Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The day we had our home study and our hearts started aching a bit

    We had our home study!  On Saturday the social worker arrived, via Kanpur airport, around one in the afternoon.  We picked him up and headed back to our house to start the weekend.  The first day we went over a few hours of training stuff.  Just general adoption info, attachment/bonding issues, sexual abuse issues, ect.  Then we had the walk through of our house.  I was so nervous about this part.(Just ask Ryan, I was kinda very hard to live with the few days before our homestudy :0) My mom and I had been  in a cleaning, organizing frenzy.  I have no idea what I would have done with out her here, she is amazing.
    We live in a poor area of our city and it took us a long time to find a place to live.  It is small and simple, but works well for us.  We love the location, our neighbors, and our balcony, but I wasn't sure how a social worker from America would view it all.  It turns out all my worrying was for NOTHING!  He did his walk through and drew our basic floor plan and said everything looked great.  That's it, no improvements needed, nothing.  It was a little anti-climatic to be honest, but these days anti-climatic is welcome.
    The next day we had three different interviews.  A long one with both of us which covered every topic imaginable, including; why adopt, how we met, our strengths and weaknesses, our idea of motherhood/fatherhood, discipline, finances, ect.  Then we each had a short separate interview with our social worker.  It all went well and everything is good to go ahead in the process....

  Then there was a major let down that we were not expecting:

    Saturday night we took the social worker to Pizza Hut, because, well Pizza Hut is good.  The four of us were just chatting(Me, Ryan, my Mom, and SW) about when we would return to America for a visit.  We were telling him our plan is to go to the States next Christmas 2013.  My Mom made a comment about us bringing our baby to America then.  A few minutes after that Ryan made another comment to that effect.  Then our social worker said, "That would be awesome if yall were able to do that but realistically with the country you are adopting from, it is currently a THREE YEAR WAIT."  Wait, WHAT???  We were under the impression that it would be a year or year and a half...maybe 2, but THREE!!  My heart fell to the pit of my stomach and my throat started doing that burning thing that happens when you feel like you are going to cry.  I could feel Ryan looking at me and I avoided his gaze, I knew if I looked at him I might lose it right there in Pizza Hut.  So, I took a few breaths and tried to pull my self together.  Three years, three years, three kept playing in my head, it still does.

    So that is where we are, it looks like it will be three years before we get to bring our baby home.  I hate that thought with everything in me.  BUT, we will press on and keep walking towards Baby Hartsfield and pray that God helps us to have patience and pray that God watches over and pours his love on Baby Hartsfield as we wait.

     Most of you are probably asking WHY?  That is a good question and a hard one to understand.  There is a lot that goes into it.  Different countries do adoptions differently and if the country you are adopting from is a Hague or non-Hague country makes a difference(but that is all blah blah).  So, the easy explanation is that the country we are adopting from is a Hague country and they have a lot of rules and regulations and so before a child is able to be adopted from their country an investigation has to be done on that child.  They want to make sure the child is adoptable, hasn't been stolen or traffiked, ect.  So, these are all good things that the govt wants to do, but they just take a really long time.  And, we are wanting to adopt a younger child so that makes the process longer. There are many families wanting to adopt younger children so this puts us in a line waiting to adopt.  Anyways, that is a short is still pretty impossible to understand why three years.

    Please pray for us as we process all of this.  We are more excited than ever to build our family through adoption and feel confident with our agency and the country we have chosen that our child will come from.  However, in our plans for our family we were imagining in three years to have a baby and be working on pray God would give us wisdom in growing our family and pray he would help us to trust Him in all things.  He is the only one who knows how long it will be and we trust his timing, as much as we hate waiting!

  One way that God has really shown Himself as a good and faithful to me is in the fact that the timing of the home study and the timing of my Mom's visit were the same time.  Her love and support have been so encouraging to Ryan and me through all of this.  Not to mention, she is a cleaning machine!  Those of you that know my Mom, know that she might not like to cook, but boy can she clean.  She helped us(okay so maybe WE helped HER) get our house ready and beautiful.  She is also a great shoulder to cry on.  So thankful that God gave her to us and that she could be here right now.  Such perfect timing!

    This is going to be a MUCH longer process that we thought, we are mourning that it will be so long, BUT at the same time we are rejoicing because we are one step closer to baby Hartsfield!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Jesus is Beautiful

  A few weeks ago, Ryan and I listened to a sermon online. The sermon was about how Jesus is offensive.  The preacher described how Jesus offends us when we are living against the ways of God.  This offensiveness of Jesus leads us from living out of our own desires to live according to God’s desires.

  Day after day we talk about Jesus with our friends here.  They love to talk about Jesus.  We do this because we love and follow Jesus and believe he is the way to God and to everlasting life.  We struggle to tell stories that Jesus told and stories about Jesus (in Hindi/Urdu), because the story of who Jesus is and what he has done and continues to do shape our lives, they have actually given us new life!

  In light of all of these things, I started asking myself, “How do I view Jesus?”.  Is he offensive to me?   

  Yes, the things Jesus said and did and tells us to do are offensive to the desires I sometimes feel for my life.  For example, the Sermon on the Mount: Mt 5:1-11

The blessed ones are described as:
the poor in spirit
the mourners
the meek 
those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
the merciful
the pure in heart
the peacemakers
the persecuted

Umm, those characteristics don’t exactly describe my everyday life…. If it were left up to me in my own strength and power to be and do these things,  it would be very offensive and depressing actually, but that is what is so beautiful about Jesus.  He is the one!  He accomplished these things for us and because of his love and the Spirit of God we are inspired and empowered to live like him. 

The adjective that I have been overwhelmed with to describe Jesus lately has not been offensive, but instead, beautiful.  For those who follow Jesus and trust in his sacrifice for our shame, he is beautiful.  Overwhelmingly, intoxicatingly beautiful.  He is good news for all people.  The more I learn a new language and learn to share parables and the stories of how Jesus interacts with people, it is coming alive in a new way.  Jesus is totally radical to every culture, because no matter how different cultures and countries may be, Jesus was always speaking of a different kingdom, the kingdom of God.  I long for that kingdom to take root in all cultures.  It is going to be awesome! 

  Jesus is beautiful.  Following him, though not always easy or comfortable in this life, is the most beautiful thing.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Two VERY important people are coming to visit

Two very exciting things are happening in the next two weeks:

1.  My Mom is coming to visit us for the first time.  Hands down, the hardest thing about living in India is that we are so far away from family and friends.(Ryan says Mexican food is a close second)  To say I am excited to see my Mom after almost a year would be the understatement of the year!!  I can’t wait to show her this new country and culture we call home.  I can’t wait for her to meet our friends, ride a rickshaw, get new cloths, and eat some tasty food.  I can’t wait for India to be a real place for her, not just a country she googles often to check the news to see if we are safe ;)  She arrives October 19th and will stay a whole month!

2.  Just a week after my Mom arrives another visitor will arrive.  This visitor will be here to do our HOMESTUDY for our ADOPTION!  The thought of if makes my stomach flip a little and my armpits sweat.  He will be here for 3 days accessing if Ryan and I will be good parents and checking out where we live.  We are really excited for this next step and would really, really love your prayers for this time!!  This is just one of the many steps that is bringing us closer to baby Hartsfield …… woo hoo!