Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.

-Ethiopian Proverb-

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Personal Leap of Faith

Relying on God's timing has always been one of my downfalls as a human being. As a person who likes to be in the driver's seat literally and figuratively, surrendering to God's plan for my life and for my family has always been difficult, and I am finding myself becoming increasingly tense as we head into the final stages of this adoption. I try to focus on the reality that I'm going to be seeing my daughters' sweet faces in a few short weeks and that currently, they are safe, healthy, and thriving. I also try to remain grateful and happy that my oldest daughter, L, has just started insulin pump therapy for managing her insulin-requiring Type 1 Diabetes. This therapeutic device has, for the most part, been fully covered by our medical insurance complete with a "Pump Trainer" who comes to our house to make sure L is doing well with her $6,000 miracle of modern medicine and technology aka The Minimed Paradigm Revel Insulin Pump! I am constantly reminding myself that "it's all good", but there is this part of me that needs more proof, and there is none! There is just so much going on, and I keep reflecting on my fears of what can go wrong. One scenario is not being granted custody of Laurel and Willow right away even after having traveled halfway around the world to give testimony before a judge all because a small piece of paper is missing from our file or a witness was not able to travel to the preliminary court date on November 2nd to give their statement. Another is that we won't get our re-fingerprinting appointment from the Department of Homeland Security auto- generated before we depart for Ethiopia thus resulting in expired fingerprints on our I-171H immigration form! Another scenario that keeps making my heart palpitate with fear is that if we are not granted custody of the girls during our first trip, we will need to get a homestudy update done for the Department of Homeland Security because our original homestudy expires on March 30, 2011. If we don't get custody right away and a third court date needs to be scheduled, the American Embassy in Ethiopia cannot begin processing the immigration papers for Laurel and Willow, thus resulting in delays in taking that second trip where we get their visas so they can enter the United States as full citizens. A homestudy update in the State of California is no easy endeavour. Not only do we need to get re-fingerprinted for our FBI clearance, our child abuse clearance, and our State of California clearance, we need to get our medical forms redone (an adoption physical is required and not covered by our insurance), have the social worker come out to our home twice for interviews and inspections, and pay $750! Not good! We had not anticipated this extra expense, and paying for the two trips to Ethiopia makes this difficult. Oh yeah, we also need to buy another car; we are currently a one-car-family, and I don't think L would appreciate being crammed in the backseat of our Honda Fit with two carseats! We had to use our down-payment for a car this summer to fully replace our broken air conditioning system because attempting to survive summer in the desert with no A/C is not only impossible, but very dangerous! I'm also really scared of leaving my oldest daughter back in "The States" when T and I travel to Ethiopia. For those of you who don't know us, my daughter L is an insulin-requiring Type 1 Diabetic who is at the mercy of the whims of a fine-tuned balance between short-acting insulin and carbohydrates. As L has grown older (and wiser), she has become mostly independent with her diabetes management, but T and I have always been there as part of her support and feedback team. Granted, L will be under the watchful eyes of my parents when we are gone, but Type 1 Diabetes is a condition where things can go really wrong really fast! I can't be there to support and comfort her if she has a severe low blood sugar attack; those are not fun, and she can become pretty disoriented! On the other end, I can't be there for her if her blood sugar becomes too high which can result in diabetic ketoacidocis; this condition would land her in the hospital! We would take L with us to Ethiopia, but her diabetes doctor cautioned us against it because of poor insulin availability, a lack of appropriate medical facilities, and the high incidence of illness that exists there, and since both T and I are legally required to attend our court date unless one of us is pregnant or about to be deployed to war, we have to go. Crazy stuff I tell you!!!!! I need to keep having faith that this journey is what God has planned for us. I think that at the end of this process, so much personal and spiritual growth will have occurred on so many levels for so many people. I truly believe that God strengthens our faith in Him through the facing of our fears and challenges. This adoption journey is like that part in the third Indiana Jones movie (The Search for the Holy Grail) where he is faced with stepping off the edge of a cliff into seemingly nothing but a deep chasm. His task is a leap of faith, and when he takes that first step, he lands on a rock bridge that blends in with the surrounding cliff walls. Indiana Jones makes it to the other side, finds the Holy Grail, and saves his dying father. I'm not saving a dying family member by completing the process of an Ethiopian adoption, nor will I find the Holy Grail when it's all finished, but I am taking my own leap of faith with the end result being the addition of two beautiful little girls to our family!


  1. A couple of years ago as God and I were talking I envisioned myself standing on the edge of a cliff looking over at the edge of another cliff desperately wanting to leap across the chasm and land safely on the other side. God was right at my side saying "Leap" but the fear in my heart was saying "you'll fall for sure!" It takes a lot of trust and faith to let God take control and work things out how God wants them to work out!

    Praying for you on this journey.

  2. Emily,
    Although the stories may be different you have expressed so well the thoughts that race through my brain hourly it seems. Satan keeps planting seeds of doubt in regards to our adoption of our little boys. I find I must continually choose not to believe the lies. When people ask me how I am doing I tell them "I choose joy." It is so easy to not be thankful for the spot I am in, and yet this is exactly where the Lord wants me to be.
    I hope you can find comfort in knowing you are not alone in your "leaping." :)