Sunday, September 23, 2007

What's Happening Now

So, it’s been over a month since I’ve posted. Thank you all for asking about us and for praying for us. I am always humbled to know that people pray for us; many of you do everyday. You people are amazing!

Honestly, the reason I haven’t posted is because I’ve dreaded saying that nothing has changed. It’s one thing to know that myself, but to say it out loud to everyone else is another thing. BUT, tonight I can say we have made a move!

Things have been incredibly busy, as we knew they would. But, last week I called the Department of Social Services (DSS) and left a message asking about getting a homestudy started. I also called the same social worker (H.B.) that Andy talked to back in August, just to ask her some questions. She was incredibly nice and helpful.

I told her my concerns about independent/private adoption (where you find your own birthmother and go to the lawyer with her to draw up the papers). In many private arrangements, the adoptive couple pays whatever living expenses the birthmother needs: rent, utilities, gas, groceries, medical, etc. Knowing that many of these types of adoptions fall through and that there is a possibility for adoption fraud (the birthmother needs someone to pay her bills and makes an adoption plan knowing all along that she doesn’t plan to finalize), we have not progressed for fear that we would not be able to move ahead after an “interrupted” adoption. H.B. asked if we had thought about an agency adoption. I told her we’d thought about Christian Family Services (CFS) in Ft. Mill. She said they had a great reputation. She said that part of their ministry was to pay the living expenses for the birthmothers and only expect reimbursement from the adoptive couple upon finalization of the adoption. So, we would not be expected to pay living expenses up front, nor would be have to pay in the case of an interrupted adoption. That’s very helpful information!

After four days of no response from DSS, I called again. The number at which I left a message earlier in the week had been disconnected. I found it odd that the phone number of a government agency would be disconnected.

We’ve talked a lot about whether we need to do a State adoption of a special needs child. Neither of us has felt a “calling” in that direction. We’re open to it. We’ve prayed about it. But, we’ve had no inclination that we definitely need to pursue it. Christian Family Services places mostly infants, but on occasion they place older children and children with special needs as well. So, we figured if we go through them, we would still have all of our options open should God speak to us about that in the process.

Then there’s Guatemala. About a month ago a lady who went on the mission trip with us called to tell me that the director of the ministry in Guatemala bought an orphanage. My heart fluttered. It took me back to the Marriott where all the gringos were with their Guatemalan babies. As it turns out, there are 27 infants under the age of one at the orphanage.

So, Friday night Andy and I filled out an application for CFS. We expressed interest in doing a domestic and international homestudy. We said we were willing to adopt a “special needs” child (which could be a child of a minority race, an older child, or a child with other special needs) from our own country or another country. We’ve left all of our options open. We put the stamp on it tonight!