Our CAN's came in!!! 
(For anyone we have not already annoyed with large amounts of adoption information and acronyms, receiving our CAN clearances means we can finally finish our home study. I'll stop there before your eyes start to glaze over.)

Finally, after five months of waiting! Hooray!

But just to show that nothing can ever be simple, we also found out that we'll probably be switching programs. In international adoption terms, switching programs means switching countries. You know, just different adoption requirements, different cost, different social worker, different culture, different language - no big deal. Ummm, right. More on that later perhaps. I don't want to mar the extreme happiness that our CAN clearances have brought.

When our social worker let us know that we had been cleared, I immediately thought of two things; the goodness/faithfulness of God, and a quote from the movie Elf: "The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear".
I won't tell you which I thought of first. Assume the best, people.

The fact that a six foot tall fictional elf is responsible for this particular quote does not make it any less valid. Try to convince me that Mannheim Steamroller's version of "Carol of the Bells" doesn't make you a little bit happier. Or that a four year old singing "Deck The Halls" doesn't make you smile. It does, unless you are Scrooge or the Grinch (and I would like to point out that even the Grinch caved to the magic of Christmas songs in the end).

Since I was immediately overtaken with Christmas cheer, it's very fortunate for Matt and our social worker that I didn't break out into a very enthusiastic (if slightly off-key) version of "Joy to the World" right there in the office.
I managed to refrain until after we left the meeting and I dropped Matt off at work again.
Then I promptly turned my radio up to a hearing-loss inducing volume and tonelessly warbled along to sang every word of my favorite Christmas album at the top of my lungs.

I'm confident that I successfully spread Christmas cheer to a great many people, judging solely based on the number of drivers who began visibly laughing as they passed me. Several people waved and I received one thumbs-up as well, which I feel absolutely sure must have been in admiration of my extremely impressive dance moves.

If you're a little low on Christmas cheer, I suggest this. Or cookies.
Both if you're really desperate.


Hating to Wait

I. Hate. Waiting.
Also, I'm pretty terrible at it.
I would like to take this opportunity to blame my poor waiting skills on Google, my iPhone, and fast-food restaurants everywhere. The ready availability of information and food is clearly the problem. Obviously it's not a character flaw.

There's just one teensy, tiny, itty, bitty, problem with my inability to wait: we are in the middle of an adoption.
Just in case you weren't aware, Adoption Process = Waiting.
Let me explain.
You rush around like an entire flock (herd? gaggle?) of headless chickens, frantically scrambling to get your paperwork in as quickly as is humanly possible, and then you sit around for weeks and wait for it to come back.
You schedule home study appointments, clean your house from baseboard to ceiling fan until you feel like a demon-possessed Martha Stewart, coach your darling husband on what he is and is not allowed to say, practice trying to look like a responsible adult who is capable of parenting a child, politely discuss every aspect of your entire life with a social worker you just met five minutes ago, and then, of course, you wait. And hope she approves you. And try not to throw up thinking about how unqualified you must have seemed (and how unqualified you actually are). And pray that the Lord will show mercy and wipe every stupid thing that you said from the social worker's memory.

And then?

You wait some more.

You wait on a child you've never seen or heard.A child who wasn't born already knowing the sound of your voice. A child who doesn't know you at all. From a country you've never been to and a culture you know nothing about.  A child who will probably take one look at you and dive under a bed to hide from the weird white people (which seems like it would be a completely reasonable response, all things considered).

Eventually all of this waiting makes me want to hide under a bed and threatens to turn me into a pouty four-year-old who desperately needs a nap. When that happens, I try to remember who it truly is that I'm waiting on.

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take good courage; Yes wait on the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14
I'm not waiting on social workers, adoption agencies, lawyers, or even the governments of two different nations. I'm not waiting on paperwork, agency fees, fingerprints, clearances, or home study reports.
I'm waiting on the Father.

Oh. Right. 

I'm waiting on the Sovereign Lord - the Creator, Sustainer, and Guide.
He has a plan, and it's a good one. A plan that will bring Him glory. Better by far than anything I could come up with. 

Perhaps I should try a little harder to remember who's in charge the next time the wait gets too long and I start turning into my pouty four-year-old alter ego.
I'll be in a drive-thru line googling "patience" on my iPhone if you need me.