Adoption Update: Christmas 2015

A Hole of Hope

Merry Christmas! We must admit, this is one of the more difficult updates that we've written for our adoption. Today marks the two year anniversary of beginning the process of adopting from Ethiopia. We had high hopes that this would be the year we were able to announce that we're bringing our son home, or that we have a referral, or something. But this is not that update, and this is not that year. 

We knew when we turned in our adoption application two years ago that the road to adoption would be filled with twists and turns, ups and downs, highs and lows. We have certainly seen the twists, turns, downs, and lows, and we pray and await the day when we get to celebrate!

We ask that you bear with us for the entirety of this email - it is long, but there's a lot of information that we want to share with everyone at the same time. 

With that, we have some news to share and we've debated the best way to do this. We decided that we'd share an excerpt from Jessica's journal to Judah that she wrote last week. 

November 25, 2015

Dear Judah,

The wait is the hardest during the holidays. Today Grandma Deb will come to Birmingham and spend Thanksgiving at our house. A few days ago, Aunt Carlee came over to help us decorate for Christmas. You have a place on our mantle just waiting for your first Christmas home so we can fill it with a stocking for you. Even though you’re not home, you’re very much a part of our holiday season and we are always thinking about you and praying for you.

Last week, we found out that we are going to have to wait for you a little longer than we thought. Our agency, Dove, will be closing at the end of the year. That means we’ll have to switch to another agency, West Sands, and we’ll go from #12 on Dove’s waiting list to probably #90-something at the back of West Sands’s list.

When we found out last week, we were devastated. But then as we did more research we found out that this will probably be a better agency for you to come home through - they take the best care of their kiddos. By the time you read this we’ll all know how the story, your story, played out and I cannot wait for that day.

We know God provides and we trust His timing most. As much as we already love you, we know that God loves you more. We cannot wait until the day we will see your face.

Your Grandma Honey said yesterday that we are thankful to have a hole of hope and not a whole of loss. We know that some day you’ll be home and we will be able to share the story of how we waited and waited to meet our sweet Judah. We will celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving and birthdays and we’ll cherish them all the more because we’ve seen the hole of hope filled!

Happy Thanksgiving, my sweet son, I love you so much and prepare for life with you. You’ve taught me so much already about my capacity to love, wait, and long for God’s most precious gift.

Love,
Mommy

What We Know

So far, here are several things we know about this this surprising adoption update. 

  • Dove, our current agency will be closing at the end of 2015. 
  • We were given 3 options, switch to Lifeline's other Ethiopia partner agency, West Sands Adoptions, change to another Lifeline program (different country), pull out of the process altogether. We have opted to stick with Ethiopia and switch to West Sands.
  • There are currently about 80 families on the West Sands waiting list and we will go to the bottom of the list, but we will maintain our Dove order, which we are currently #12. 
  • About 40%-50% of West Sands families are on hold of one reason or another. That could change, but some families in the 40s are getting referrals from West Sands.
  • West Sands gets an average of 6-8 referrals per month, and they have been for the last 6 or 7 months. Each time, several referrals have been infants, which is what we are approved for.

We are heartbroken, and we have been letting our tears flow freely in the Morales house over the last two weeks, but we know that God has a plan and a purpose for our lives, and most of all for Judah's life. We take comfort in His promises.


Comfort in the Gospel

When we were members at Brook Hills, I remember hearing David Platt talk and preach on adoption. I'd hear his words and know that God had called Jason and I to adopt someday (we were dating at the time) and I would think, "I know adoption will be hard, but surely it can't be that hard." If there's ever been a moment that I've looked back and cringed at my ignorance, it's been this one. I've been thinking about these words a lot over the last two weeks, with the unfortunate news of our delay. 

The reality is, adoption may not be an easy road. As we have put a huge emphasis here in this faith family on adoption, many families have gone through really challenging circumstances, and it’s not always easy, whether here in the church or people I talk to beyond this church...What are you going to do when it is tough? The reality is the only thing that will sustain you at that point is the gospel that reminds you that you too were once dead in sin, totally abandoned from your Father, and He continues to pursue you. Though there is nothing in you to draw Him to you. He still pursued you. That is where we realize that we care for orphans not because we are rescuers. We are not a group of good, altruistic people out to be saviors for orphans around the world. That’s not what drives orphan ministry. We care for orphans not because we are rescuers; we care for orphans because we are the rescued, and the gospel drives that.
— David Platt

Pray for Judah

We know that God's timing is best, even when it seems like we can't understand why He's choosing to do things so differently than we would have hoped. Please be praying for our family, our future son, and our wait. We are fatigued and deeply need a renewed strength, but we will press on toward the goal.

We love each of you and are so thankful for the beautiful gift of friendship and community that God has given us. We wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank you for loving us well and praying for us through our adoption journey. We look forward to introducing you to our little blessing someday!