We took a very important step last week, in our adoption process. On Friday, Seamus and I drove to Birmingham, Alabama to meet with Lifeline adoption agency. We had the privilege of spending a good bit of time with the international social worker as well as leaders from the China and Ethiopia teams. We acquired a tremendous amount of necessary information. More importantly, we connected with Lifeline on a personal level. This agency is gospel-centered in everything they do. Their number 1 priority is the welfare of orphans. They are interested in families who have been called by God to serve in this capacity. They are not interested in families who simply believe this is the easiest way to grow their family. Our values are perfectly in line with theirs and it's clear that God led us to Birmingham according to His will. We are thanking the Lord for such a Godly group of people to lead us through this process.
Beyond connecting with Lifeline, we made some exciting and important decisions. We have decided to adopt a baby girl from China! Based on our parameters and qualifications, choosing China was an easy decision for us.
Through much prayer and discussion, we've also decided that we now want to adopt a baby with minor, correctable special needs. Originally, we didn't feel called to this but are convinced now that it's where God is leading us. A minor special need could include something as small as a heart murmur or cleft lip. These are not things that could ever prevent us from loving this child to the fullest or would take away from the attention to our other children.
We love the name Emily Hope Loman. We also love the name Margaret Hope "Maggie" Loman. Hope has special meaning to us (see my previous post). ;-) I'll keep you posted when we decide for sure!
She will be around 12-18 months old when we bring her home. The adoption process will take 12-18 months from start to finish, which means she is probably alive at this very moment. If not, in utero at least. The thought that we may have a child halfway around the world gives me very mixed emotions. I feel a sense of helplessness at this moment but so relieved that we will be united with her very soon. Please begin praying for our child, for choices of the birth mother, for conditions in the orphanage, for the caretakers, and for our anxious hearts to rest in knowing that God is in control of the entire process.
On our way home from Birmingham, we had to stop in Tuscaloosa to take a sweet picture in front of the University of Alabama stadium. Yes, that's me in an LSU shirt, with thumbs down next to Bear Bryant. I'm pretty sure I almost got shot.
Another stop on our way home was at the base of a "mountain". Seamus came up with the idea to take a rock from Birmingham to place in our garden to remind us of this journey. The rock represents our mountain climb that we are just beginning. We are at the base of our mountain right now. Our climb over the next year and a half will be long, steep, exhausting, exhilarating, humbling. We'll need rest along the way, and encouragement from friends. Our mountain may look huge right now but victory is ours! "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt... you can say to this mountain, 'Go throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matthew 21:21-22) Here's a picture of Seamus picking out our rock. I'm calling it our bigger "hope" rock. ;-)
Here we go, y'all!!!