Many people are asking us about when we travel, and thinking that because we got our referral last week that means we get to go now. Sadly, it doesn't.
In Ethiopia, the courts close from August 7th to October 7th. (Just imagine if that took place in the US. haha) From referral to court date, it usually is a 3-4 week process to get a court date (which finalizes Malachi as our son in ET law .... and no, that is not something we are present for. There is a Power of Attorney that stands in our place). So, we got our referral with a small window of just 3 weeks. However, because of the closures - the courts are overflowing at the moment. Thus, no court date for us. The good news is, we will be some of the first in line in October. Pray that we can get a court date ASAP once courts re-open. Some of our paperwork expires Nov. 21, and I would really like to not deal with that mess. (The paperwork has to all be current WHILE we are in Ethiopia.)
So where does that leave us??? Waiting. Our now 10 month old son will be around 14 months old when we get him. We pray for his health. We pray for his safety. We pray for our hearts, and our kids who have even less of a concept of time than we do.
When we started out on this journey, I had my ideals and my perfect vision of how this was all going to be. And even when we submitted all of our final paperwork (dossier) to Ethiopia, NEVER did we anticipate waiting for Malachi for this amount of time. And we certainly never anticipated holding on to a photo of him for 4-5 months before actually bringing him home. But God has gently reminded me that this is not about me. When we first saw the picture of Malachi, Aaron asked me - "Are you okay with a child that old, I know you wanted a baby". And from the bottom of my heart, I could honestly say "YES, I'm okay with it! This is our son! This is our baby." It breaks my heart the 14 months I will not have gotten to spend with him. However, my time with or without him is NOT what the heart of adoption is about. And God has given us a heart of adoption. Meaning we desire, for the sake of the gospel, and God's heart for the least of these to be a secure home for whoever God brings to us, whenever. We will be that home....soon. And until then, God has reminded me that He is Malachi's Father. He is Malachi's security. He has known since the beginning of time, and while forming Malachi in his mother's womb, and the 10 months until now that this was going to be our story....and Malachi's story. The little amount of time I have to wait is NOTHING compared to the amount of time God has to wait to bring us all home. NOTHING compared to the wait that Christ endured on the cross. NOTHING compared to the amount of love I already hold in my heart for precious Malachi ... 10 month old Malachi. Again, God brought me to Psalm 68:5&6 "Father of the fatherless and protector of the widow is God in his holy habitation. God settles the solitary in a home."
So yes, my heart bleads, my heart breaks, tears flow as I miss him and feel the incompleteness of our family every day. But in this, God holds me up with His right hand. He is up to something ... can't wait to find out what!
(This is a lesson God is teaching me in every area of my life right now. If you are curious more to my recent thoughts about my story vs. God's plan ... check it out at my other blog ... which is where posts will continue to stream from as we wait for Malachi.)