If you haven’t heard the news, we received our CARA approval last week! We waited a long time for that, and I could spend pages writing about God’s goodness and sanctification during that time. We celebrated with bowls of ice cream and a family dinner at Pizza Inn.
Now, we set our sights on the next phase of our adoption- the matching process. All India adoptions are considered special needs. These needs range from minor (developmental delays, needs a surgery, etc.) to major needs. During our home study, Jack and I prayerfully reviewed the special needs list, and either checked “yes”, “no”, or “maybe” for each need. Our agency walked through this list with us, and we didn’t take this task lightly. Our agency will use this list, along with other specifications (a girl that’s a month younger than Isaac), and as they search CARINGS, India’s database of waiting children.
When our agency finds a child that could be a good “match” for our family, they’ll reserve her file for us. We’ll have about 30 days to review this child’s file. In this time, we’ll prayerfully review the file and try to find out as much information as possible. Since international adoption files can be tricky and neither of us have any medical experience, Jack and I plan on using resources around us like our pediatrician and the International Adoption Clinic to help us in this process. We know our best resource, though, will be prayer. After reviewing the file, if we feel we aren’t capable of handling those special needs well, we’ll unfortunately have to say “no”. This child’s file will be released back to CARINGS, and prayerfully, a family who does have the capabilities and resources to handle those needs well will come along for that child. It’s likely that we might review several files before reviewing the file that’s our daughter. Once we say “yes”, that means we’re matched- we have our daughter!
Right now, our agency has prepared us that the wait to be matched could be long, up to 6-7 months. Through this long wait for CARA approval, I learned to not get my heart set on a specific timeline. I know this will be easier said than done, though.
After matching, there will be more waiting and paperwork. There could be anywhere from 6-12 months from matching until we travel to bring home our daughter. We’ve talked to several families who are ahead of us in the process, and they say the matching process is one of the most difficult parts of the process as a whole. We can definitely see why, and are preparing our hearts for that. Knowing there are potential “nos” ahead and that even our “yes” could be difficult is tough.
As we enter this stage, I think of Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Though this process will most likely be trying, difficult, and sanctifying, Scripture commands us to not be anxious. We don’t need to be because we know God is with us and has gone before us. We trust as we present our requests to him, his peace will cover our family. Here are some specific praises and prayer requests for this time:
- Pray our hearts will be patient in the matching process. We don’t want to be consumed with “will the phone ring today?” We also want to say “yes” when God wants us to. We desire to trust his perfect timing and plan for our family.
- Pray we’d be wise and discerning as we review files.
- Pray for wisdom and discernment for our agency as they advocate for children on the CARINGS database.
- Pray for all children on the CARINGS database, that they’d be placed in loving families.
- Pray for our daughter, that the Lord would already begin working an incredible attachment and bond between all of us.
- Pray for our daughter’s caretakers. We pray for their salvation most of all.
- Pray we’d have opportunities to share the Gospel through our adoption, and that we’d boldly take them.
- The Lord has given both Jack and me opportunities to share about our adoption and teach on James 1:27, encouraging others to be involved in orphan care.
- We’ve received several grants. The Lord has provided so much financially! We’re so humbled and reminded God owns all things, so the cost of adoption is not too hard for him.
- Our agency is WONDERFUL! They’ve advocated to India on our behalf, kept us updated, encouraged us, and prayed for us.
- People like YOU! I lost count of the number of people celebrating with us when we announced CARA approval. The Body of Christ has been such a wonderful blessing to us.
We’re so appreciative of your willingness to journey with us, encourage us, and pray for us. We definitely covet your prayers as we enter this tough stage of the adoption process. We can’t wait to share we’ve been matched with our daughter! Of course, if there’s any way we can be praying for you, please let us know! We love you all and thank God for you!