Six months ago I stood in court in Ethiopia and declared before the judge my intention to adoption two boys. Six months ago. That was a year after being paired with them through a referral. One of the most important decisions (probably THE most important) you make in the adoption process is which agency you will choose to go with. Our agency has been fundamentally incompetent for two and half years now.
Two weeks ago our paperwork was submitted to the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia and I did a dance thinking the agency was finally out of the equation. But I was wrong. Turns out the agency is still responsible for getting a birth mom to appear before the embassy, as well as providing information about our other son who was an abandoment case. And it turns out they can mess up even the final details.
My wife and I have been outrageously patient with our agency for a year and a half since we received and accepted our referrals. But we've switched tactics. It appears somewhere along the way our agency got confused and began to think their incompetence was acceptable. A year ago March I wrote our and asked if it was possible to switch agencies. I wish I had followed through. Though the real reason we didn't switch was we were already attached to the two boys we had been referred. We'd been praying for them. They are my sons. But for a year since then our agency has consistently made excuses and not taken any responsiblity for their lack of competence.
It's exausting. Last week I sat in class with my local language teacher who asked about how things were progressing. I told him the boys were still not home. To this he laughed and said, "I don't think I would have any more patience at this point." He's partially right. The truth is we lost patience a year ago. Then we were mad for about 5 months. Then I lost sleep for another four or five months after that. Now we're pretty much just emotionless, until today I received another email from our agency with more excuses, shifting of blame.
Imagine if this had been the case with our Savior. Imagine if when Jesus saved us he only partially saved us. Or consistently made excuses for our different sins and said, "Well, I'm not really responsible for covering that one with my blood." In some sense the agency is supposed to act as the savior for my boys. It is their responsibility to fulfill the requirements of the law that our boys cannot fulfill on their own. But they're a terrible savior. No agency is perfect, just like no savior besides Christ is perfect. But goodness.
I'm mad. I'm mad at the agency for their shockingly consistent terrible behavior. For their promises that they care about the kids and do this "for the kids," because it seems what they actually do is very little. I'm mad at the Lord for allowing this go on as long as it has. I don't understand why He doesn't intervene and rescue them.
"Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear." - Isaiah 59:1 (NIV)
If His arm is not too short to save or His ear too dull to hear, why does He not seem to save? Why does He not seem to hear? This verse in Isaiah goes on to talk about the sins of the people and that being what keeps the Lord from intervening. There is a part of me that wants to examine my own life and see if there is sin that is keeping them at bay. But that betrays my understanding of the gospel. Surely there is sin in my life, surely I don't deserve these sons, but Christ has made me clean before the Lord. So I conclude it is still the sin of man, the sinful nature of this fallen world. The fact that Satan still reigns in some sense over the world.
My prayer is for salvation for my sons. For the Lord to extend His grace to my sons. For His arm to be long enough to save. He will save. But why the hell doesn't he do so faster?
Adoption is hard work, and I don't even have my kids home yet. I haven't begun to see them disobey when they don't understand my English, or even more blatantly when they do. But this has already been hard. By far the hardest thing I have ever done.
I want to scream at my agency. I want to shout from the highest mountain (or the most followed facebook account?) that no one should ever go with this agency. I want no one in the world to experience what we're expreiencing. But I know there are folks out there who have had it even worse than us. And more than anything I just want my sons. Home. In my arms. I want to be able to look them in the eye and tell them their daddy loves them, and fought and fought for them.
And I want to be able to be consumed by something else. I want to recover from this and watch the Lord demonstrate grace in their lives and my own. It's been infurating to see the Lord's hand in every aspect of my life except this. I know He is there. I know He is present. And I know He is hearing and probably even answering my prayers. But goodness Lord, your timing sucks!
Set my sons free. Please God.
And I'm SO sorry to those of you who have had similar or worse experience. I hope at least some will find solace in their bad situation not being as bad as ours. Or those who have it bad would know they're not alone. And whatever the pain is in your life, I hope you remember the love of your Savior has not left you, but living in fallen creation is like the pain of child-birth.
We know better is coming. Lord haste the day.
Bring me my boys!