We had a conference call on the 8th with our agency to get some updates on exactly where our Dossier is and to talk about the different orphanages we can choose from. Thankfully we are looking at 2 in smaller cities outside Bogota. We have been hoping for either on these two cities because the time spent in country to finalize the adoption is considerably shorter. We are looking at maybe a 2-4 week stay as apposed to 4-6 weeks. GOD IS GOOD!!!! If you've read my previous update you will recall that the Colombian government closes down for the Christmas holiday.... courts and all... for about a month... if not longer. SO our agency's in-country representative will take our Dossier to each of the two privately owned orphanages (one in Cali the other in beautiful Medellin!) closer to the end of January/early Feb. when the government is up and fully running again (hopefully). After she meets with each orphanage on our behalf and gets a better idea as to which orphanage would be better (more waiting children in our age range~0-3~, faster referrals, and a better fit for our family), we will have another call with Beth at our agency to talk things over and choose ONE. That's the one thing we have to specify... which orphanage. We are so so so grateful and thankful that our agency has relationships with these individually owned and operated orphanages and we get to go through one. The government owned orphanages have much longer wait times for their approvals and referrals.
So how long will it actually take for the referral? Once we choose the orphanage our paperwork goes through one more round of approvals at the orphanage itself (takes roughly 2 weeks?!). From there it can be any kind of timeline possible. We could receive a referral fairly quickly (a few months), or it could take a bit longer (a year). Beth at our agency did tell us that with all of the changes happening in the Colombian government to expect a longer wait time while they are still sorting things out. That was a bit hard to hear at first, not going to lie.
This whole process has gone fairly smooth and fairly quickly (strange to say I know given that it will be a year in MARCH since we first began our journey with The Gladney Center!), and I just assumed that the referral would come just as quickly. Neither Aaron or myself have had many of those "WOW I just want my child home right now, this second, and I don't want to wait any LONGER!" moments... thankfully the Lord has covered us in patience and peace throughout this process so far. But now that we are here and feel like we are SO CLOSE, it's hard to swallow the reality that our third child is most likely born, and it could be a while until we get to bring them home. The great news is that the Lord is clearly still working things out in our hearts, helping us prepare Faith and Ava, and get us ready to make us a family of 5. He has refined our hearts, our vision of what this will look like, our relationships, and grown our marriage through this journey so far. This is no easy process. It takes a lot of time, energy, emotions, paperwork, appointments, etc.... It is messy and emotional and exhausting. I believe it takes dedication and a true calling to be able to persevere. Another honest moment.... sometimes hearing "It's all in God's timing" is hard. I know it is, oh and how I know HIS timing IS PERFECT.... but sometimes our flesh cries out in selfish desire to be able to love on our child right this second. Thankfully I have a strong man of faith by my side who can help reign in my emotions and bring excitement back into the place we are right now. Excited to love on our two fantastic daughters right now, excited to know that as long as we're waiting- God's preparing us and GROWING us (that's something to get happy about), excited to know that we could get a call ANY SECOND to see our child, excited to be us right now. To find JOY in this JOURNEY the Lord has placed us on (James 1:2 comes to mind.... Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds).
I know there will be plenty of trials to come after we bring baby baker #3 home as we all adjust to the new normal.... so as for now, we'll take one day at a time, choose joy, and be excited to know that God's clock is the only one that matters..... and it's perfect.