Sunday, January 29, 2012

9 Months - What Does the Future Hold?

Today marks 9 months on the Ethiopian Wait List. I wish I had better news, but we got some new numbers from our agency and the wait times have increased AGAIN. We are now looking at 19 months before a referral and that doesn't factor in the fact that we will have to go on hold until Jackson is a little older. Currently there are about 90 families ahead of us on the wait list. Two years ago our agency placed approximately 150 children in families. Last year they placed about 55 and this year they have matched about 20. Kind of depressing. We are looking at another 2 years or more before bringing Ethiopian children home.
It's not that we mind waiting. Really we don't. But as we've been praying and talking about the future of our Ethiopian adoption, we've really had to stop and think about a few things (and pray for God's wisdom).

1. The longer we wait, the more money it will cost! We will have to update our home study, fingerprints, dossier paperwork, etc. etc. (probably more than once). I know that God will provide, but I also have to consider that a TON of people have helped us financially and we have to be good stewards of the money they have donated to our adoption. Right now we are looking at needing another $10,000 or more to complete an Ethiopian adoption, which would mean more fundraising. I just don't feel comfortable asking for more money when people have already donated so much to us. Looking at our adoption account we currently are only $3,000 to $5,000 short of what we would need to complete a domestic adoption through our local agency. We could save and come up with that money on our own over the next year - since we technically can't start an adoption until Jackson is a year old.

2. We have gotten to know the executive director of our local adoption agency and she has shared some interesting information with us. There is a HUGE need for families to adopt African American and biracial children. In the past 10 years, there has NEVER been an African American family wanting to adopt from this agency. There seems to be a huge need right here in our own state, and of course, God has given John and I a heart for African children.

I believe with all my heart that John and I clearly heard God calling us to adopt from Ethiopia in February 2010. I struggle with walking away from the program, but I also know that God may be calling us to do so.
I have often wondered why we started on the path to Ethiopia if we aren't going to finish. God showed me something pretty incredible through my Bible study last week. I was supposed to map out periods (good and bad) in my life and see how God used them for His plans to be accomplished. Here is what I wrote in my workbook:

Infertility and Depression led to
the decision to adopt which led to
God leading us to Ethiopia, which led to
God giving me a heart for the poor, the orphan and the world, which led to
Me praying for God to show me how I could serve that population here in the U.S., which led to
My job at City Rescue Mission, the states largest homeless shelter, which led to
Meeting our birth mom, which led to
Our incredible adoption story and amazing son, Jackson Henry.

Whew! Maybe, just maybe, God called us to Ethiopia, if for no other reason than to change me. To prepare me for the journey He had in store. To give me a heart for the poor, the orphan and a heart for African children and biracial children.

We are still praying, but there a chance that we could walk away from the Ethiopia program to pursue adopting an African American or biracial child through our local adoption agency. Please know that it will not be an easy decision. I see the faces of the children in Ethiopia who desperately need families and my heart aches. All I know is that God has an amazing plan. He knows who are children are and already has the details worked out. I just have to trust. I just have to be obedient to follow where He leads. And sometimes that's not always easy.


  1. this is so good Jennifer, and something that has been on my heart lately, we were just told by our agency that it would be two years before we recieved a referral. So frustrating that it is taking so long when there are so many kids who need homes. I would love to visit with you more about the need in our own city for african american adoptions...

  2. I hear you, I hear you. It is so hard to think about walking away from a country that we've fallen in love with. At the same time, Ethiopia just wasn't the right choice for our family at this time. But it was a really, really tough decision. These choices can be so hard. It sounds like you are on a pretty amazing path, though!! :-)