"Dear Josh & Tami,
As your family is in the waiting stage of the adoption process, we are writing to inform you of a change to our predicted timeframes between dossier submission and referral.
The wait for a male referral is now predicted to be between 10 and 16 months. The wait for a female referral is now predicted to be between 11 and 18 months. Wait times currently show a trend of increasing.
There are many factors that contribute to wait times. Each child’s case can vary in the amount of time it takes to be ready to be referred to a family. America World thoroughly investigates each case and it can take weeks, and at times months, to clear referrals with medical or documentation issues, or to obtain necessary governmental documents/clearances/etc. that are needed before he or she can be referred.While we know this news is disappointing, we are encouraged to share that MOWCYA has increased the number of recommendation letters they write to 15 per day. We will continue to apprise your family of any other changes that occur, and we are praying for your family and all families in the various stages of the adoption process. Please feel free to let me know if you have any follow up-questions."
Yes, this does happen to be the third time that the wait times have increased for our family. Why? Well the e-mail pretty much explains it. They are being VERY picky about every piece of documentation for the orphans (which is a good thing) and this is making things slow down significantly. My friend abby and I laugh because we say that every since people starting asking "when do you think you'll bring your baby home?" we've always said, "oh probably about a year" and we are still saying the same thing. At times it feels like we'll always be saying, "oh probably about a year from now." In truth, it will happen exactly when it is supposed to and I know that means we'll truly have the son that God means just for us. I have to admit that this time was one of the most discouraging. Partly because I walk past our guest room and am just dying to make it a nursery, Amaya is now asking about when her baby brother will be home a lot more frequently, and because there was a day when we thought we'd be extremely close to a referral at this point. Someone on our Yahoo group (who has now been on the wait list 11 months) wrote such an excellent post when we all got the e-mail and I don't think she'd mind me sharing a portion of it with you. She writes,
"Sometimes His (God's) best is being sold by your brothers, stuffed into a cistern, and sent to a far away land. Sometimes His best is to give up a cushy job taking others money to become poor, hungry, and persecuted and follow a man claiming to be the Messiah. Certainly His best was put on the cross for us.
I'm putting my best up tonight and choosing to rest and trust, despite my 10 months and 29 days of waiting and the disappointment I feel this night. I hope God will lead you to what your best is, the way you can show faith and trust despite the struggle that this day has brought.
If you're really stuck in the sadness, pray for a family who's child is stuck in Ethiopia. Pray for the children who are not and will never be "paperwork ready" for adoption. Pray for a nation that is on the brink of another starvation crisis. Pray your heart out for Ethiopia and ask God to give you peace about the small part we all get to play in His redemption of that beautiful nation. That's what I'm going to try and do, focus my heart on praying for that which is worse than I feel in this moment. Trusting that God has His BEST for me each day is no easy effort, but the riches it brings..."
Wow, what a way to bring me back to focusing on OTHERS and not myself. What a way to remember that none of this is for us or about us. It is about others. In fact, that is how we should be living all of our lives. Serving others. Praying for others. Focusing on them. It is amazing what happens when you begin to focus yourself to the needs of others instead of being consumed about what you think you need RIGHT NOW. So, the wait times have increased. Something else in the process has changed. Has our God changed? Nope. He's still the same God. I love soaking in that and remembering that He doesn't change. He always stays the same.