The answer was not what we had hoped.
After writing down our names, personal identification numbers from our carnets, birth dates, occupations, educational backgrounds, current employment, etc … and seemingly being quite a little confused about what exactly it is that we do in Chile (ie, “Do you mean you are here to expand your church?”) … the SENAME social worker’s initial response was, “There are quite a few problems here.”
The first and biggest problem was our current lack of permanent residency.
The second was the fact that we already have three children, and she explained that they often have difficulty with judges allowing even a second adoption for some of their couples because there is just too great a “demand” and childless infertile couples are given priority.
The third was the backlog of waiting couples – she told us that this morning they had begun yet another of their three-part informational workshops, and that the 120 couples who had participated in ours last month would not even be receiving their first meeting with a psychologist until May of next year.
She was fascinated with the picture of our family and interested when we explained that we had not come seeking the “perfect” child … that we have already faced a heart defect, prematurity, and cerebral palsy in our three children … and also that race is not an issue for us.
The social worker then told us about a children’s home right next to one of the hospitals in
Learning about these children in additional to the hundreds we already know of in government care was very frustrating to me. With so many Chilean families only being allowed to adopt one child (if they are fortunate enough to pass all the requirements in the first place!) then it is no surprise that most want to adopt a child as young as possible, as healthy as possible. Instead of
The news out of
For those who are new to our adoption journey, we began working towards adoption #4 almost two years ago while Owen was still a baby. We started the process so soon after his arrival because we had hoped to adopt another sibling of similar racial heritage before leaving for
I feel very weary.
And if I stop to think about it too deeply, I feel angry too. Angry that there have to be so many obstacles to adopt when there are so many children that need homes and so many parents longing for children. There are literally millions of orphans around this world, yet those who do have the heart to adopt them are often stopped by imperfect legal systems, crooked governments, and the “almighty dollar.”
Ultimately, I know that God is in control and can supersede even these obstacles if and when He chooses to do so. I have personally seen it happen! The fact that He hasn’t in this case must mean that waiting yet awhile longer is still His plan for us. Or even perhaps, that only three children are in His plan for us. (But since He has not taken away the desire for more children, I prefer to think that the former is true for now!)
So we continue to wait, “knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” And remembering to “let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing …” (James 1:3,4)