The way I look at it is that there are likely reasons that I don't know or understand why we felt led to adopt from Ethiopia when we did, just for it to result in all that lost time and money. That being said, one thing that I do believe is this: the course things took led us to adopting from Haiti and at this time because there is a child there that is meant for our family at this time. I also believe that a lot of the things we went through during that 2+ years pursuing our Ethiopian adoption helped shape us and prepare us for this adoption. Things we learned, people we met and have communicated with, people we relied on in our lives here when things were rough, adoption stories we've become familiar with, familiarity with the unpredictable nature of the international adoption process, our concern to do things properly instead of just quickly...all these things weave together to bring us to where we are (and who we are) today. So, even though everything we went through with our Ethiopian adoption process isn't technically related to our current Haitian adoption, I certainly still consider it part of our adoption journey and part of the story of how we found our way to our daughter. In fact it feels inseparably interwoven.
So! If you ask me today how long we've been waiting to adopt our daughter I will say 3 years! And while another day I may not be feeling quite as ok with the wait, today I'm feeling faithful in His timing and encouraged knowing that it will happen someday and that it will all be worth it!
On that note! Let me share something that we participated in today that was really great to be a part of! We supported a fundraising effort by Haitian Roots to raise money to educate children in Haiti who could not otherwise afford an education. A couple close friends and several of my family members supported my "team" effort to spread this fundraising effort by donating money or purchasing t-shirts to wear while running or walking on October 3rd (today)! I named our team "Bay Espwa" and it means "Give Hope" in Haitian Kreyòl.
While adoption is obviously close to my heart, and I believe that every child deserves a home and family, I do also feel very passionate that the way to combat severe poverty (which is ultimately the cause of a great number of children who are in need of adoption) is through education of the people that live there. Education that will empower children to someday acquire jobs to provide for themselves and their family, but also to contribute to bettering their community and their country. Naturally, this is closer to our hearts because the effort is taking place in the country of our future daughter's birth. By adopting a child from Haiti we feel like we are in essence adopting another country into our hearts also. Because of that it means a lot to me for so many of those people that we love to support this effort - it feels like them also rallying around us in our preparations to welcome this little girl into our family someday.
Here is a photo of my family in our "Running for Haiti" t-shirts:
While the Running for Haiti fundraiser had nothing to do with adoption, we are obviously waiting to adopt a child from this country. So, doing a little something today that we hope can be a drop in something larger that will help benefit the country of her birth...well, it seemed like the PERFECT way to "celebrate" our 3 year milestone since starting our adoption journey.
Now here's to hoping that it isn't another 3 years before we get her home.