We are really excited. We’ve been praying, talking, investigating, waiting, and praying some more. And we feel confident that God is moving us to adopt once more. This time our journey will take us to China. There is a sweet little girl, just one year younger than Hanissa, who is waiting. All we need is to finish a lot of paper work, home study, get our finances together, and she will be able to come home. She’s ready. She’s waiting.
Adopting from China will be completely different than our Ethiopia adoption. Different rules, different time table, different background/medical information, and so on. And, we are adopting a waiting child. Most people look at me like I’m crazy when I say this and ask, “Isn’t every child a waiting child?” Well, no.
A “waiting child” is a child who is off the grid for traditional adoption. The typical Chinese adoption takes about 6 years to complete at this time. Prospective parents get their paperwork finished and then get in line. In this type of adoption, the parents do more waiting than the children. Many of the kids who come home through the normal Chinese adoption route aren’t even born when the parents apply. That’s a crazy thought. And it isn’t because there are no orphans but because only a select few are actually eligible for international adoption.
Most “waiting children” are considered special needs because of age and minor physical issues. Yes, there are children with major physical, emotional, and/or mental needs, but many live in an orphanage their entire life after having surgery to repair a cleft pallet or just because they are no longer in the cute baby/toddler stage.
Getting in line and going through the traditional adoption system is fine. But, our heart has always gone out to waiting kids. These are the kids we worked with and loved on at the orphanages near us. These are the kids who know nothing of family. These are the kids who wait year after year. These are the kids that age out of the orphanage never knowing what it is like to be loved by a mom and dad. We’ve seen their smiles. We’ve heard their voices and we can’t get them out of our head.
From a purely human perspective, adopting again right now is a crazy idea. We’ve had many discussions about why this isn’t the right time and yet, God just keeps saying, “Trust Me!” It is hard to talk to your kids about faith when we are holding back and not stepping out ourselves. I am thankful my Heavenly Father loves us enough to keep speaking, keep nudging. I don’t know what the next year will look like, but our family has jumped on the train and we aren’t looking back. Life is a story with more written everyday and this next chapter is going to be great.