Well, I guess I have a bit of announcement to make. Or maybe I'm just announcing our intentions. At any rate...
I've been thinking a lot the past two weeks about our illusive fourth child. Back when we accepted Bright's referral 2 months ago (wow--2 months ago) I felt this overwhelming urge to focus all of my energy on him. I felt like I couldn't focus on a second referral. I felt like we would be bringing home a sick baby that may need lots of medical intervention. We felt very strongly (and still do) that the Lord was telling us "only Bright." So Eric and I decided not to accept the referral for a second child from Ghana. At the time we thought we would go forward with our second Ghanaian child after Bright got home and was stable, but we really didn't have firm plans. We just knew that we wanted to focus on Bright.
Well, two months have passed and as you can all see in his new photo, Bright seems to be flourishing. We just never thought he could turn around so fast! But it seems that he has (thankfully). The last few days have been filled with prayer over how/when to proceed with our fourth child. I've been praying that if we're supposed to go forward now, rather than waiting until Bright is home, that God would grow a strong desire in my heart. I don't want to adopt two at once just because it's cheaper or more convenient (travel-wise). I really wanted my heart to be ready and welcoming to that fourth child--prepared for the challenges of adding two children at the same time to our family (or as prepared as one can be). So I asked God to grow that desire if it was of Him, and to shrink it if it wasn't. He answered my prayer. Today, as I entered hour #2 of prayer I "got there." I don't know how to explain it other than that! I found real peace (and actually an incredible rush of excitement) about accepting our second referral. When I picked Eric up from work we talked about everything, and he agreed.
I don't think that the last two months have been a miscue. I think we were to focus solely on Bright. I think we needed that, and I know he needed our prayers. These last two months were set aside for him alone, and I don't regret that. I had two months to fall in love with our baby boy. Now that he seems to be flourishing, we have peace about identifying his new brother or sister and look forward to the chance to fall in love with him/her. =-)
The ironic thing is that because of the huge delay with getting the Application for Adoption, we really haven't "lost" any time. Accepting another child now won't in any way slow down our process with adopting Bright. If we don't receive a referral and it gets to the point that we need to make a decision about going forward with Bright's adoption or waiting for our second child, we'll re-evaluate. But for now, this feels right.
The only thing we need to know now is if Lois will place a second child with our family, considering the drama of the past week and a half. I have written to Lois, letting her know of our desire for a second child but haven't heard yet if she will be willing to work with us to bring that second child home. We are praying that she will. If not, we'll definitely have some more praying to do!
I don't know why this adoption has been so full of twists and turns. I don't know if it's God's plan for me to EVER know. Sometimes I feel like the rest of the world must think I am a complete flake. First she's adopting one from Liberia...then two...then it's a change to Ghana for a baby and a toddler...then two toddlers...then those referrals didn't work out...then a baby boy...then stopping the process for a second referral...the being "stuck" for 2 months...then starting the process for a second referral AGAIN. Good grief! All I can say is that each step of the way has been covered in prayer. At every twist and turn we have felt like we're stepping in the direction that God would have us step. Maybe we've made missteps along the way unintentionally--I don't know. But I believe that if we are earnestly seeking God's will in all that we do, He will be faithful to get us through this, even through any mistakes that we may have made along the way. I don't believe we're supposed to stop walking yet. He's got something for us. Maybe it's one child. Maybe it's two. Maybe it's none. I just know we're supposed to keep walking.