Sunday, February 17, 2013

Adoption Update: Hope Is Where Your Heart Is 2.17.2013

I had been taking the ups and downs surprisingly well.  Going on a year of empty beds and the tally for rejections was jumping toward the double digits. Yet, I had been surprisingly patient, resilient, and hopeful.  And then there was last Wednesday. I don't know what the final straw was, but it all just hit me, from out of nowhere and I lost it.  I lost my cool, my confidence, and more importantly (and more shamefully) I lost my hope. It only took a moment for the devil to steal it away. A moment of self-pity, impatience, and grief and I handed it to him on a silver platter.  Why is this taking so long? Why isn't anyone helping? Why are there so many children? Why don't we have access to any of them? Why is the system so messed up? So ineffecient?  So complicated? Why is the process so long? So vague? So depressing?  These children just want families. These families just want children!
I emailed our caseworker with a list of questions:
Is there another way? Another system? Another database?  Do you have access to children just in Texas or nationwide? Should we even look outside the state? Would it be easier on the kids to just move locally? Why are there 100,000 kids legally available but less than 1,000 profiles online?   Is there a way we could make a profile for our family to give to the caseworkers? Why doesn't it work like 

Her reply was two words: "Think positive!"  That was attempt to answer my questions, no assurance or clarity, just those two words.  I love our caseworker, but I think steam might have come out of my ears - just a little.
Before I could really let loose in my misery, I remembered the verse I had been trying to memorize a few days earlier ("Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.") and I picked up my Bible and read the next sentence: "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope..."
Hope.  There it was...hope is not a gift, or an entitlement. I felt so foolish to have demanded it.  It is to be earned through tribulation, patience, and experience.  Terribly humbled by the irony of it all and God's merciful direction, I charged back to the computer to continue my search.  The Lord lead me directly to a link called MAP.  I had seen it there before many times on my frantic hunts for sibling profiles, but didn't stop to decipher the acronym. But, this time I did. And I was humbled further.
MAP stands for Matching Assistance Program. It is a non-profit organization in connection with A Family for Every Child (based out of Oregon state).  It was designed by parents who have gone through the long, frustrating adoption process and wanted to fill the voids created by a broken system.   So, what is MAP?  Another way! Another system! Another database! With access to children nationwide! That works just like!

Why am I always surprised when God shows up and the miracles happen?  Why don't I expect them, wait for them, hope for them?  Why do I need to be stunned in to humility?  I guess I need to learn to glory in tribulation.
The Matching Assistance Program is run by volunteers and has so far been the most helpful, effecient, informative, honest, friendly part of the process.  We were able to create a profile, a biography, and a video of our family. We can now submit our home study independent from our caseworker (she deserves a break after my little melt-down).  We have access to profiles that are not available otherwise. We can search specifically for sibling groups, specific to location and age.  Our family profile is now available to caseworkers all over the nation who are looking for the right family for the children in their caseloads. We have already submitted our homestudy twice and will eagerly check the updated photolistings on Monday morning.  And the best thing of hope is back where it belongs.
"And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee." - Psalm 39:7
If you are adopting and have a completed home study.....go to A Family For Every Child to learn more about the MAP program.


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