This afternoon, I was scrolling down my Facebook page, just seeing what was going on with my FB peeps. In the middle of "status updates" from friends, I often have updates from several ministries, businesses, etc., that I "like." One of those "likes" on my page is our adoption agency. I normally LOVE reading the things that they post. But, today, my heart started to sink as I read through their post. Here's the first part of what it said...
"We need your help to speak out for the millions of orphans in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Ministry of Women's, Children's and Youth Affairs plans to reduce intercountry adoption by 90%."
And, with that, we have come to our first bend in the road. Now, let me say, this is not official. It is scheduled to go into effect in two days, on March 9th. And, if you are where I was, you might be asking "Why?" Well, as best I can understand it, there have been some ethical concerns for a while concerning Ethiopian adoptions. We have heard of some concerning things ourselves in this area, not with our present agency, but with other agencies. It sounds like it's a knee-jerk reaction to the investigations that have shown that there are, in fact, reasons for concern with several agencies and orphanages currently facilitating Ethiopian adoptions. I do believe the actions they are taking are an honest effort to prevent against child trafficking. What is concerning to most people in the adoption world is the talk about shutting down many orphanages that are currently operating in Ethiopia and slowing, almost halting, adoptions in order to do this, and the fear that these actions will put the lives of children in danger. To give you an idea of just how drastic an action this is, they are planning to change the amount of adoptions in Ethiopia that will go through their court systems from a current average of 50 per day to 5 per day. For families already on waiting lists (and we are still months from that point), their estimated wait time just increased by at least a year.
So, I'm going to be honest and say that my first reaction was pretty much to just freak out a little. After all, I still BELIEVE that we are called to adopt, and I still BELIEVE we are called to adopt from Ethiopia. Although, I will also tell you that from the very beginning, I have prayed that God would STOP the process if we were wrong about adoption, if we were wrong about Ethiopia, and if we were wrong about our agency. And, He stopped the process with the first agency we were researching in under a week after I first prayed that prayer. So, I am open to the idea that He could be doing it again. However, I am not willing to accept that until I know it to be true. And, I don't know that yet.
So, when I shared all this info with Neal, he did what he does, and he reacted with calm and control (part of why I need him in my life), and said, "Let's not freak out. We don't even know that this is happening for sure yet." Ah, yes! This is why it is called a "bend in the road." Because with a curve, or a bend, you cannot SEE what is around it. It does not mean that it's bad, even if you feel that it is. You just have to go around the bend to SEE what is there. And, yet, here I have gone again freaking out about future events that have not happened yet! Don't you just think Satan loves it when we get ourselves worked up about stuff that might not ever happen? When we let ourself go down the path of "what if's?" I think he totally digs it! And, I often make him very happy in that area, I am sure.
So, after those wise words, I opened my Bible to read the passage that we were supposed to be reading yesterday (but I am currently a day behind the hubs if you must know the truth!)...Romans 8 Now, I want to share with you some of the Biblical goodness that I discovered in there tonight...
Romans 8:18 - I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."
Romans 8:26-27 - In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been calld according to his purpose.
Romans 8:31-32 - What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all -- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Romans 8:37-39 - No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height or depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And, I don't know about you, but today, I am thinking it's GOOD to be a slacker! Isn't God AWESOME? In one chapter, He just gave me verse after verse reminding me to trust, reminding me to pray, and reminding me that HE has it ALL under CONTROL. And, so that is where I am...trusting and going to do a lot of praying. And, I am definitely going to be allowing the Spirit to intercede for me, because I am pretty sure I don't even know how to pray about this one.
Before I go, I want to share with you the last part of the Facebook post I read from our adoption agency today...
"You can help by signing the petition to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi at: http://www.gopetition.com/petition/43714.html. Forward this to your friends, family members, churches and everybody you know!"
This is a link to a petition for the government of Ethiopia to not make this very hasty decision without thinking through the consequences. I am going to be praying about signing it. I have not decided yet because I want it to be a God-decision, not an emotional, me-decision. Would you be willing to do that with me? To pray about signing and to do so, if you are so led by God? I don't need to know if you do or if you don't, I just would love it if we could pray through this decision together. It will need to be a quick answer from God, because we are under two days away, but I am trusting Him for guidance.
Please also be praying about the situation in Ethiopia, whether you sign the petition or not. We will not be nearly as affected as will be SO many other families who have been waiting for months and maybe years already. And, most importantly, please pray for the precious children whose lives are going to be greatly affected by this decision. So thankful tonight that He doesn't NEED me to do His will. I am trusting the "father to the fatherless." (Psalm 68:5)
And, if you get time, go read Romans 8. You have read a lot of it already. :) Now, you can just go fill in the gaps. I am pretty sure that it will be an encouragement to you no matter what place you find yourself in today.
Thanks for sharing your hearts with me and for going with us on this journey.
Much love to you all!
Much love to you all!