You Have Got to Start Somewhere

I just skimmed through the previous 100 adoption posts here at “the @” spanning the course of 4 and 1/2 years.  I made it all the way back to the very first one, the announcement. I laughed out loud as I read through. Funny parts explained in the following re-post in bold green words.

“We Are Expecting” [December 5, 2008]

The wheels have been set in motion for us to be the proud parents of a new little girl! So far so good…

We are adopting a three or four year old girl from our orphanage. Hilarious! She ended up being 2 years old, and NOT from the orphanage we run…

This will be our fifth child and we are so very excited about welcoming a new daughter into our home. Ah yes. The excitement that lasted all of two minutes and turned into the drudgery of paperwork…

The process will take about three months. Laughable!!! Try, 24 months.

So the earliest we will have her is end of February. To think that we even believed that first “prediction”… ha!…

Of course I will be keeping you up to date on the process. We ask that if you are of the praying persuasion that you take this whole process before the Lord with us. My, my, my. I wearied of the boring updates…

At this stage we are seeking out a good lawyer and then we need to have good social workers, judges and clerks to handle our case. Can it be funny that I assumed “good” was a feasible adjective to pick when hoping for what type of public workers we would get?

After our first audience with the judge and the intent to adopt has been approved I will be posting photos of our new daughter. Technically, this is actually how it happened, just not when we thought it would happen…

There are three girls right now in the home that fit the age range we want. We soon found out that any involvement we had in the selection of the child we would adopt would be interpreted as a prejudiced choice founded on unhealthy motives for an adopting couple. Yep. So, nope, we did not adopt from our own orphanage as we originally assumed would be possible.

Pictured below is a collage of all the girls in the home. Oh the sweet girls! Updates on the babes in the picture below…

Ahhhh, I am just so happy! I really feel pregnant; the expectation and anticipation is swirling in my heart and giving me butterflies. A friend told me my eyes were sparkling. I am even nesting trying to get the house ready for our new arrival. Rejoice with us! God is so good. In hindsight this euphoric feeling described here looks like a lovely dream I was brutally awoken from. That was the most difficult “pregnancy, labor, and delivery” of the five. I have to smile at my initial emotional state.   

House of Dreams girls
House of Dreams girls, 2008


An update on the Dreamer girls who were in the home at the time of our decision to start the adoption process:

Four corners: (top left) international adoption, (top right) international adoption, (bottom left) international adoption, (bottom right) still at The House of Dreams

Top, middle, small photos: (upper) international adoption, (lower) still at The House of Dreams

Mid row, small photos: (1) still at The House of Dreams, (2) international adoption, (3) still at The House of Dreams, (4) still at The House of Dreams, (5) reinsertion to biological mother

Bottom, middle, small photos: (upper) international adoption (same baby as in the top right corner), (lower) international adoption

There were 12 girls at the time. We currently have 6 girls. So 6 of the girls pictured above were adopted or reunited with their family. The statistics say that the 6 who are with us now will most likely remain with us until adulthood due to specific factors.

1) They are part of a sibling group. Bolivia does not allow siblings to be separated. Sibling groups are less likely to be adopted.

2) They have a diagnosed disability. Children with disabilities are less likely to be adopted.

3) They have ties to blood relatives attempting to regain custody. This process could go on up until they reach the age of 18.

4) They are old. Most people want to adopt a baby or at least a young child. Once they reach 7 years old the likelihood of adoption plummets. Our youngest Dreamer, who happens to be a girl, is now 6 years old and has a diagnosed disability.

The final reason mentioned above is exactly why we originally officially petitioned a girl around 5 years old. I still do not agree with the Bolivian government’s view of what could be interpreted as prejudice thus not allowing adoptive families to select their child. I honor them for taking measures to protect their beliefs. I submit wholeheartedly to the legal process and encourage all who are interested in adopting to follow the delineated procedures.

I just don’t understand what difference it makes if an adoptive parent chooses the child or not. [stepping on soap box now] If a child gets adopted that is wonderful! If an adoptive couple is willing to wade through the mire of paperwork and endure the years of agony in the process of legally adopting a child, why not let them have a say in who they choose to bring in their home? Is there nothing to be said for the predisposition some parents might have towards a certain child? The Bolivian officials say, “Then all the pretty children will be chosen and all the ugly or difficult ones will be left in the institutions.” They also say, “If we allow the parents to choose their child then these parents will be capricious and most likely to return the child at a whim.” Finally, their strongest argument, “They only reason anyone should ever want to adopt is so that they can become parents again. One mustn’t adopt out of pity. If they were to conceive a child biologically they would not be able to choose the outcome of what that child would be like, so they should not be allowed to choose which child they adopt either.”

Looking back it still stings to consider how much of our expectations we had to lay aside. The first one was when we chose to stop dreaming about adopting a girl from China and chose to adopt from Bolivia. After that, one by one our preconceived ideas were challenged. Some were scratched out completely, crumpled up, and thrown into a flaming waste basket. I think the only expectation that remained intact from the very beginning was that we would adopt a girl. Oh, two things. The second being that we were able to give her the name we wanted to –  I realize this is not an option in all adoptions.

We had to start somewhere, though, I guess. Expectations are a funny thing that way. We draw intelligent conclusions based on information gathered from varied sources. We can anticipate and formulate projections to aid us in making wise choices. In the end, though, we are absolutely incapable of predicting the future or knowing with doubt-free certainty what will actually happen. So why do we even try? We do we spend so much time analyzing / evaluating / wishing / hoping / dreaming / praying / and creating ambitions?

A drop of hope propels us into determined action. It is precisely for the reason that we don’t know what exactly will happen that we do such things. We can hope that things will work out, maybe even better than we imagined. That the possibility of failure resides in every new endeavor never cancels out the very real possibility of success. Thus we strive.


Have you started anything new lately? What outcome do you anticipate?

Have you ever had to adjust your expectations? What was that like?



2 thoughts on “You Have Got to Start Somewhere

  1. i teach my kids to have dreams and hopes and expectations… but to hold those in a wide open hand so that if God decides to take and replace, He doesn’t have to wrestle it away.

    if i could only learn to practice as well as i preach it… eh?

    1. Yep, that looks nice on paper but living it out is another thing altogether. But you’ve got it right, teach ’em young so that maybe they’ll learn it while they are still malleable.

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