A year. It is hard to believe that we have already been on our adoption journey for a year! A YEAR!! So what has happened during that year and where are we in the process, you may ask? Let me tell you…
In the very beginning I met with some friends and I remember them saying that I needed to be prepared for the abundance of paperwork. I took that advice, tucked it in my back pocket and moved forward with such excitement, ready to tackle mounds and mounds of paperwork. The excitement slowly started to fade as I realized that we would not just have mounds of paperwork, we were buried under a whole stinkin’ mountain of paperwork and it JUST KEPT COMING. Every time we thought we were finished, there was something we needed to redo to get the wording just right or there was a new sheet that we needed to complete. Honestly, it was so daunting and frustrating. It was so important for us to turn our eyes to God in the whole process and trust that it is all in His timing, even the endless paperwork. When people would ask us how the paperwork was going we’d always respond that we were hitting some speed bumps, but getting through it.
There have been many days of impatience and frustration already, but even more days of excitement and joy. In the beginning of January, Rob and I had an appointment at Homeland Security in Milwaukee for fingerprinting and approval to adopt and bring our child into the United States from Haiti. It was really early and we were exhausted as we drove through construction, fog, and rain, trying to find the building. They make it all so intimidating and we could not miss the appointment. As we were driving along in our less-than-desirable mini van we hit a huge dip in the road; it felt like the van was suspended in air then came down with speed and force. My reaction was to scream (because I seriously thought the red rocket was going to fall apart at the seams). When we realized that we high-tailed it right over a speed bump (or as the sign says ‘Speed Hump’…who calls it a hump??), I could not stop laughing…slap-happy, tired, delirious laughing that brought on tears. We were a little early so we sat in our vehicle and had the delight of watching others do the same thing as us as they drove by. I know it sounds mean, and maybe it was because I was just so tired, but I laughed like a fool at every one! Several times throughout the day I would just randomly start smiling or laughing about it.
As we were driving home, we had to laugh at the irony of the speed bump (hump). This whole process has been filled with them, figuratively. Every one takes us by surprise and throws us off track a little, but it doesn’t stop us. The speed bump in Milwaukee threw us for a loop, literally…and after the initial jolt of shock, we laughed about it and carried on.
This brings us to now…The other day I talked to Julie, our contact person at All God’s Children, and she informed us that from this point we can expect to wait up to 2 years just to receive a match with a child in Haiti. 2 years. Sigh… I let this really bother me for a couple of days and was in a funk about it. Rob just kept telling me it would be okay. I am frustrated because I know that there are 450,000 orphans in Haiti who desperately need a home. I know that hundreds of thousands of those orphans will be sold into slavery. I know that the Haitian government is in control of this whole process and we must respect their decisions and timelines because we have no other choice. But, the most important thing I know is that God’s timing is perfect and we need to trust Him. He is the reason we are on this journey. He will see us and our child through it all.
Until we meet the next Phelps kiddo, we will focus on helping our children grow and learn more about themselves, the Haitian culture, and their role in this whole process. Looking on the bright side, Avery and Ali will have a chance to understand what will happen before it actually does. Being only 2, Avery has no clue about any of it and Ali knows, but doesn’t fully accept or comprehend the magnitude of it.
So for now, in order to stay sane, I am choosing to see this wait as a gift of time for our family to mature and grow and prepare. It is a precious gift and it is not to be taken for granted.
Be Light. Be love. Believe…