I think for the first time all of this is sinking in. Not only our losing Juliet and Emmanuel, but also the fact that we are back at square one again.
We began this journey in February with a plan to adopt two kids from Liberia and have them home by May. This was a TOTALLY doable time frame for that country when we started the process. Of course now it's seven months later (seven months!) and we are at the same place we were in May--waiting for referrals so that we can start an adoption.
Taevy's adoption seemed like torture, taking 6 months to complete. Samren's was lightening fast at only 2 months. So we haven't actually even started adopting our two new children and the process has already taken almost as long as our two other adoptions combined! I know that 7 months is not a "long time" in the world of international adoption. I know that we were just incredibly lucky with our previous two adoptions. But this is uncharted territory for us.
The odd thing is that I don't feel too too horrible about the length of time it has taken. It doesn't seem like it has already been 7 months (tomorrow) since we started. And I have some sort of deep peace that things are taking longer, in part, in order to help Taevy become that much more prepared for her new siblings.
I think the thing that is hardest for me is coming to the very real conclusion that the chances are next to nothing that we will have one or both of our children home before Christmas. This was my "big goal" with these adoptions. May would have been great but I've always been shooting for Christmas in my heart. My saddest Christmas was the one where we were waiting for Taevy and my baby wasn't home with me. We are almost assuredly in for another Christmas like that this year.
Another part of this "sinking in" process is the continued mourning for Juliet and Emmanuel. I had my big "mourning" day on Saturday before I left Ghana. But it's kind of like losing a loved one to death--there are all of these reminders of them all over our house. Their pictures on the mantle...the clothes that we had bought...the bedding we bought with those two children in mind...the most adorable black baby doll that I bought to be setting out for Juliet on Christmas morning (with a matching Asian version for Taevy)...the extra copies of their "referral" photos on my desk at home...the outfits that I took to Ghana to give to Emmanuel and Juliet that had to be repacked and brought back home with me...the albums I made for them. It feels wrong to just pack these things up like they don't exist. And yet it feels wrong to leave all of this stuff out as a constant reminder that they won't be coming home. I don't know what the best solution is.
I have some prayer requests tonight....
- Please pray for Juliet, Emmanuel, and Sarah. I feel a heavy responsibility to help them all find homes. There is a family potentially very interested in adopting Emmanuel that needs our prayers for wisdom. There are a few families that have inquired about Sarah as well. But nobody has inquired about Juliet and she is also so deserving of a loving family.
- Please continue to pray for our son Samren. He is having the hardest time with "letting go" of "his brother" Emmanuel. He knows in his head that Emmanuel won't be coming to live with us, but his heart hasn't let go of the brotherly love he has for him. Somehow I really believe that Samren has a soul connection with Emmanuel. In my best dreams Emmanuel is adopted by a family that will be willing to let Samren forge a long distance friendship. I think that would help Samren--to know that Emmanuel is safe and has a mommy and daddy.
- Please pray that the two children we are actually supposed to bring home (!!!!!) are referred to us soon. I know that one child does not replace another, but it will be good when we feel like we are "on the road" again. Right now everything feels completely stalled.
Thank you friends.