When Adoption Gets Hard

Well, I’ve probably been silent on here long enough. I said in the beginning that I would update on our adoption as things went along. And then I never really did. At first it was because we were worried about putting too much identifying information out there. We wanted to protect us, our adoption, and especially the little girl we are adopting. Things seemed to be going along smoothly and we didn’t want to rock the boat. But, when we set out we said that we wanted to be open and transparent about the ins and outs and ups and downs of adoption. So, even though it’s hard, I want to share what’s going on with us right now.

For the last month and a half we’ve been hearing news of a possible shut-down of intercountry adoption in Uganda. This would mean that it would be nearly impossible for us to continue with our plans to adopt our daughter. This is obviously very hard news for us. What made this news especially alarming is that we are literally just two steps away from completing our adoption. We’re waiting on some paperwork from our little girl’s home village, once that paperwork is submitted, we will be able to apply for a court date…the date that we would travel to Uganda to get legal guardianship of our daughter. When we chose to adopt from Uganda, we went into it with our eyes wide open. Basically, we knew that something like this–or some other situation completely–could happen and we would have to walk away from this adoption. We just weren’t prepared for it to happen so late in the game. When we accepted our referral, and then a private investigation came back quickly and verified the facts we had already been told, we thought we were in the clear.

I don’t know if I can really put into words just how much this has affected us. When it looked like the act that would change the rules for intercountry adoption would certainly pass, I think we reached a real low point. I couldn’t do the simplest things without crying. I had let myself get comfortable enough with the adoption to start imagining incorporating this little girl into our everyday lives. When I was at the grocery store, going to church, going out to dinner, I kept thinking (and sometimes saying), “It will be so awesome to do this with a little one in tow,” or, “Won’t it be so great to introduce our daughter to…(fill in the blank with whatever activity we were doing).” Now I’m trying to let go of those thoughts and I frequently find myself missing and longing for something I never had to begin with. We felt so called to this adoption, to this specific child, why would God allow something like this to happen?

We have spent the last 6 weeks praying fervently for something to happen. For God to move in a miraculous way. One of my very best friends said to me, “Julie, God keeps his promises. God is not done yet.” And for now, I’m choosing to hold onto that.To trust that God can still make a way for us to bring this precious one home, even when it seems like our hope is slipping away. Will you pray with us?

I’ll be back with more when we get some more concrete details. Thank you friends, for loving us, and for caring so much about our little girl already. We’re so grateful for the support we’ve been shown :).


Death and New Life

The last two weeks have been a roller coaster of emotion. I’ve been so up and down that my moods have just gone haywire. I started crying randomly during our Easter service because we had to sit in the lobby due to a packed service and the fact that we arrived right before it began. It was, of course, our fault. I took too long getting ready, we had to wrestle the dog into the crate, and so on. But I felt cheated out of my Easter experience. It is my very favorite Sunday (or in our case, Saturday) of the year and I felt like I didn’t get to fully participate in the service. And then during the sermon everything hit me. The craziness of the last two weeks, watching the service on a TV screen, the death and resurrection of Jesus (which, on a good day, is enough to make me teary). I knew I was being ridiculous, but I just felt so overwhelmed.

I’ve been on a Shauna Niequist kick lately. It began when I read Bread and Wine and loved it. Bonnie got me Bittersweet for my birthday, and I might have loved that even more. In it she talks about the Christian life bearing a pattern of death and new life. She talked about looking at her own life and places that she could see it. The death of a dream, the death of a job, of the life you thought you were called to live. But if you look for it, something new and beautiful springs up in it’s place. Death and new life.

Two weeks ago my grampy died. My dad called on a Saturday morning after a particularly bad night shift at work to let me know Grampy had gone home. Corey and I traveled to Pennsylvania for the viewing and funeral. It was comforting to be with my family, but a sadness hung in the air even though we rejoiced that Grampy was with Jesus. My grammy (who was married to my grampy for 68 years before she died) passed away 4 years ago. Grampy’s death seemed to carry such a finality with it. No more grandparents on my dad’s side. Standing at Grampy’s funeral I shook that feeling, reminding myself that in Christ, after death we are promised life….life abundant. I saw it there in my grampy’s testimony, death and new life.

Two days after the funeral i missed call from our adoption agency. When I called back our coordinator told me that we had received the referral for our little girl. I cried again. While still mourning the passing of my grandfather, we would start preparing for the arrival of our daughter. Death and new life.

I’m seeing it all around me even now as the cold of winter gives way to a season of renewal. Winter’s death is swallowed up in the new life of spring.

As I worshiped in church last night I was reminded of the ultimate death and new life for me. The death of Jesus on the cross, once and for all, to purchase life for anyone who believes in him.

Are you seeing the pattern in your life? I promise you will once you start looking for it.

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. ~Isaiah 43:19

Happy Easter, friends. He is risen indeed!



Do you know what this stack of papers means??  We sent our dossier off to our adoption agency. It’s gone. This adoption is officially out of our hands. Not that it was ever in our hands to begin with, we know that. God has been in control this whole time and will continue to be. But the headache-inducing paperwork is done and we’re so so glad. I told my friend that I would be so relieved when it wasn’t totally up to us to run around the get all this paperwork together. She replied that sometimes the waiting when there’s nothing for you to do it the hardest part. Probably true. So give me 2 months and I will most likely be complaining that I have no control over this situation and everything and everyone is taking waaaaaaay too long ;). We’re just so excited to meet this little girl, things literally cannot go fast enough at this point.

So now we need to begin the work of getting our house ready for a third member. I think this is going to be one of the most fun parts. We have several rooms that need painted and fixed up. Furniture needs to be rearranged. I have a plan in my head, it’s just going to take a little while to execute it. Our upstairs is going to undergo a pretty big transformation. Basically, the room we use as a giant closet right now is going to be an office/reading/play room. Ha!

I got this cute little stool to start the process. I stumbled on it at HomeGoods. It was the only one there, so I snatched it up! I was at Ikea last weekend and almost bought a little plastic one, and I’m so glad I waited. I love this stool. It’s perfect for our elephant-themed room. I also got some great Ugandan stuff from my friend that I’ll share in a bit.

Well, we’re off to enjoy our weekend without the stress of something hanging over our heads. Yay!!