countries. The way they work to match children with the right family for them is a more unique process than some countries.
We have now submitted our paper work to immigration and have our fingerprinting appointments set up. So far we have been able to maybe feel some level of control in this process. At this point, we will have to completely step aside and let God work. Although we’ve prayed for God to be in control all along, it is hard not to step in and want to control things. We will wait for approval from ICAB. We will wait after approval for a match. We will be doing lots of waiting and praying. Most of all, we will wait to meet our child for a time that only God knows.
Please join us in praying for a child we haven’t met but we are so excited to be a part of our family. Pray that whatever situation has led this child to be placed for adoption, the trauma of that situation will be minimized. Pray for loving caregivers to be placed in his or her life.
Please pray for us to have patience and wisdom through this process. Pray that we will place our trust God throughout the entire process.
Journey with us in prayer!
I guess you could say our journey to adopt is something that has been in the works for years. First, you need to know a little bit about us. Will and I have been married for 19 years and have two biological children. Will and I have talked about adoption off on on for as long as I can remember, but it just didn’t seem like the right time. As our children grew, we would talk about it from time to time and then move on because we knew it wasn’t going to happen at the time.
So… how did we get to where we are now.
It was the week of November 15, 2015. This particular Sunday our preacher was preaching about the sanctity of life. I’m sure you can see where this is going. One of his topics was caring for orphans. So we discussed it again, but this time we didn’t dismiss it. There weren’t any reasons for us not to seriously think about it. We now live in a different house. A bigger house with an extra room that I always felt needed someone. We have a great family and such a wonderful support system of extended family and church family. So for several days we talked, we prayed, and we prayed some more. This time we knew God hadn’t closed any doors, so we began our journey.
We knew we wanted to adopt internationally. That was something we had discussed years ago.
But, what we didn’t know was what country, what agency, or where to begin.
We started researching. We started asking lots of questions. After much thought, research, and prayer we decided on the Philippines for several reasons.
Then our prayer turned toward asking God to lead us to the right agency. Because it was November we knew we would be waiting until the new year for the agencies to get their numbers of dossiers they could submit that year to ICAB. We talked to several agencies during this time period, got placed on waiting lists, and waited. We waited and we prayed. On January 21, 2016 we were contacted by one of the agencies we had talked with and were told we had a green light. We could begin the application and adoption process! Wohoo!!! I will never forget that day. It finally felt real.