I sort of can't.
I think this is home study update number 3, and our 4th home study evaluation since starting the adoption process four years ago.
I don't pretend to understand why we can't seem to adopt--not internationally, not domestically. Nothing is working for us no matter how long we wait.
I'm feeling burned by this entire adoption process. We've tried to adopt where we believed there was need, but every door has closed. Our file for Ethiopia was permanently closed two months ago (so, even though we were on hold and had hoped we might get back to it when the climate changed, the door to Ethiopian adoption has now been firmly shut for us). We've also just hit one year on a domestic waiting list.
We have been advised by our social worker to regroup, re-evaluate our plans, and consider starting over again.
I thought we could maybe keep our current home study updated, but we are running into problems with that as I call agency after agency after agency.
(Did I mention that I'm tired of calling agencies?)
Because all of our current paperwork is about to expire, we have about two weeks to decide if we want to stay where we are (on a list that is not moving at all, with a home study that no one else will take), or start completely over with a new agency. That means: new applications, new mountain of paperwork, new home study, new waiting list, new fees. It is choking me to get all of those words out here. New everything.
I keep wondering, What was it all for? Why four years wasted with nothing to show for it?
Why, when adoption is our only method for growing our family, is it so impossible for us?
The last three months have been ones of intense growth for me, spiritually. I've been fighting hard for joy.
This, however, is really challenging the belief that my joy is not rooted in my circumstances, but rather, in Jesus. This is where what I've struggled so hard to grasp and hold on to lately is coming to life through refinement. And as I tearfully listen to one more social worker give me another long list of requirements, as I scroll through yet another another agency website telling me how much it will cost to start over, I find myself having to make the decision again to believe that God is still being good to me. This long, fruitless journey will not be wasted. I know the Lord finishes what He started, and if the last four years were only to teach me that my joy should be firmly anchored to Christ rather than to what I wish He would do for me, then in the end it was worth it.
Today, it all seems long and draining.
And the words to this song are all I feel like I can sing.