Last week when we were driving to Lynchburg to visit some friends (since we still had no power at Casa de Bees) I received a phone call from our homestudy agency. I was hopeful when I answered that it was good news.
I hoped it was our phone call telling us that the Interstate Compact process was done and that we needed to make arrangements to bring Annalise home.
Instead, I was asked to address some specific concerns that were raised during the ICPC process. We were asked to do something that is not normally done during the ICPC process for private adoptions.
I was bummed. I was annoyed. And my frustration was almost at it's boiling point. I almost asked God, "WHY!?" We had had no power since Saturday, we were living in hotels with four children 8 and under (not exactly my idea of fun) and now this.
But I was scared He would ask me, "Why not?" Who am I to think that I'm so special that I should never have difficult or hard moments in my life?
Instead, Brandon and I discussed that we would continue to do whatever it takes for Annalise to come home. We are committed to her, in good times and in bad times. That is what parenting is about, biological or adopted, special needs or typical!
We told our friends about the hurdle that we now had to clear. They prayed for us.
Thursday, I had the pleasure (ha!) of typing a 4 page document explaining away these concerns and enclosing a 16 page document from our insurance company and a copy of a law.
I even managed to crack a few jokes with friends about how much better it would be to write this letter with a glitter pen instead of making a boring, old typed document.
I did it with grace that God provided. I did it with strength that God provided. I was almost joyous towards the end of my writing when I saw how easily the words flowed and all of the resources I needed were easy for me to find.
Before lunch on Friday, I saw the rough draft of the addendum. It was completed and mailed out the same day. (Amazing turnaround!) And now we wait some more...
Our socialworkers at both agencies have commented that we've been quick on our feet to provide the additional information and to set things up. THIS is God blessing this process, friends. Brandon and I have very few "connections" here... and yet (most of) the people we've spoken with have gone out of their way to help us or to give us information about someone that can. We continue to thank God for each of these blessings. Some may choose to see these occurrences as coincidences or happenstance. I see the sovereign hand of the Almighty, expediting parts of our process, so that our baby girl can have permanence in a family that loves her so very, very much. As much as we love Annalise, the One who created her loves her more.
Annalise, not a day goes by that we don't think about you, talk about you and wish you were here. We never imagined the process would take this long and we are doing everything in our power to get you home as soon as possible. We continue to pray for everyone involved: you, your foster family, your birthfamily, the workers at both agencies, the government officials that are completing ICPC, all the way to the postal workers that we count on to deliver these documents and the notaries that make these documents official. We pray that everyone does their jobs to the best of their abilities, with what is best for you in mind at all times.
Heavenly Father, we continue to walk the road that You set our feet on. We are continually amazed at Your planning for our lives and we are excited to see what our future holds as Annalise joins our family. Comfort Annalise and prepare her to join our family. Continue to encourage Julianne and DeLainey especially. Breathe hope and joy into their thoughts about their sister and keep them from feeling that Annalise joining our family is hopeless and that Annalise has been forgotten. Help Brandon and I with the decisions that we are going to be making about Annalise's care. We love You and praise You! In your precious Son's name, Amen.