For example; I was pretty positive that we were adopting a little boy, between 9 - 18 months old, from Uganda. Nope.
As it turns out, we're adopting a baby/infant/newborn - a tiny, little, itty, bitty, not a chance they'll sleep for at least 3 or 4 months, baby. Also, we are just as likely to get a girl as a boy. Oh, and this sweet baby will be from right here in the US.
Shows what I know! Nothing, obviously.
For almost nine months we filled out paperwork, discussed names, talked about what it would be like to live in Africa for two months, worried about international travel with a baby/toddler... and then our clearances wouldn't come through. And then the Uganda program slowed almost to a halt. So we tried to be flexible. We looked at Ethiopia... and then the Congo... and then Russia..... and we found out that our wait time would probably be 18 months - 2 years. Or our child would be 2-4 years old when we brought them home. And the Congo sort of had a travel warning from the State Department. And Russia would send our costs up around $30,000+. All of which was definitely not the plan.
We briefly talked about the possibility of switching to a domestic (US) adoption, but our hearts weren't in it. We were positive that we were supposed to adopt internationally.
I was overwhelmed, and starting to get a tiny bit grouchy. Our prayer through this process has been for God to guide us to our child, in His way, with His timing, and for us to have the wisdom and courage to follow wherever He leads. So when it looked like we had walked into a giant brick wall, I have to admit, I was a little frustrated. How exactly do you follow a path that isn't there?
Ummm - you can't.
On the up side, a path into a brick wall doesn't necessarily mean your guide has abandoned you. It could just mean that he wants you to wait there for a while. Which is just what I was hoping for. Love waiting. Love. It.
But since we clearly had no idea where to go from there, we waited. For almost five weeks we didn't do anything adoption related at all. No paperwork, no fingerprints, no required reading, no training, no meetings, nothing. Truthfully it was a relief - and I'm pretty sure it kept my head from exploding.
Then Christmas was over, January had appeared out of nowhere, and all of a sudden, with absolutely no idea how or why, we were seriously considering a domestic adoption. Which wasn't ever in the plan.
God is funny like that.
We started carefully considering our options, checking out agencies....
And then - things just worked.
- The "absurd" wait for DHR clearances - put us at the perfect stage to switch programs.
- A domestic adoption seminar was required to finish our home study; it's only offered three times a year - we switched to the domestic program two weeks before the seminar, which saved us several months of waiting.
- We didn't know anything about domestic adoption - our sweet friends told us about the adoption consultant they had worked with, and she was exactly what we needed.
- Our fees for the adoption consultant were going to cost $2250 that we hadn't planned on - and then our home study agency let us know that we wouldn't owe our last $2100 payment :)
- And this is just the short list :)