We recently were contacted by our agency who had a question for us concerning our referral preference. (For those of you outside of the adoption world, that means what are we looking for in our child). To be more specific, she asked what was our “ideal referral preference”? I had to clarify because the term ‘ideal’ is never used in a non-delusional manner in this world. Nothing is ever ideal. There are unexpected and undesired twists and turns around every corner and ‘ideal’ hints at perfect. She explained that since the immigration department in the DRC in charge of releasing children to go home has temporarily shut down to review some policies, our agency decided to stop taking in new clients until that is resolved. They have a total of 3 families who have not yet been matched with children which means they essentially don’t have a waiting line. If our ideal referral preference currently existed in an orphanage that they work with, it was ours.
This is unheard of. Applicants give their preferences and fall in line behind many others who are looking for the same child. You’re given a number. You wait and watch as you move forward in line, as more and more families receive the same type of child you’re looking and praying for. You wait. It’s amazing to see how God has managed to allow this situation with immigration to become a blessing in some ways, even though it’s an incredible burden to many who would otherwise be bringing their children home during this time.
The second part of this particular phone call was that the two DRC lawyers that our agency uses both allow for adoptive families to accept a child referral before all of our paperwork is sent over. Which means we could in theory receive a referral for our ideal preference once our home study is completed. Based on our 6 week waiting period for the FBI, that would be as early as January 6th. (insert joyous shout here). (now insert realization of unprepared emotions here). We weren’t anticipating having a referral until July. Maybe. That’s a big difference when you’re trying to budget and plan for these steps financially. Each step has a price, non of which are what we would consider to be small, but the referral acceptance step is the biggest aside from actually traveling, but not by much. If the finances aren’t there when it’s time for us to accept a referral, we lose it and have to wait for another. It’s a conflicting set of feelings.
Having our referral that early, and children being allowed to leave come September (fingers crossed) means that we could very well have had our last Christmas without children. There could be more stockings hung on the mantle. We might actually go look at Christmas lights and decorate cookies and go find a store with an old guy in a red suit. We might have just enjoyed our last Christmas sleeping in… The possibility of being a larger family this time next year is real. We’re excited about the future, yet stressed about what that could mean for the present.
So while this process is showing that it has great potential to be an amazing ride, we ask that you join us in prayer that we hold strong in our faith and that the children waiting to come home are kept safe.
Until next time,