Earlier this week marked one month officially on the wait list for our adoption. As things now seem even more uncertain in the process, I don’t necessarily know if that means we are one month closer, but the month did seem to go by pretty quickly. (By the way, the pic below is 3 years old, but I couldn't resist posting Ethan's "thumbs up" as our number one. Was he ever really that little?!?)
I have heard a lot of people talk (and read a lot of blogs) on the subject of waiting when it comes to adoption. The general consensus seems to be that the entire process will go according to God’s timing and His plan, therefore I should not be praying that the process goes quickly.
I think I am gonna have to disagree on that one.
While I 100% believe that God is sovereign and can make this adoption happen at any moment, I do not believe that it is His will that orphans remain without families while there are holdups in the process for whatever reason. When adoptions slow down in any country, fewer children are united with loving families. They remain in institutions or without a home altogether. They may not get the food or medical care they need, and ultimately some of these kids will not survive.
I was talking to a friend last weekend who runs an orphanage in Africa. Her orphanage is probably one of the best there is, but as she herself put it, no matter how good of a job they do, “it is still an institution. It is not a family.”
I believe that the delays are evidence of the fallen world that we live in. In a perfect world, children would not have to wait on paperwork to be completed before they can be held by their mother. (Of course, in a perfect world, there wouldn’t be a need for adoption either as there would be no death, disease, poverty, or any other situation that would lead to a child being without a family.) The fact is, our world is not as it should be...as it was created to be. The consequences of sin are evident all around, and this process is no exception. (By the way, I am in no way blaming any one earthly organization for the delays. The very reason that added scrutiny is needed is because we live in a world where not everyone is looking out for the best interests of children. Those involved are trying to determine a way to make sure these kids are kept safe. Our battle is not against flesh and blood.)
God tells us in his Word that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) This does not mean that everything that happens will be good, but it does mean that He can bring about good from really crumby situations. He will use the holdups to bring the specific child He has planned to be in our family. He will also use those delays to teach us and grow us in ways that we never would have imagined. He will use the delays to show us more about who He is, but I do not believe that He is the creator of the delays. After all, “God sets the lonely in families.” (Psalm 68:6)
I also do know that at many points in this process, God will steer the decisions of everyone involved, and He can intervene and bring our child home tomorrow. He sees this entire process from beginning to end, and is watching out for our kids wherever they are...because they are His kids. He loves them more that we ever will. My God is sovereign, powerful, and He loves us. He wants kids to have families. He wants us to grow in Him. And he wants to bless us...and I can’t think of a better blessing that the precious kiddos He will put in our lives through this process.
So, I will be praying that this process moves quickly...for us, for the other families that are waiting on their kids, and especially for the sweet children that wait in orphanages around the world for their mommies and daddies to come and get them. I will be praying that the hindrances to children being placed in loving families are removed. I will be praying for wisdom and guidance for those who make decisions in all stages of the process. The lives of children hang in the balance.