It was the day before Valentine’s Day
Text from my man, “Call the Adoption Agency. They left a voicemail and said they have a Valentine’s Day gift for us.”
My heart skips a beat and I quickly dial our fabulous social worker, the one with a heart of gold and an ease about her that’s been our calming voice through this whole process.
I think I knew what was coming and didn’t expect to be sitting in Starbucks when I got this news. But I couldn’t wait a minute to call, so the next thing I hear is, “Hello Kregers, Happy Valentines Day! You’ve been approved.”
All of Starbucks must have heard my joy!
So, its official, we are going to be parents!
Let me back up a bit, in case you’re not obsessively tracking every step in this process like I am.
We started this adoption journey over a year ago. Last summer we saw a file for a set of beautiful girls, sisters, and felt they were going to be our daughters. This led us into a prolonged period of paperwork and waiting.
And waiting, and waiting.
In November we were told we had all our paperwork in and were approved on the US side of things. Now we needed the official approval of this match from the Philippine Intercountry Adoption Board (ICAB) to make things official. Should just be another few weeks…
But then they had a typhoon and the offices were closed.
Then they had 2 week Christmas break and the offices were closed.
Then they had another typhoon, yup, offices were closed.
And then the Pope came to town and the whole country shut down.
Then, just when we thought everyone HAD to get back to work, we were told the ICAB re-assigned us to a new social worker and we had to start over at the beginning.
Holy Waiting, Batman!
So that was the day we decided to give up. “We’re going to move on and just live our lives instead of putting everything on hold. When it happens, it will happen,” my man said. And I agreed. It was hard to wait each week, hopeful, yet subdued. Always planning, but not really planning. Financially under the gun, without an end in sight.
Our social worker said to me, “Keep the faith. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that God puts the right children in the right families at the right time.” But on that day we emotionally put our expectation on hold.
Then, without warning to anyone, and without an explainable reason, our dossier bubbled to the top of the ICAB’s stack of stuff. We were put before the board and approved. Just like that. The week we “gave up” was the week of the official Match Approval, and here we are!
The next phase will be immigration paperwork, passports and visas for all! It should take about 3-4 months. After that we will fly to the Philippines to meet them and bring them home to join our family.
Been there, bought the Tshirt
In the meantime we are finishing up our prep and raising our final funds. During the past two weeks we decided to run a fun little fundraiser to cover the current dues.
I’m not a great fund raising person in general and I have been wondering for months if there was a way to do it that worked for me and my skill set. I’m not the crafty Pinterest-y cutesy mom type, so the idea of making something to sell made me want to gag. But I am a graphic designer of sorts so when I ran into the idea of designing a custom Tshirt to sell I thought that just might work!
For days I thought about what it should look like. I knew I wanted the silhouette of a map of the Philippine Islands on the shirt. It has always struck me as a piece of beautiful abstract art! And the two phrases that the Lord has put in our hearts for this adoption were “Love makes a family” and Psalm 68:6, “God sets the lonely in families.”
Isn’t it love that makes a family?
Many have asked if we have met these children yet and already know them. When I reply no, I get a look that can roughly be translated, “Are you crazy?! How will you know you will like them? How can you commit to children you’ve never met? What if they don’t want to be your children?”
Those unspoken (and even sometimes spoken) questions do not make sense to me. I want to reply, “Did you meet YOUR children before they were born? How did you know you would like them? How can you commit to children you’ve never met? What if they don’t want to be YOUR children?!”
Isn’t it the Lord that puts our families together? Besides perhaps your spouse, do you really get to choose your family members? Family should be a love based blessing in our lives. I’m well aware that family can be hard, even hurtful. I know family can cause hard times and seasons of pain. But it is FOR GOD to set the lonely in families. He calls it a good thing. And it is FOR US to work it out and make that family, in all its history, lumps and brokenness, a thing of love.
That is our hope and our heart as we move towards the
end beginning of this journey into family.
Lord, make our families a thing of love.