On Monday, January 12, 2015 we finalized the re-adoption of our most-recent four kids in court. This is basically a formality since our adoption is already legal and binding without this extra step. However, through this process we legally changed their first and middle names, and they will each receive an official US document, similar to a birth certificate, that will help them some day when they want to get a job.
This event being in January got me reflecting on how often a January event was a big part of our timeline throughout our adoption processes. Here is a list:
Jan 2010 – During a prayer with then-7 year old Liam about our two kids that we would be adopting (paperwork not yet finished for two young kids we were not yet matched with at the time), and with a tear in his eye, he asked me, “Mom, aren’t there older kids at the orphanage? What about them? That is not fair, that the younger kids get picked and the bigger kids have to stay there longer!” I agreed with him, and those words haunted me every day after. At some point I KNEW, as crazy as it seemed, that we were supposed to adopt an older boy who was alone and about to age out of the system. I didn’t know how that would play out, and I had many conversations with God and confusion for a while as to what He was doing with that, but my Father was busy teaching me patience and trust.
Jan 2011 – Brought Aidan and Eva, our first two adopted children, home as part of our family. Experienced Ethiopian Christmas (Jan 7) before we left, in which God fulfilled a promise He made to me about spending Christmas with our new kids, just not in the way I expected. As we checked into the guest house in Ethiopia and filled out paperwork, I distinctly remember writing 1-1-11 as the check in date and 1-11-11 as the check out date, and realizing that this was going to be a year of 1st’s.
Jan 2012 – On the 20th of this January, God specifically told me that NOW is the time to start getting ready for “our boy,”so we started our paperwork. Kieran showed up on our agency’s waiting child list two months later and God began a series of several specific ways in which He showed us that this was to be our son. Later in May, we found out that Kieran had arrived at the orphanage on the exact date, Jan 20, 2012, that He told me it was time! We brought Kieran home a few months later in October.
Jan 2013 – Starting making arrangements to look into getting Kieran’s leg fixed. Spent a week in February at Shriners Children’s Hospital in St Louis to do research and determine the issues, and then another week in Oct/Nov for a major leg surgery. It was during that hospital stay that we found out that Kieran’s three younger siblings were now unexpectedly at the orphanage. Finished the year in prayer and fasting as to what to do about that news, and decided just before Christmas that we needed to keep the four siblings together and that we would do what we could to bring them home.
Jan 2014 – Started the paperwork for our third adoption. Against all odds (including our state, who rarely says yes to large families, the true threat–at the time–of Ethiopia closing its doors, and the recently added USCIS PAIR process that adds much wait time to adoptions), God sped us through the process and brought the three new kids home that July!
Eleven years ago, when I was pregnant with Maura, child #3, I distinctly remember sitting in the back of our church at a wedding, and a man from our church warning us, “Now you know, you will now have to change from man-to-man defense to zone….” Little did we know how prophetic his words would be! I so often have told others I wish I was an octopus with eight arms, but now that is not even enough, with nine kids!
So here we are, Jan 2015. Wondering what God will bring this year. Trusting He will do His will in our lives, and praying we will learn more trust in Him and wisdom as we go.
Here’s to New Years!