Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Yep . . . It's a girl!

Or will be, anyway.

Earlier this year, Brad and I began the process again to adopt a sibling for Eli; a sister, specifically.  And about a week and a half ago, with all our approvals in place and other paperwork complete, we went back on our agency's wait list.

Our home study approves us for a child of either gender age 0-5, but Brad and I are specifically requesting a girl on the older end of that age range.  And we have prayed that she comes from Eli's home region of Gambella.

When we first started talking with Eli about our plans to adopt a sister for him, he said to me several times "mommy, little sister is a boy."  Initially we thought Eli was expressing a preference for a little brother, but through continued discussion we learned he was referring to a relative in his home village.  That was a difficult conversation to have, explaining we were not able to adopt this child, whom Eli clearly loves very much. 

Sometimes the pain and loss of adoption hits in some unexpected ways.

Officially, we are family #28 on the Toddler Girl list, but that number is somewhat meaningless.  What really matters is there are several families on hold (not accepting a referral) and few families ahead of us are waiting for a 4-5 year old girl.  Our agency has asked us to be ready, in case things move quickly for us.  Again.

As you saw in our post yesterday, the bunk beds are in and Eli is eager to share his room with his sister.  He has never gotten used to sleeping in a room by himself, and although we have enough bedrooms for them each to have their own, he requested she share his room.  A request we were happy to accommodate, since it keeps both of them right down the hall from us.

And, for probably the first time ever in the history of bunk beds, Eli called dibs . . . on the bottom bunk.

We look forward to again sharing our journey with you.  We've been asked whether we think it will be easier this time around, and in some ways it might.  (As if THAT statement alone didn't just jinx us.)  If nothing else, we know more about what to expect in terms of the system inefficiencies and communication challenges.  I'm not saying I'll find them any less maddening, but they won't be a complete surprise.

Because as those of you who are intimately familiar with international adoption know, there is no way to escape the worry, fear and frustration that is bound to accompany the blessing of adoption.

So instead of praying it will be "easier," I'm praying God grants me the coping skills I need to see me through.  And the grace to appreciate the beauty in every stage of this process.

For those interested in timelines (like I always was . . . er, am), I've moved Eli's adoption timeline to a new tab and started the timeline for our daughter in the sidebar.

Here we go!