I don't want to go in to too many nitty gritty details here, but the short of it is the Bulgarian officials found some problems with the wording of part of our home study. They requested an urgent addendum be added before they will match us with our girl.
We were more than a little disappointed at this news. We were immediately making calls to our home study agency, our placing agency, and the Secretary of State. By lunchtime, we were a bit relieved that it seemed like this problem would only set us a back a few days and our home study would be updated by the time of Bulgaria's next matching meeting next Wednesday. Then, we got another call: our home study agency will not add the addendum without doing an official home study amendment, which involves another home visit and another hefty fee.
I just crumbled.
Shock. Frustration. Anger. Sadness. It just was too much for me.
I rode the roller coaster of these emotions all day along with Jeremy. We cried and prayed, and we still cannot believe this is happening. Just when we were so close. Just when we thought we would be traveling in October, we're now almost set back to where we were in March.
I did the whole get angry and try to analyze who to cast blame upon for this mess thing. I did the whole 'we're never gonna finish this adoption thing.' I did the whole 'it's not fair' thing. I worried about Ivelina, and it really dawned on me that she is not ours. This whole process is so unpredictable at times. Until she is safe here within our four walls, there will always be a chance that this whole thing could fall through. That's hard to take in, y'all.
So here's a BIG prayer request: Our rock star case worker from AGCI has a plan. We don't know if it will work, but she sent something to Bulgaria today that might allow them to go ahead and match us on Wednesday. We don't know if they'll accept the idea or not, but if the plan works, it could allow us to keep the ball rolling with getting our first travel dates. We still have to jump through the hoop of another home visit, another home study fee, and more NBC paperwork, but we are crossing our fingers and toes that they will match us on Wednesday even without an amendment from our home study agency. Will you pray with us that this long shot will work?
As hard as this day has been, how can we stay angry? How can we walk around mourning this set-back when just last week God blessed us with a $6,000 grant? How can we stay mad at our social workers when just last week we got a surprise $200 gift in the mail? How can we lose all hope and remain sullen today when just tonight someone handed me a random $20 bill "for the adoption" while I was hostessing at the restaurant. How can I complain when our burden is so light compared to the suffering Jesus went through to adopt me into His family?
I am reminded of Job's words: "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21b) God is showing me that during the time of blessing and during the time of suffering, God is still worthy to be praised.
I am also reminded of how God has placed certain scriptures and certain songs on my heart lately for such a time as this. In my quiet time, I have been reading and studying 1 Peter. If you haven't read it, well, the theme is suffering. Suffering well for the glory of God. The original context of the epistle was concerning suffering for one's Christian faith, but I can still relate. I have felt so low today, this is my current suffering. And Peter tells us that we should not be surprised when suffering comes our way, "but to the degree that you share in the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation." (1 Peter 5:12-13) The letter goes on to say: "After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." (1 Peter 5:10)
So, God still has this. He's with us in the good, and He's with us in the bad. He loves us. He loves Ivelina. I don't know what good could come of this major adoption set-back, but I know at least this current suffering is producing in us more love, more trust, stronger faith, and bigger exultation of our God!
We would appreciate your prayers for our adoption and also added prayers for our fellow AGCI family, the Besk family, who has recently lost their baby boy whom they were in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. Such a sad, sad situation that made me even more emotional today. They need some serious prayer for comfort and healing. You can read their story here.
One last thought: a beautiful song about suffering well and praising God even when things are falling apart. Close your eyes, let these words flow over you, and praise God no matter what your lot is today.