Thursday, June 3, 2010

There Comes A Time...

Last month marked eight years since we began the process to adopt a child(ren).  And still we have not been able to complete that process.  In talking with Imagine Adoption a few times over the past couple of months, it has become clear that, while sibling referrals might resume at any time (and I hope they do), there is absolutely no guarantee.  We have been told that, as of this week, there are no siblings in the orphanages that Imagine works with - at least, no match exists for us yet.  Even though we have the broadest possible age and gender request allowed by our province, and even though siblings matching our request could conceivably come into the orphanage tomorrow, there is an equally good chance that we could be waiting for another year - or more.  And so the last six or more weeks have been filled with more questions for us.   Should we really be waiting for siblings?  A few weeks ago, I thought we had made that decision - we would continue to wait for siblings. We didn't want to regret making that additional effort to wait longer.  But the issue refused to settle for us.  The questions kept popping up in our minds and, increasingly, in our conversations with each other.  So we continued to pray about it, and talk about it.  What should we do?  It has entirely preoccupied my mind for the last while.

After eight years of trying to adopt, I'm running out of ability to do this for much longer.  Same goes for Geoff.  After years of waiting, heartache, feeling powerless and desperate, these days feel strikingly similar to that day in late fall, 2005, when we had to make a decision to discontinue fertility treatments.  At some point, the time comes when decisions have to be made.

The end result is this.  We have just initiated with our local adoption agency a change to our request.  Our request will now be for "siblings (0-63 months of age) or for a single child (42-63 months of age)."  Our hope, of course, is that we won't have to wait very long for a referral.  Based on our conversations with Imagine, we have every reason to think that we will be matched with a child quite quickly, though given the delays caused by the need to collect the child(ren)'s documentation, it may easily take another few months for us to actually receive a referral.

We are aware that statistically we will likely receive a referral of a single child.  However, by leaving the option open to either one or two children, we feel that we are giving God a chance to orchestrate exactly the situation has in mind for us - whether that be a single child or siblings.  Knowing, believing, that God has a plan for us and has already chosen the child(ren) for us, will help me through the rough moments ahead, when we wonder whether we made the right decision.  I know myself well enough to know that there will be some tough moments ahead for me, particularly when I hear about other families receiving sibling referrals - I will absolutely be happy for them with all of my heart, but there will be times of wondering about our own wisdom.  When I'm in these moments, I'm hoping that those who know and love me will put their arms around me and tell me that we did the best we could with what we had left at the time.  I think we've given this process our best possible effort; and I think that the ongoing hope we've had for over two years that we will receive a sibling referral soon, has been dwarfed for me by the need to bring a sense of closure to this process and to our family.  I feel an increasing measure of inner peace about our decision and I am so excited to someday, maybe soon, see the face of our child(ren).

* Just wanted to say thank you so much for the encouraging and supportive comments here and for the emails.  A day later, Geoff and I are both feeling increasingly good about our decision...I feel genuinely ok about it today...who knows about tomorrow, or even later today, but this hour feels good.  Thanks again.


  1. We will be celebrating with you when you finally receive that referral! For what it's worth, I think that your choice is a good one, and I really do believe that when you finally hold your little one(s) and look into their eyes, you'll know that they're the one(s) you've been waiting for all these years. We'll continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

    Gwen in BC

  2. Thanks for sharing. I have not been doing this for 8 years, but have also been feeling the need to keep the opportunities open, moreso than we have, to allow whatever "should" be to take place without us imposing too many restrictions on that. I am glad you are feeling peace about your decision, and hope that it will remain and conquer any doubts that might try to creep into your mind. Waiting with anticipation to hear your referral news when it comes!

  3. Dear Sweet Ruth,

    We were waiting for a referral of two little ones when we changed our request to an older boy 4-9 yrs old (ended up being a few years older than that!). Our son IS ONE OF THE BEST decisions we have ever made. He is perfect for our family and such a wonderful blessing. I did grieve, though. Everytime I saw a young sib referral, I had an ache in my heart for what could have been. But the ache was even more painful when I would peek in at my son sleeping and realize that I would never have had him if we had not acknowleged the gentle nudging of God in changing our request. It has been 1.5 yrs now and I am so thankful that he is mine. I have NO regrets...and no longer grieve sibling referrals. He is the child God had handpicked for us before I ever knew him. I am so grateful that we allowed our Heavenly Father to place our children into our home.

    Life doesn't get much better than this!

  4. Oh Ruth,

    I am so sorry you had to make this decision. I know how much you had hoped for siblings. I know there must be sibs out there... with so many orphans, how can there not be? I just don't get it....
    You will need time to grieve the loss of what you had imagined, but know that you will experience great joy very soon. I am sure your referral will be just around the corner, as opposed to a journey with no end in sight.

    Anyway, I look forward to reading about your referral very soon.

    Hugs to you,


  5. I am not a religious person, but believe whole hearted that everything in life happens for a reason. The child(ren) that are meant to be in your family will! I can't imagine the pain in making that decision but I wish you and your family all the best.

  6. "When I'm in these moments, I'm hoping that those who know and love me will put their arms around me and tell me that we did the best we could with what we had left at the time."

    ahh, ruth, you spoke my heart. :) We too have been in deep prayer and conversation-all we can do is trust and obey and move forward as we believe He directs. I think you have made a very good decision, and I can't wait to hear that you finally, finally, have seen the faces of your child(ren) and going to bring them home. :) darci

  7. Ruth,

    Opening up your request really is a leap of faith -- in so many ways. It takes courage to reimagine your family in a way different than you had long envisioned it.

    I wish your family comfort in your decision and great joy to come.


  8. I really like how you said "by leaving the option open to either one or two children, we feel that we are giving God a chance to orchestrate exactly the situation has in mind for us". I do very much understand your need for something to happen after the very long gestation period. It'll be so exciting to hear your news when you get it!! Katie

  9. I am sending you all our love and prayers. I can't imagine how hard this has been for you. You are amazingly strong and I truly admire you. *hugs*

  10. I noticed the change in your signature on the yahoo board today and knew (and understand) what you have been going through emotionally over the weeks since your previous post about making this decision. We haven't committed to a decision either way yet, but one of the things that also helps me when I think about opening up our referral to a single child as well is that would reflect a responsiveness to the current need. If there was a need for families for sibling referrals, there would be sibling referrals. What IA is seeing and telling us is that there is a need for single children to find their way to families. I'm glad to see your post script indicating a feeling of peace with your decision. The right child(ren) will find their way to all of. Thinking about you so much this week... A