Disclaimer: I've said it before: Adoption is not for the faint-of-heart.  But even strong hearts can only take so much before they feel bruised and a more than a little broken.  This is a brutally honest post about my heart in the midst of this process...

I want to start by saying that there are good days in the adoption process!  There are days full of updates and good news. Days when important documents finally come in the mail.  Days when God provides a thousand dollars all at once.  There are hopeful days and days for planning and dreaming.  (Go back and read most of my previous posts for a nice healthy dose of hopeful days...)

I just haven't had a lot of those days lately.

At the moment, I hate the adoption process.  I hate the waiting.  I hate the cost.  Both financial and otherwise.  I hate that my heart stops every time the phone rings.  I hate that I check my email every half hour for some shred of an update.  I hate that at this stage, thinking about adoption at all is mostly painful.  Physically painful.  Like someone is stepping on my diaphragm.  Emotionally painful.  Lately, I'm either feeling totally numb or crying.  My emotions are just overloaded. (Ask the pastors I work with...they got to witness too many tears in our staff meeting yesterday.)

 I hate that friends of mine had to return home from Africa last week without their babies because they have to redo all of their paperwork due to other people's mistakes.   I hate that the oldest in the sibling group we've been desperately working to adopt since October will turn 10 next week in an orphanage.  I hate that my thoughts are consumed by these 3 little people I've never even met.  I hate that trying NOT to think about them drains me of all energy and motivation.

Since my last post, things have been completely silent.  We haven't heard even one little tidbit of news about what's happening in Costa Rica with our paperwork right now.  It's been almost 7 weeks since we were told that it was submitted.  No news isn't good news.  It's just no news.  And the silence is starting to become unbearable for me.  With each day that we don't hear anything, I can feel a few more of the parts of my heart that are hopeful and excited just shutting down.  Putting up protective walls.  Trying not to let doubt and fear in.  Too afraid to let hope in.  

We knew there was a chance it would take this long.  We just hoped that it wouldn't  And we know it could take longer.  Unfortunately, there is no timeline for this program.  Not really.  We are the 3rd family to go through the process, and the 1st to pursue waiting children.  Literally, no one has done what we're trying to do.  So, there's just this indefinite, uncertain waiting.  Our lives are on hold, and I'm struggling not to be bitter about it.  I have prayed that God will not allow our kids to linger in that orphanage.  And yet this silence...  

And I know all the right things to say.  I know how I should feel.  Better yet, I know the truth.  I know my Father has this all in hand.  I know that He isn't surprised by any of this.  I know that He makes beautiful things out of ugly messes.  I know that He loves those kids more than we ever could.  I know His timing is perfect.  I know He has good plans for us.  He has proven to us over and over that He is in the midst of this process.  That He has orchestrated it from the beginning, and I know that "He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it...."   But I'll be honest, on days like this, those truths don't quite reach my heart.  Maybe it's because of those walls I know I'm putting up but feel helpless to tear down.  There's such intense spiritual warfare surrounding adoption in general, and I guess I'm just battle-weary.

This process would be easier for me if God hadn't laid these specific kids on my heart...if I hadn't dreamed about them long before I knew they were real.  If we were just waiting for CR to randomly match us with a sibling group, then I wouldn't see their faces in my mind.  Their dark eyes wouldn't be able to haunt my waking and sleeping moments.  I wouldn't know their names and ages.  I wouldn't know about their hopes and fears and needs.  I wouldn't be tempted to buy them things.  I wouldn't unintentionally picture them running through our backyard or sitting at our table.  I just wouldn't know, and it would be simpler.  

But that's not the story that God's writing for our family.  And I know that in the end, He gets the glory because there's no way that we could have made this stuff happen on our own!  But right now, the knowledge of that brings little comfort.

So for my friends who cover us in prayer, keep it coming!  I think it's the only thing keeping me going these days!

Halfway There...Almost!

Our 2 fundraisers this past week were a HUGE success!  It's amazing to me how God can take a couple of little, last-minute ideas and turn them into $2451.00!  We can officially say that we are about halfway to our financial goal!  We are so blessed by our church family, and especially by the families in our small group!  We love you guys!!

We did get some good news from CR last week!!  Our dossier (which was submitted in early June) is in review right now as we speak, and it passed the first stage, which is the part where they scour all of our documents to make sure they are in the right format, etc.  We are thankful that it all passed and that we don't have to go back and redo any paperwork!!!  So now we wait for them to finish reviewing the content and get back to us with additional questions and/or official approval and matching!!!  I'm not gonna lie...I check my email way too often during the day, and I jump when the phone rings!  One of these times...

Keep praying for us!  The waiting time feels really long, and there are moments when I wonder what in the world God is doing.  I know it sounds ungrateful after a whirlwind week of God providing funds for us, but there are times when I feel intense doubt and I feel incredibly frustrated because this is taking so long.  And I feel incredibly sad because at this rate, our oldest will spend his birthday later this month in an orphanage this year...again.  It physically hurts to think about it.

But I have to trust that God is doing something.  Even when I have no idea what...