Philippines Adoption
Adoption

Our Adoption Journey – One Year Later

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Philippines Adoption

So many of you have been reaching out to me to ask how our adoption has been going. And I have been dreading to post an update because the process has taken so long. If you’ve been following our story, January 2018 my husband Pete and I decided to begin our adoption process for a child in the Philippines. My heart was so excited at the prospect of finding a child and learning about him or her. What was their favorite song? How old are they? Where in the Phillippines are they? Will they love me? My imagination soared when I started to think about how I would decorate his or her room. And the thought of tiny hands in my hand made my heart skip. But as the months continued and the paperwork became daunting, I started to wonder if I really wanted to adopt. It has been over one year since we started this adoption process.

Empty chairs waiting for adoption

Reflections wHILE WE WAIT

Even as I write to you, my heart aches. I long for the time when a child can become part of our family. And do not misunderstand, my husband and I are still trying to adopt, but we have become weary of the process. As I wait, I long for the time when I can make memories with him or her. I desire a time when I can create traditions and have silly inside jokes as a family. And even though I know it will be difficult and that there will be tears and there will be pain, I long for a little baby to be in my arms. I didn’t want to unfold all of this on you. I had wished that we could keep our pain hidden and quiet so that no one would know how much our hearts yearn for this child.

As Pete and I continue to grow older together, it seems that many of our friends and family continue to grow their family. Sometimes the pregnancy announcement of a friend or loved one crosses our conversation and while we are happy for them, we are reminded of a love we have not yet met, our love for a child. Our daughter or son is somewhere out there waiting for this paper to be processed. One day we will meet him or her and with time, care, support, and so many other factors I have yet to comprehend we will know him or her.

Melody Johnson and Pete Johnson adoption

Adoption and Faith

I would love to tell you that throughout this time, I have prayed for our child every day and that I have constantly sought God’s wisdom. I did read a really great book when I first started this process given to me by my brother in law called Adoption with God in the Lead. But as I continued on this journey, I felt that the needs of our international adoption were so much different from those who have adopted through foster care or private adoption. As I continued to just feel sorry for myself at the sight of yet another pregnancy announcement, I closed my eyes and prayed.

God, help me. I want you to fill this empty space in my heart. Help me remember that you are enough and that a child cannot fill my God shaped hole in my heart.

Pete and I have recently started going to a small group study where we can share more of our life experiences with others. And so far, we are loving it. We’ve met some really great people. Our small group leaders are our personal friends and I’ve been so blessed to be a part of their journey. They also have no children at the moment and so far I feel that I kind of need a few close friends that are in the same stage of life as I am. We are still attending our favorite church, Grace Community in Harper Woods, Michigan.

Encouragement

One Sunday as I was listening to the lyrics of the worship song, I felt that they were singing right at me. Throughout this process, it has been difficult to tell people about our adoption because we don’t even know the name of the child we will adopt. We have no picture or any information because we have not gotten past the initial Philippines approval.

But as I listened to the lyrics of this song, I have felt comforted. The song starts out saying, “He knows my name.” As I listened, it dawned on me that God knows the name of this child. God has them in His care until we can meet him or her. I just have to trust that when the time comes, we will be together. Here are some of the other encouraging lyrics that I’ve found comfort in as I continue to hold on during this waiting period.

I would highly recommend listening to Tasha Cobb’s version of the song. It’s quite empowering and uplifting. Here is the link to her video.

No fire can burn me

No battle can turn me

No mountain can stop me

Cause you hold my hand

Cause I’m walking, yea I’m walking in your victory

Cause your power, it lives within me

Cause your power is within me No giant can defeat me

You hold my hand 

Adoption and Marriage One Year Later

A year ago I sat down with Pete. He had just finished graduate school and had started a new job over the last two months. It was January and I was busy planning. We had talked about starting a family after we both had jobs and I felt that the time was right. We both started talking about our plans and I brought up the adoption. He was so excited and so was I. I wanted to get started right away because I felt that I could determine how quickly this process would go! Ha! I became obsessed with paperwork and in many ways I considered the homestudy as my part time job. I felt that no one could get in the way of our adoption, including my husband. So I tried as hard as I could to finish paperwork as reasonably and quickly as possible. But things were completed slower than I thought. I had to wait for others to complete their information. I became impatient and sometimes took it out on Pete.

Pete was patient with me, thank God! But he really did not like the way I had treated him. We finally finished the homestudy and we celebrated! We thought this was a joyous occasion!! And indeed it was an accomplishment. But the happiness faded when we found out that we needed to fill out more paperwork and then my husband lost his job in February 2019. This meant additional paperwork had to be revised and more money to spend to fix the paperwork. It was honestly heartbreaking, but we knew that it was something we had to do to push things forward. Pete has since then, landed a new job and starts in a few weeks.

I think overall, even though it has been stressful, I am so much more appreciative of my spouse. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve cried into his shoulder because of my frustration with this process. He has listened to me and held me while I poured out my heart. I cannot imagine what I would have done if he had not been there in my life. He is my best friend.

I think the adoption process has helped us to grow closer as a couple.

What’s Next in our adoption

The next step in our adoption is to update our homestudy. The homestudy creates an overview of our personal information including employment. Because Pete had a change in employment, we have to pay to revise the homestudy and then have this resubmitted to the Philippines to review before they approve our international application.

Related article: Our Adoption Journey October 2018

Once our application has been revised for the homestudy, we will be able to better determine the additional funds or money we need to pay for the adoption program in the Philippines which helps to process our match. This matching process can take the longest between 1-3 years, but I hope that it is of course much shorter than that. Because we chose an age range for an older child, between 0-3 years old we might have a shot at getting a match faster because there is a higher desire for people to match with newborns than there is for older children.

Related Articles: How We Are Paying for Our Adoption

How you can help

If you are local, please feel free to have coffee or dinner with us. We love talking with friends and family. Sometimes we may not want to talk about the adoption, because it can be very emotional for us. But we hope that you can pray for us and spend time with us. If you are not local, please pray that God gives us the strength to continue with our adoption and please send an encouraging reply to emails or messages on my social media account.

Thinking of Adopting?

Please don’t take this post as a discouraging thing! My husband and I love adoption and we can’t wait until it’s finalized. We did consider doing a private adoption before, but decided to do an international one instead. Please mindfully consider adoption as a viable way to grow your family, but know that you will need to be very committed to completing the process as any adoption can have its hurdles. If you have any questions about adoption, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I love answering questions and hope that you continue to follow our journey.

Related Article: Two Countries One Heart: Why We Chose an International Adoption

Phillippines Adoption

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