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Out of the Valley

On April 23rd, we received word that the state where G and S are located within Brazil decided to suspend international adoptions – with no word on when this suspension would be lifted. No warning, no hints that there was trouble brewing, just an abrupt suspension. I read the email at a stop light on my way home from work, and then called Kimberly. Both of us were shocked and stunned, neither having much to say. We weren’t happy, but we weren’t mad either. It seemed like we didn’t feel anything, at first. I waited until I got home to process what had just happened. The numbness quickly subsided – and I cried, finally feeling the gravity of what this meant.

We didn’t talk about the email much, because I didn’t want to. Kimberly is really good about knowing when to pull me out of my shell and when to let me process. So she sat with me, giving me that perfect combination of space and comfort that only your best friend in the world can provide. She wasn’t hurting the same way that I was; she processes much differently. Kimberly processes over time – she’s more level. My “process,” to use the term loosely, can be likened to a bottle rocket. Once the fuse is lit, there is a very short amount of time before the gunpowder of emotion explodes with fiery fury.

The emotion of sadness at the start quickly ignited into a wildfire of rage. I could go on about all of the reasons why I was angry, but for the sake of brevity I will stick to the main reasons why:

  • International Adoption (I’d imagine all adoptions, but I have no foundation to claim an understanding of domestic adoptions) can be an infuriating process. You bare your entire life and soul to the US and a foreign government for 6 or more months, try to get paperwork finished as fast as humanly possible, and you know what these governments do at the end of this? They give you one slip of paper and tell you to wait. No kids, no pictures, not even a parade. Just waiting. You rush as fast as you can to get everything in just right so that these governments can take their sweet time getting back to you. It can be excruciating.
  • I lack faith to believe that this suspension is part of God’s good plan for Kimberly, G, S, and me. That’s harder to admit than it is for you to hear, because I’m also proud – and I really hate admitting that I’m not perfect and my faith can be shaken. Coming face to face with the very real possibility that these two boys might never be our sons (though we already feel that they are – try as we might to guard our hearts otherwise) shook me to my core. For the better part of a week I felt as though I’d been run over by a truck. Some days, I still feel like that. An endless list of un-answerable questions flowed through my head, and it was not having answers to these questions that turned my sadness to anger. A portion of this anger was righteous: directed at the broken state of this world and desiring for an end to separation and broken homes. But, if I am honest, most of it was self-serving. I felt I had been wronged, and that this wrong needed to be repaid.

Here’s the reality of all of this, though. I was simply being selfish. Kimberly and I knew exactly what we were getting into when we started pursuing adoption. We weren’t adopting some cute little sock monkey made in China.

Sock-Monkey

We were adopting real people, from a real country, and real people have serious issues. Countries overreact. Children are adopted into better homes than ours. Nothing was ever promised to us, and I acted like it was. A few things began to pull me out of this death spiral of anger: Kimberly told me I was being a jerk (LOVE that woman); I shared with some men from Church how I was really feeling – not just the cookie-cutter, I’m not going to let you closer, response I had been giving – and they actually cared and hurt with me; and I opened my heart to hearing what God had to say about this. Prior to all of this I had simply been talking myself into a frenzy, convincing myself that I was justified. When I finally decided to open up, shut up, and listen, I began to see what was really happening:

“And then he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” – Job 1:21

“Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him and said…. ‘Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing that you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.’” – Genesis 22:10-12

Job had just seen his entire fortune and all of his children wiped out. Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son, the child of promise. Neither of them flinched in their willingness to give these up, trusting that the Lord was good. Each of them was faced with real loss, and I would imagine that their hearts were crushed within them. I’m sure they had questions too, but they each sought after God. And their faith that God was in control, and that He had a good plan in place, was strengthened.

Two friends from church, a baby, a dog, and I hiked up one of the mountains off interstate 81 today. It wasn’t a long hike, but the view from the top was gorgeous.

Valley-Panorama

One of these guys read from Genesis 22 today. He said he read it because it was a great mountaintop story. But for me, it was more than just a mountaintop story. It was exactly what I needed to hear. An imperfect person, hearing a story of amazing faith in God’s good plan, weary from a trying journey yet being renewed by truth.

Painful things happened to Job, Abraham, and Isaac – but God still showed them all His love (If you don’t believe me, read the end of Job or finish the story of Abraham). Suspensions are painful and they are a sacrifice, but God loves His people today just as much as He loved Job, Abraham, and Isaac. The same God who restored Job’s material wealth, birthed a people from Abraham through Isaac, and who created that valley is still at work today. He’s still at work in Kimberly, and in me. He’s watching over G and S while no progress is being made with our paperwork, and this is a better plan than any father could ever ask for.

So, as I walk my way out of this emotional valley, I do so knowing that I was never alone. My God was with me the whole way. I was never abandoned, and neither are my sons, while they go through valleys of their own.

 

Eleven Months Waiting

Today is June 14, 2013. Our dossier was sent to Ethiopia on June 29, 2012, so we have been officially waiting for a referral for eleven months (+ sixteen days – yes, we’re seriously late with this one).

John and Joy have been waiting right beside us for eleven months!

John and Joy have been waiting right beside us for eleven months!

About the Photo: John and Joy are some of our favoritest people in the whole world. It wasn’t long after we’d met them that we knew we’d be great friends. They can be fun and goofy just like us, but they’re also a great couple to sit down with and have a serious discussion about anything we’re going through. John and Joy have walked us through every step of our adoption(s), supporting us in so many ways we can’t begin to count them. We’re so grateful to have this amazing couple as friends! On another exciting note, John and Joy are expecting their first child, a sweet baby boy, at the end of June. We’re thrilled to welcome him into the world, and can’t wait to meet him! We love you guys!

What We’re Doing: At the beginning of May, we held another garage sale fundraiser at Kimberly’s parents’ home in Pittsburgh. Many of the items for sale were leftover from what we didn’t sell at last year’s garage sale, so we weren’t expecting to make as much money. But boy, were we surprised! With this garage sale, we actually brought in a little bit more money than last year! We were shocked by the success of this fundraiser. It couldn’t have happened without the help of Kimberly’s parents (Mama and Papa LaJ), Kimberly’s sister (Kristen) and Kristen’s boyfriend (Mike), our sweet family friend (Chelsey), and a few very generous donations from random shoppers. We’re so grateful to everyone for their help with this sale!

Kimberly also spent nearly a week away from home, without Jeremy! The first day and a half of her trip was spent alone – a Kimberlycation. She spent a very relaxing day and night in Myrtle Beach, drinking wine and enjoying the view from her hotel balcony. She also stopped for a visit to the quaint little town of Georgetown, SC – and highly recommends a visit. She then continued on to Charleston, SC, where she would spend the rest of the week with her dear friend Amanda and her favoritest little girl, Nev. On Thursday of that week, Kimberly’s sweet friend Erin married a man who was clearly made for her. They’re perfect together, and Kimberly was so happy to attend the wedding and play a small part in setting up for the wedding day.

Kimberly and Jeremy threw a little baby shower for Joy as well. It was a fun afternoon with a group of wonderful women, and it was so sweet to celebrate Joy and her first baby.

How We’re Feeling: Tired! There’s been a lot happening over the past few months! We love having so much to do and to celebrate, though, so it’s a good tired.

In regard to adoptions, we still wrestle on and off with long wait times. Sometimes we wonder why becoming parents is so difficult! But we have faith that God is in control, and that His plan is much better than anything we could concoct. So we persevere.

What Others are Saying: Some of you have asked us if it’s painful when people ask how the adoptions are going. The answer is a bit complicated… for Kimberly, the answer is “not really.” The vast majority of the time, she’s happy to talk about adopting and answer questions about the wait. For Jeremy, though, it’s a bit more painful. The wait is long, and he wants to be a dad. So, thanks for asking if asking is ok! We appreciate your sensitivity!

Referral Status: There were 7 referrals in April. Four of them were for children within our age range. Referrals are now being given to families with DTE dates in 2011. Although our DTE date isn’t until mid-2012, it’s exciting to enter the 2011 DTE dates after seeing so many 2010 dates!

Prayer Requests: Please pray that all the children waiting in orphanages for families would feel the closeness of God, and know that He’s holding them in His hands. Pray that waiting families would trust in God’s plan, and lean on Him when they feel tired and weak. Thank you!

CALLING ALL SUPPORTERS!: We’re only eleven months into our possibly-three year wait, and we’ve got many months of photos ahead of us. This is where you come in! If you’d be interested in taking a “__ Months Waiting” photo, let us know! Leave a comment, and we’ll send you a sticker and our e-mail address, and you can be the star of our blog for a month! You can send a photo of yourself, your kids, your pet, whoever! It doesn’t matter if we don’t know you – if you support our adoption, we’d love to have a Waiting Photo of you!

jeremy + kimberly

Previous Waiting Posts:

One Month Waiting
Two Months Waiting
Three Months Waiting
Four Months Waiting
Five Months Waiting
Six Months Waiting
Seven Months Waiting
Eight Months Waiting
Nine Months Waiting
Ten Months Waiting

 

Ten Months Waiting

Today is May 2, 2013. Our dossier was sent to Ethiopia on June 29, 2012, so we have been officially waiting for a referral for ten months (+ seven days).

Kristen waiting with Big Ben in London

Kristen waiting with Big Ben in London

About the Photos: Kimberly’s sister (Kristen) and her boyfriend (Mike) spent ten days in Europe this month. Kristen asked if they could take a Waiting Sticker with them for some photos, and we were so excited! They got some great shots with some iconic landmarks, and we’re thrilled to share them with you here.

What We’re Doing: We’re keeping busy, as always. Early in April we traveled to Yorktown to see Jeremy’s side of the family, and attended a wine and beer festival. The weather was perfect, and the addition of drink sampling and live music was a perfect way to ring in spring. While we were there we celebrated Ashley’s (Jeremy’s sister) birthday, and got to spend some sweet time with our nephew, Maddox.

Kimberly took on some freelance proofreading/editing work over the past two months, and is very proud to say that she played a tiny part in the production of the eBook Intentional Blogger by Nikki Hughes and Leigh Ann Dutton. Nikki and Leigh Ann of Butterfly Ministries, LLC have created a great resource, and a worthy read if you have or are starting an eMinistry!

We also attended a very special party for one of our favorite little boys. This sweet five-year-old, who was diagnosed with Leukemia at age two, had a No More Chemo party in April – his treatments are complete, and God was so faithful to this boy and his family! We were honored to attend and to run some carnival games for all the kids there. We’ll never forget this joyful day!

Mike waiting at the Eiffle Tower in Paris

Mike waiting at the Eiffle Tower in Paris

How We’re Feeling: Not much has changed in the Busy and Tired Department. There’s always something new going on. But the arrival of spring and the longer stretches of daylight make tackling those to-do lists a little easier!

What Others are Saying: Many of you still comment about the somewhat-shocking length of the wait to adopt from Ethiopia. The wait is still 24-30 months, though it won’t be surprising if the wait time increases again before we receive a a referral. However, it’s fun to think that, if our wait is 30 months, we’re now 1/3 of the way through it!

Referral Status: There were 13 referrals in March! Two of these referrals were for children within our age range. Although we like to see referrals within our age range, it’s really exciting to see nine referrals for children age eight and older!

CALLING ALL SUPPORTERS!: We’re only ten months into our possibly-three year wait, and we’ve got many months of photos ahead of us. This is where you come in! If you’d be interested in taking a “__ Months Waiting” photo, let us know! Leave a comment, and we’ll send you a sticker and our e-mail address, and you can be the star of our blog for a month! You can send a photo of yourself, your kids, your pet, whoever! It doesn’t matter if we don’t know you – if you support our adoption, we’d love to have a Waiting Photo of you!

jeremy + kimberly

Kristen waiting at the Louvre in Paris

Kristen waiting at the Louvre in Paris

Previous Waiting Posts:

One Month Waiting
Two Months Waiting
Three Months Waiting
Four Months Waiting
Five Months Waiting
Six Months Waiting
Seven Months Waiting
Eight Months Waiting
Nine Months Waiting

 

Nine Months Waiting

Today is March 29, 2013. Our dossier was sent to Ethiopia on June 29, 2012, so we have been officially waiting for a referral for nine months.

Nine Months Waiting. Yes, it's the end of March in Virginia. Yes, that is snow.

Nine Months Waiting. Yes, it’s the end of March in Virginia. Yes, that is snow.

About the Photo: Some might say that we slapped a photo on the window for our nine months photo because we lost track of time and didn’t hunt down a friend/family member/hapless victim to wear our sticker and take a photo. Others might say we wanted to show our future Ethiopian child the strange, snowy weather we’re getting just a few days into spring. Still others might say that it would look just plain ridiculous if Kimberly stuffed a beach ball under her shirt and put the sticker on her “nine months belly,” so this was the only option. We may never know the truth.

What We’re Doing: What aren’t we doing? After those months spent focusing on putting our Brazil dossier before everything else, March became a month to get caught up on so many other things. We spent time with friends and family we hadn’t seen in a while (and took a cherry blossom tour that involved seeing zero cherry blossoms), babysat the kiddos we’d been missing, took on some temporary freelance work, ran lots of errands, did some of the moving-in we still needed to do from November, finished planning a bachelorette party and began planning a baby shower, and more. Now, come the end of the month, we’re – wait for it – exhausted. We know… you never saw that coming.

How We’re Feeling: Not too much different than usual. It felt good to get our Brazil dossier done, but it was rather anticlimatic – almost as though we don’t actually feel like it’s done. We have moments when we can’t believe that, in the next four to six months, we’ll be getting some of the most life-changing news we’ve ever received. But then life just sort of keeps going on in its meandering bustling way, and our days don’t feel too much different after all. The calm before the storm, perhaps?

Kimberly does find it interesting to compare this stage in the wait to a pregnancy. Nine months ago, we submitted our precious dossier to Ethiopia, and entered the waiting stage. If we would have conceived a biological child rather than a stack of paper, she would be just about ready to give birth. Our long-awaited child would almost be here, in our arms. But instead, we know we’ve got another 20+ months to go. It’s a strange feeling, but neither Kimberly nor Jeremy have regrets. Adoption is cool, and Kimberly is grateful that she didn’t have to spend 12 weeks hugging the toilet seat.

What Others are Saying: A few of you, upon grasping the fact that we’re hoping to adopt three children (not just one or two), have asked us if we don’t want to have biological children. Five seems like a good-sized family to some of you, so you wonder if we’re planning to call our family complete if both our Brazil and Ethiopia adoptions work out as we hope. To be honest, the answer is, “we don’t know.” It’s possible that these children will have significant needs, and we will decide to devote our energies to caring for them rather than growing our family. It’s also possible that we’ll decide to complete our family with a biological child. And it’s also possible that God will call us to adopt again. We just want to follow the path the Lord lays out for us, so we don’t know what our future family will look like! But we’ll be sure to keep you updated!

Referral Status: There were 15 referrals in February! Eight of these referrals were for children within our age range. This is so encouraging to see, after months with very few referrals!

Prayer Requests: Children all over the world with special needs are waiting to be adopted. They may be rejected by their families because of their needs, and considered undesirable as children. Their needs may be minor, or they may seem to be insurmountable. But don’t these children deserve a mommy and daddy, too? We pray for these orphans in particular all the time – won’t you pray for them, too?

CALLING ALL SUPPORTERS!: We’re only nine months into our possibly-three year wait, and we’ve got many months of photos ahead of us. This is where you come in! If you’d be interested in taking a “__ Months Waiting” photo, let us know! Leave a comment, and we’ll send you a sticker and our e-mail address, and you can be the star of our blog for a month! You can send a photo of yourself, your kids, your pet, whoever! It doesn’t matter if we don’t know you – if you support our adoption, we’d love to have a Waiting Photo of you!

jeremy + kimberly

Previous Waiting Posts:
One Month Waiting
Two Months Waiting
Three Months Waiting
Four Months Waiting
Five Months Waiting
Six Months Waiting
Seven Months Waiting
Eight Months Waiting

 

Eight Months Waiting

Today is March 1, 2013. There’s no February 29 this year, so we’ll just celebrate our monthly DTE anniversary today instead.🙂 Our dossier was sent to Ethiopia on June 29, 2012, so we have been officially waiting for a referral for eight months.

Nev can't believe we've already been waiting 8 months!

Nev can’t believe we’ve already been waiting 8 months!

About the Photo: You’ve heard us talk about her before, and now you finally get to see her – our favorite little girl in the whole wide world! We’ve known and loved Nev since the week she was born (three years ago – where does the time go?), and are so blessed to be her Uncle J and Aunt ‘Berly. We simply can’t imagine life without her, and can’t wait for her to meet our future children!

What We’re Doing: February has been the busiest, most overwhelming month we’ve had in a while! Both of us worked lots of overtime, in addition to finishing up our Brazil paperwork, which made our evenings very short, our apartment very messy, and our laundry pile very high. But the craziness subsided at the end of the month, for which we are grateful.

This month we celebrated Jeremy’s 29th birthday! He wasn’t happy about it, since his next birthday is the big 3-0, but we had a fun night anyways. We met Nev and her mommy for a delicious Taco Bell dinner (rather than fight the Valentine’s Day crowd – yes, Jeremy’s birthday is on Valentine’s Day!), and then went shoe shopping. It might sound silly to you, but if you’ve ever shoe shopped with Jeremy, you know that Kimberly made a HUGE birthday sacrifice for him.😉

We also spent a weekend with Jeremy’s side of the family, celebrating our nephew Maddox’s 6 month birthday! It’s been amazing to watch him grow, and there’s nothing like seeing his big, sweet smile.

And finally, the news you’ve all been waiting for – we finished our Brazilian dossier this month! Jeremy dropped it off at our agency on the 20th, despite week after week of hold-ups and set-backs. We’re still in a bit of denial – could our paperwork actually be in Brazil? Whoa. Now we wait 4-6 months to find out if Brazil will accept us. Let the nail-biting begin!

How We’re Feeling: For some reason, the completion of our Brazil paperwork is a bit anti-climatic. We’re not sure why… perhaps we don’t believe that the months of paperwork are truly over? Perhaps we’re subconsciously afraid to be too excited, in case it doesn’t work out? Perhaps we don’t want to acknowledge that the next 4-6 months will bring a wide range of confusing emotions? We are happy that our dossier is finally in Brazil, but our current feeling is a strange mix of hopeful and detached; excited and disbelieving.

What Others are Saying: Some of you read Kimberly’s post about missing S’s birthday and reached out to us with encouragement, love, and faith. It was such a blessing to know that we’re all waiting together for these children to come home. Also, many of you recently found out that we finished our Brazil paperwork, and were so excited and joyful! It’s been wonderful seeing and hearing all of your ecstatic reactions. This is the stuff that keeps us going, and we’re so grateful for all of you!

Referral Status: There were two referrals in January. One of these referrals was for a child within our age range. This low number isn’t surprising, considering the 24-30 month wait time, but we’re still hoping for a higher number of referrals for next month!

Prayer Requests: There are many children on our adoption agency’s Waiting Children list. Some of these children have special needs, but most of them are Waiting simply because they’re “older” – above age 5. It breaks my heart to see so many of them without moms and dads. Won’t you please pray that hearts and arms would be opened to these children?

CALLING ALL SUPPORTERS!: We’re only eight months into our possibly-three year wait, and we’ve got many months of photos ahead of us. This is where you come in! If you’d be interested in taking a “__ Months Waiting” photo, let us know! Leave a comment, and we’ll send you a sticker and our e-mail address, and you can be the star of our blog for a month! You can send a photo of yourself, your kids, your pet, whoever! It doesn’t matter if we don’t know you – if you support our adoption, we’d love to have a Waiting Photo of you!

jeremy + kimberly

Previous Waiting Posts:
One Month Waiting
Two Months Waiting
Three Months Waiting
Four Months Waiting
Five Months Waiting
Six Months Waiting
Seven Months Waiting

 

I Wasn’t There

Before you read: We can’t tell you the names of the boys we’re hoping to adopt from Brazil, in order to protect them until they legally become our sons (or in case they never become our sons). So for now, we’ll call them “G” and “S.” This is a letter to “S,” the little brother.

Dear S,

You turned two years old this month, and I wasn’t there. I didn’t make you a cake, sing Happy Birthday, or laugh as you got spit all over the place trying to blow out your two candles. I didn’t snap photos of you digging your dimpled hands into the icing, or jokingly groan as you wiped it all over your birthday shirt.

I wasn’t there.

You turned two years old this month, and you didn’t have a mommy or daddy there to celebrate your special day. Did you feel like you were missing something? Did you sense that, somewhere far away, someone was praying vigilantly for your second year of life? The plump little tummy in your photos shows me that you are well cared for, which gives me such comfort. I hope that you’re content, and that you don’t ache for me like I ache for you.

I couldn’t be there for your birthday, S, because I’m not your mommy yet. I might never be. I pray to God that He’ll give you the best mommy He can find on earth, and long with all my heart that she is me. But if the Lord has someone else in mind, I know that you’ll be in the best possible hands. If she can care for you and love you better than I can, with her is where I want you to be.

On your birthday, your hopefully-daddy lit two candles and stuck them on a plate. He prayed for you as only a father longing for his son can pray. We each blew out a candle, and then walked to the store to get some cake. It seemed like the right thing to do. It was the only thing we could do.

candles

I don’t look at your pictures. I don’t want to get to used to seeing your sweet face. But it doesn’t matter, because you are etched in my mind, in scenes that don’t exist. I see your little fingers pointing at pictures in a book, and can almost feel your weight in my lap as we rock in my great-grandfather’s rocking chair. I see your wide eyes watching your big brother’s every move with adoration. I see your serious face studying the little rocks and twigs on the ground that us grown-ups don’t see anymore.

I missed your second birthday, S, and there’s something about missing it that just hurts so much. I missed two entire years of your life. I didn’t see your squishy newborn alien face, or your very first smile. I don’t know when you learned to walk, and I didn’t hear your first word. I have no idea what you like to eat, or what toys you favor. Perhaps, someday, we’ll be able to make up for lost time. For now, I’ll be wondering what I’m missing.

Happy birthday little buddy. May this year bring you just enough of everything you need. And may you find yourself in the arms of a mommy who loves you deeply.

All my love,
Your hopefully-mama

.kimberly.

 

Seven Months Waiting

Today is January 29, 2013. Our dossier was sent to Ethiopia on June 29, 2012, so we have been officially waiting for a referral for seven months.

Sox is happy to wait much longer than seven months.

Sox is happy to wait much longer than seven months.

About the Photo: What you see here is a classic example of exactly how cats DON’T want to be treated. If he could talk, Sox would say, “If this is how kids are going to treat me, I can wait a lot longer than seven months!” Poor kitty – we torture him so.

What We’re Doing: We spent New Year’s Eve with some dear friends, as Kimberly mentioned earlier this month. It was wonderful to ring in the new year with people that we only get to see once or twice a year, and we had a fantastic time.

The following weekend we traveled up to Pittsburgh to celebrate a belated Christmas with the LaJeunesses. Although it was a quick trip, we had lots of fun opening Christmas gifts with Kimberly’s side of the family, shopping, and relaxing.

Later in the month, Jeremy headed out to Long Beach, CA and Reno, NV for a business trip. He attended the largest imprinted apparel show in the country while in Long Beach and traveled to Reno to assist with setting up screen printing equipment in one of his company’s production facilities. While he was gone, Kimberly busied herself by spending lots of quality time with her girlfriends, hanging out with her favorite “niece,” and unpacking the last of our moving boxes. We both made the most of our time apart, but we were very happy when Jeremy returned.🙂

The day after Jeremy returned, one of our dear friends went into labor. Kimberly had the honor of going to the family’s home in the middle of the night to care for the older children while their mother gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Because they chose to do a home birth, Kimberly was able to hear this baby’s first cries. She felt incredibly blessed to be present for such a miracle.

How We’re Feeling: We’re feeling a bit awestruck this month, the beginning of a new year. We know that 2013 has the potential to be an emotional, life-changing year for us. In June, we’ll have been waiting to adopt a child from Ethiopia for a full twelve months. We wonder how that will feel, knowing that we’ll have another year and a half (or more!) of waiting ahead of us. Also, if Brazil feels that we can parent those two sweet boys we’ve been pining over, we might become parents for the first time in 2013 – to a four (or five!) year old and a two year old. Wow. But if Brazil turns us away, we’ll be wrestling with deep sorrow. 2013 is going to be monumental, and being present in this new year is dumbfounding.

What Others are Saying: Many of you are thoughtful and kind, asking how “the adoptions” are going even though you know nothing has changed. We really appreciate your continued interest in our adoption processes, despite the lack of exciting changes. Y’all are the best of friends.

Referral Status: There were thirteen referrals in December! At least three, possibly four (depending on the age of the toddler referred) of these referrals were for children within our age range. It’s so encouraging to see another month of referrals in the double digits. Although we still have at least two years of waiting ahead of us (if the trend of increasing wait time continues), the progress forward feels good!

Prayer Requests: Russia has closed its doors to international adoption. This is a heartbreaking tragedy in so many ways. Families that have already met their soon-to-be-adopted children in Russia may or may not be able to bring those children home. Thousands of orphans that might have been adopted will now remain in orphanages indefinitely. These children are being wrongfully used as political ammunition, and thousands of lives are being dramatically affected. Please pray for these families and children whose hearts are aching. And let’s also boldly pray that God would change Putin’s heart, and he would be moved by the adoption community’s pleas.

CALLING ALL SUPPORTERS!: We’re only seven months into our possibly-three year wait, and we’ve got many months of photos ahead of us. This is where you come in! If you’d be interested in taking a “__ Months Waiting” photo, let us know! Leave a comment, and we’ll send you a sticker and our e-mail address, and you can be the star of our blog for a month! You can send a photo of yourself, your kids, your pet, whoever! It doesn’t matter if we don’t know you – if you support our adoption, we’d love to have a Waiting Photo of you!

jeremy + kimberly

Previous Waiting Posts:
One Month Waiting
Two Months Waiting
Three Months Waiting
Four Months Waiting
Five Months Waiting
Six Months Waiting

 
 
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