After lots and lots of praying and thinking and talking and stressing, we have decided to commit to trying to adopt a very special little girl named Katya. We have already been amazed and totally blessed by the circumstances that have helped guide us to our decision.
Here's the story in brief:
I have had a strange interest in adoption for many years. Even before I was anywhere close to being ready to start a family, I read about adoption, dragged my mother to a conference about adoption, and looked at profiles of waiting children in the US. Looking back, I really have no idea why I have had this burden for these kids specifically. No one in my family is adopted, not did I have any close friends who were adopted. I know that I have always loved the Bible verse that talks about religion that is pure being to help widows and orphans. It just seems so right and so like Christ to love those who are helpless. God adopted me in my helplessness! But otherwise, I have no direct connections with adoption in my own life.
I have also always been drawn to being with people with special needs. This makes more sense to me. My mother is a special education teacher, and I spent lots of time with her students. My family always seemed surrounded by those with disabilities or just those who were unique. I befriended kids with special needs at school. I took summer jobs working with them. I am now a professional counselor working mostly with kids with Asperger's and Autism. And I just genuinely love being around people who are uniquely "abled". It is a blessing.
So, with those two factors in the equation, all that was needed was the right timing. And I wouldn't have picked now. But I think that God picked now for us. My heart had begun opening to the possibility of adopting "now" during the holiday season this past year, and God has been working on my heart ever since. And He's been working on Jon's heart. Jon is amazing, so maybe it takes a little less time to open his heart. When I told him about Katya, he waited about a week and then said, "Ok." But I am getting ahead of myself.
I noticed Katya on the Reece's Rainbow website (a non-profit group helping orphans with special needs find homes) a little over a month ago and felt a tug at my heart . I showed Jon a week or so later, after having an overwhelming feeling that someone was praying very hard for Katya and that we were somehow a part of it. I found out later that, indeed, another family was praying for her, and they had that same weekend felt a peace that a family would be provided for Katya. After Jon had agreed that he also felt this was what God was leading us to do, we had spent the next month freaking out, researching, checking the practical aspects of things, and wondering if we could really be supposed to adopt a little girl on the other side of the world! The answer kept seeming like "Yes," and there were many signs along the way that helped strengthen our faith enough to move forward.
Still, we were scared. Really scared. I've read many blogs of these amazing families who've adopted several kids with special needs and are so faithful and courageous and joyful, but we are more the types who need to be dragged into God's plan, I think. The only thing we've got going for us is that we sincerely want to do God's will and want to what's right.
Anyways, we committed to try to adopt her, and only 2 days later found out that there are some things going on in Katya's country that are leading some to believe that intercountry adoptions may be shut down (for at least a certain period of time) and that this may happen in September or October, or even earlier. We had estimated that we would travel in October, so if things did shut down earlier, we might lose our chance to get Katya before she is institutionalized or lose our chance to get her at all!
We prayed again and decided to keep trying, even with the risk. But now we have to MOVE FAST. We also realize that this will make it more difficult to raise or save enough funds for the trip, as we will simply have less time. It will also just be very hard to get everything done fast enough, and there are many agencies and people involved who will have to also move fast if we are to get her before September. But we are going to try our very best because we cannot just quit on Katya's chance at being saved from her circumstances.
So that's the story in a nutshell. I didn't even really post anything about Katya, but I will tomorrow.