In the last 10 days, God has moved in our hearts very quickly, turning our personal plans for our family upside down.
On Thursday (Sept. 11), I was alerted to the news that the CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs) would most likely not be speeding up their matching of parents to babies as they had originally stated. There are many factors that have influenced the slowdown, including that they have begun showing preference to European couples, thus causing the wait to increase even more for Americans waiting to adopt. In the last year, the CCAA has only matched 2 months worth of log-in dates (Feb and March 2006). Given this rate, we can do the math and figure out that we would not be matched with a child until 2020!!!! There is also speculation that due to the huge backlog, China could even switch to special needs adoptions only and close the healthy child program. What this means is that thousands of families may be switching to special needs, and then even that list could stretch 3,5,7 years. For nearly 8 years, I've felt with all my heart that God had a Chinese daughter for me and my husband. Scott and I began wondering if our time to adopt is now.
Over the last few months, I've felt a pull toward China's special needs program. I kept telling Scott that I felt like Virginia Grace was alive already. I even have had hesitancies in trying to get pregnant. Now I know why....the Holy Spirit has been preparing our hearts to change direction. We have decided to pursue a special needs baby girl and put our own efforts for biological children on hold until next spring or summer. (Or whenever we get home from China and feel that the whole family is settled and ready.) We most likely will accept a child in the next 3-4 months and would travel about 6 months after that. We feel very strongly that this is the right timing for everything. While we've considered other countries, particularly Ethiopia, which have a faster process, we feel strongly that God is directing us toward China.
We ask that you continue to lift us up in prayer as we move through this process. When we receive a file, we will only have 24 hours to review it, consult with Dr. Jennifer Chambers at the International Adoption Clinic here in Birmingham, and make a decision. We are considering children with minor to moderate conditions (cleft palate, minor heart conditions, and orthopedic needs such as a missing or extra finger/toe, etc.).
This is very exciting for us but also very nerve-wracking. Looking back at my thoughts, prayers, and conversations with Scott over the last few months, I can absolutely trace the hand of God gently guiding us to this place. We pray that He will grant us patience as we wait to be matched with a child, and discernment as we determine whether she's meant to join our family.
Thank you again for all your support and prayers. Our search for Virginia Grace is on!