I’m currently sipping my coffee on the back deck listening to birdsong and cicadas and my cute rooster (I can say he’s “cute” because he is a silkie and he’s the smallest and fuzziest of the flock. Think: teacup Build-a-Bear rooster with a Napolean complex). It’s a beautiful summer morning. There’s a soft breeze and I can almost smell my tomatoes ripening in the garden. My thoughts are flickering between what I’m going to cook for dinner (I’m making Kerala chicken curry, btw), wondering what Clara is doing with her Lolli right now, and the phone conversation I just had with my husband. I’m also sitting here pondering how to convey an adoption update to you without any actual updates.
From our last update, we organized a yard sale that was very successful thanks to the generous donations of our friends and family. We also had some rockstar friends who came and helped us work the yard sale. Shout-out to the Burns, Propst, and Bounds families!! It was a fun morning under the great oak trees at Mawmaw Medlin’s, and we enjoyed meeting people from the community, raising awareness about the orphan crisis, and having the opportunity to pray with people as they shared their own lives and burdens. Thank you sooooo much to those of you who gave magnanimously and volunteered your precious time. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Transparent moment: This Monday is difficult, as most Mondays have been for the past few months. Each Monday looms ominously over another week of no word from CARA. As you may remember (or may not) Bret and I are awaiting initial approval from CARINGS. CARA is the Indian government agency that processes all adoptions. Once prospective adopting parents receive CARINGS approval, they can then be matched with a child. When our agency submitted our homestudy in January, the approximate wait time for approval was 10-18 weeks. We were so excited to hit the 10 week mark and just knew that we would be getting the good news that we were eligible to match with a child any day. Surely, we wouldn’t be one of the couples that had to wait the full 18 weeks. We gathered up our hope and optimism, stuffed them into a balloon, and held on tightly to the tether. The weeks passed by, but we didn’t hear anything. As the 18 week mark approached, our balloon was on the verge of bursting. We were excited and confident that we would have to hear something by then. We even felt relieved that 18 weeks had come because it meant that we wouldn’t have to wait any longer and we could finally move on in the adoption process. 18 weeks came and went. Some air leaked out. And then 19 weeks. And then 20. And then we came to the stark reality that there is no possible way to know when this waiting period will come to an end. We are now approaching week 22. We are not deflated, but our grip on that hope has become less confident and more desperate.
As we’ve talked with our amazing caseworker, we’ve learned that other families have experienced longer wait times, too. Our agency has been reaching out to CARA and advocating on our behalf and on behalf of the other families. We have no concrete reason why there has been a hiatus on approvals. One theory is the halt is due to the recent elections in India. Maybe the Indian government has put applications on hold as new government officials are sworn in. Since most officials have been sworn in, now, the hope is that the government will pick back up soon and resume processing applications. In the meantime, our agency is using this time to look through the waiting child database and familiarize themselves with our specific special needs list, so that when we receive approval we will hopefully be presented with a child’s file soon after. Our family has also been using this time to design Clara and “her baby brother or sister’s” new bedroom, explore more local Indian markets and restaurants, and apply for Clara’s first passport. Clara is so excited to be traveling out of the country for the first time when we go to meet our child. Her only requests, so far, is that she get to see the Taj Mahal and eat lots of papadum, a thin and crispy Indian flatbread. I’m obsessed with that cutie.
All in all, we trust completely in God’s timing and we know that His plans are perfect and good. Even in the difficulty of waiting. I’m presently studying the book of Romans, and last night, God gave me a beautiful prayer for our current state. Don’t you love when He does that? When He speaks right into the dryness of your spirit and renews your faith with His Word…
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~Romans 15:13
Would you be so kind as to pray this scripture over our family? Will you please join us in petitioning God for CARA approval, approval for other families, for the heart of our unknown child, and for ours as we wait? We love you. And we covet your prayers.