If anyone asked Aaron and I six weeks ago if we would adopt the answer would have been a resounding "No" but "we are avid supporters of others who are adopting". Who knew that four days in Haiti would change the course of our lives forever. Back in February my sister-in-law invited me to join her and her husband on a trip to meet my nephews in Haiti. They have been in the adoption process for a year and a half now and are in the "final stages", although that like every other part of the process takes an eon. I frantically began getting the paperwork and application done for my passport, which as a Canadian living in the U.S. is not so easy. I began researching about this place I would be going and even started to learn some basic Creole; the primary language spoken by the majority population. As the trip dates approached faster and faster I was nervous and excited about leaving the comforts of home. I knew there would be no hot or clean water but the first thing that surprised me was that when you use the toilet you can't flush any paper waste. I'll let you figure that out. I got some great advice to shower at night which felt amazing after long days in the heat and humidity at the orphanage.
From day one at the orphanage I fell in love with every child there; this feeling you get of wanting to scoop every single one up and "rescue" them. I lost track of time and my own "stuff" while I was there. One of my girls in looking at the pictures of my trip said that I looked so happy. It is amazing how much joy you feel when you are giving all of yourself to others without worrying about your outfit looking cute or your hair being a certain way. I remember one night sitting on the balcony upstairs crying trying to process the level of poverty I had seen, the emptiness in the eyes of so many, the desperation of the children at the orphanages to be hugged, kissed, and adored. Who knew that night, God was breaking me down for something I never thought possible.
On Thursday (Day 3), we went like every other day with donations and food for the kids and who knew that two special children would touch my heart in only a way a mother's heart can be. There was no overt "thing" that happened but while I sat with them I felt this stirring in me that I couldn't describe. Friday was our final day and as I spent time with these same two all day I couldn't stand the thought of leaving these two in particular in this place with no family to love them, no promising future ahead. I sat there so blown away by the feelings and emotions I experienced. Who knew that my heart could be penetrated by two children I barely knew.
Coming home on the plane, I said to my sister-in-law, "How do I go home and tell my husband I want to adopt two children?". Who knew that at home he had experienced some things of his own and knew that I would come home wanting to adopt. After talking together and with our kids we knew this was the path we were supposed to travel to bring these kids home. Who knew that obstacle one would come almost immediately. Aaron and I are not rich by any means so we knew that money would be an obstacle; we didn't know it would be our primary obstacle. Although there are not financial requirements for Haiti adoptions, USCIS has some, and at our current income we would maybe only qualify to adopt one child with our current assets. After a lot of discussion, Aaron approached his work and increased his hours permanently so that we could not only meet the income guidelines but also to increase our monthly savings toward the adoption. Who knew that Aaron's work would be so willing.
The next obstacle was waiting to hear from the agency to approve our application. After many sleepless nights and emails we finally were approved and could begin the adoption process. Who knew that God would continue to open seemingly impossible doors. We then began to share our good news and who knew that some unexpected people would be supportive and that others we would expect support from would be naysayers. A friend has said many times that money is one of the biggest deterrents for adoption and we are here to say that we get it. When this crossroads comes it is the path you choose that makes the difference.
Who knew that I would be typing my first blog post for our adoption journey. Who knew that God would use our story to show that mountains can be moved. Who knew that Aaron would be more impatient than I in just the beginning steps. Each step is a small one toward our greater goal of bringing two more into our family. Today our acceptance and agreement paperwork went in to the agency. Who knows what the journey will look like but I know and Aaron knows that we will not rest until our children come home!!!