This is the place where we are have documented the road we have walked in order to adopt our four children from Brazil and the road we are now on as a family. We are keenly aware that adopting is not just a process we've chosen to go through, but part of God's plan for us and for our children. May He be glorified through the process and through our family!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

On God's timing

Philippians 3:3 tells us that we should be people "who worship by the Spirit of God... and... put no confidence in the flesh." And it's no wonder that the Bible talks so much about this battle between spirit and flesh. It's really happening in Christians all the time. I feel the tension every I pray for our family (and the several others I know who are waiting for their children--adopted and biological) to come together soon.

My flesh wants soon to mean NOW (with good reason and less than selfish motives), but my heart tells me that God's plan is perfect even if we have to wait for ten more years. Ultimately, I want what God wants (which is the thing that will bring him most glory on Earth) but at the same time I want my babies right away.

How can I reconcile these conflicting desires and how can I pray when neither request feels right? It seems impossible to know what to do.

I think it's right to tell the Lord the desires of our heart (I've waited for three years and I LONG to have my children here with me).

I think it's right to plead for the case of others (Lord, no child should have to grow up without a family. Bring them to us soon.)

I think it's right to submit to God's will (God, you plan is clearly better than mine. It is perfect and even if it hurts me, Lord, have your way in this situation.)

I think it's right to pour out our hearts to the Lord (I don't feel like I can wait any longer, I want to be in Brazil holding my children and telling them how much I love them... but I trust your wisdom, Lord, so hold us up while we wait.)

I also think it's right to take my mind off myself and focus on others who need God in their situations. (Lord, I am not the only mother waiting to hold her children. Work your mighty plan in my friends' families. Bring together the families you have designed for HS, JM, RA, LB, ST, BL, TM and all the ES families still waiting. Bring them together in quick and miraculous ways that will bring You glory.)

I have prayed all these prayers. I pray them constantly but I still don't know how to reconcile asking for what I desire with asking for God to do what He desires. However, I am beginning to think that somewhere in the sum of all those prayers and the ones being offered on behalf of our family by many others, must be something that pleases our Lord. Just talking to Him shows him that our hearts are fixed on Him and that is what He is looking for. Hearts devoted to Him.

So, I'm still torn between flesh and spirit, wanting and waiting, selfishness and service. I want to hear from the judge, buy plane tickets and go down to Brazil to become a mother--now. But at the same moment, I know I'm safe in the plan God has for our family. This is what it feels like to be living in the tension between spirit and flesh.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The judge is back.

The judge is back from her vacation. I hope she's thinking about us as much as we are thinking about her today.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Author of this process

The author of this adoption process is a crafty one.  There is no detail that He has overlooked, but there are plenty that He has not yet revealed.  Looking back on the last few years' events, many of them have been somewhat more drawn-out and complex than we initially imagined they would have been.  I have the distinct impression that the Author is bringing the story to a moment of literary climax and that after all of the hard-fought battles are over, there will be something unimaginably beautiful waiting for us.

All of these events have been important parts of our preparation to be parents and, though it's tempting to resent them, are experiences that we value and even treasure.  We still don't know how the rest of our story will play out, but we have a peace amidst the storm and we know we are safe within a perfectly crafted story.
  • Starting the process (2006)--we actually had to wait until we'd been married 4.5 years to begin building our first dossier.
  • El Salvador (2006-2008)--this process was full of surprises, and things in El Salvador stalled, we were left wondering what God had in mind for our family.  But only for a little while.
  • Switching to Brazil (2008)--when we finally realized that our children were not in El Salvador, but in Brazil, we began the dossier process all over again.  
  • Brazilian referrals (2009)--the referral process was so much more drawn out and complicated than we expected.  We saw referrals of several children and sibling groups before we understood that God had more than just a couple children waiting to make up our family.  
  • Seeing our children for the first time (March, 2009)--We always thought that once we got a referral, it would be a downhill ride, but there has been much struggle to request that these children became our sons and daughters.  
  • Petitioning to adopt (April, 2009)--We thought we would get a definite response, but discovered that there were several components to to that process and are still (in late-June, 2009) still waiting for the assurance that we will adopt them.  
  • Judge on vacation (the entire month of June, 2009)--When will she look at our paperwork?  We do not know, but we know she has returned.
  • CEJA moves to a new office (June/July, 2009)--What this will mean, we still do not know, but it's one more uphill step in this long and unpredictable climb.  
School in Connecticut has ended for the summer and our hope is that we will be on our way to Brazil soon for the climactic moment of this story.  If we leave any time in the next 3 weeks or so, we will be home on time for the new school year to begin.  To me, that sounds like perfect timing, but I am not the author of this story.  

Hebrews 12:2-3  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hearts full, closets getting there

Though the last judge has not ruled on our case yet, we continue to prepare our home for our children.  We've been gathering clothes for them here and there for the last few weeks and we have everything hanging in one closet at the moment.  A couple more shopping trips and I think we'll at least have enough for the trip to Brazil.  I can't wait to take them all shopping and let them pick what they like.  And school uniforms... I can't wait to buy them school uniforms!

Somehow there are more girl clothes than boy clothes.  We need to concentrating on getting Abraão Lucas more than two shirts, and a jacket.  

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Letter to the judge

We hope this isn't even necessary, but we have sent a letter to the judge who will be deciding whether to accept our petition by confirming CEJA's referral of our four children. If she confirms it, we will finally be invited to Brazil to meet and receive custody of Maynara, Abraao Lucas, Luana and Brayan... and then become their mommy and daddy.

Our friends Marcelo and Rose helped translated it to Portuguese for us and we emailed it to Luciana who will send it to Lino who will take it to CEJA who will hopefully get it to join up with the rest of our dossier before the judge returns from her vacation (which we hope will be in only a week or so).

We can feel all the prayers of our friends and family in the peace that has filled us during these last couple weeks. Though we are certainly anxious to get approval and go to meet our children, we are not stressing out about the timeline, for we know it is in God's hands. I'm sure we will marvel at how well-orchestrated this event has been in all of its details.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Going to Bat for Your Kids

Dearest Children,

It's late here in Connecticut and I pray that you are sound asleep in your beds in Curitiba. Your Mom is sleeping here beside me, but I have been awake for the last couple of hours writing a letter. You see, after all of the many people and agencies who have touched our application until now, the decision lies in the hands of one particular judge in Brazil. (Actually, the decision lies in God's omnipotent hands, but I think you get my point!) This judge is actually on vacation right now, but in a few weeks when she comes back, she'll be looking at a mountain of paperwork, information about your Mom and me and information about you guys, and decide whether she sees a family or not. I, of course, have been praying since I saw your pictures back in March that when it came to this moment, she would see a family!

Apparently, she actually did see our file the day before going on vacation, and she expressed some concern about the fact that we are relatively young and that there are a lot of you guys! Because it was such a big decision to make, she decided to go on vacation and make the decision when she got back. I suspect that this is probably a good thing--I'm glad she didn't make a hasty decision of "no" just because of our age or anything. This delay gives her time to give the amount of consideration we all deserve, and it gives us an opportunity to write a letter to her.

You see, though we've written certain statements and things along the way, most of what she is looking at are things that other people have written about us (social workers, psychologists, friends, pastors, employers). And all of it was written before we knew about you guys! This letter, then, is an opportunity to bring our application up to date by talking about you all, to show our true heart, to tell her how much we feel that you are our children, and to plead with her once again to allow us to come to Brazil to prove that we can be a family.

I recall when I was young and living at home that my Mom always said a parent has to go to bat for their kids.  This means that a parent should advocate for their kids, defend them, protect them. I kinda feel like that's what this letter is. Your Mom and me, well, we already think we're a family even though the judge hasn't approved our petition yet, and so this is our way of going to bat for you guys before we've even met you! We hope and pray that this letter may do the trick, and that we can be together soon!

Wow, tonight is going to be tomorrow in just a few minutes, so I must go to sleep myself. I just wanted you to know that I had drafted one more letter that I hope will help us become a family someday soon. I'll let your Mom see it tomorrow so she can do some editing, too--she actually did some work on it before me, so we've both put our hearts into this for you.  It should be off to Brazil before too long, probably by the end of the week.

In the mean time, sleep tight, my loveys! Eu te amo muito.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Love this blog

Dan Curver, the author of Together for Adoption says all of this so much better than I do.  Adopting children is the picture of God's plan to adopt each of his created children into His forever family.  Dan says it all so well!

Call to Prayer

Each time I sit to write in this journal, I think about my audience—my children.  There are probably dozens of people who read this each time I post the latest news on our family blog, and I am thankful for those friends, family members and prayer partners who are walking this road with us, but they are not who I write for.  I have some very specific objectives in mind as I document this journey step by step.  I want this blog to be a way for God to reveal his faithfulness to our family and I have always envisioned my children, years from now, reading over these words and saying, “Look how God answered your prayer!” or “How miraculous that God knew we would be together so long before you did!” or “You loved me for so long before you knew me.”  Those years-from-now children/adolescents/adults are who I speak to each time I write in this journal.

Today needs to be a little different, though we have hope that God will use even this moment for His great Glory in our family.  This post is a call to prayer.  If you are reading this in June of 2009, then we need you to lift your heart and your voice to the Lord on our behalf and on behalf of the family that God has designed for us. 

We learned today that the judge who will decide whether to grant us custody of the 4 children who we know in our hearts are OUR children—on the day before she left for a 4 week vacation—was presented with our case.  She saw our case and the case of the children we long to adopt and decided that this was a big decision and that we were very young to adopt four children and that she would wait until returning from her vacation to make a decision. 

We have decided to write a heart-felt, information-filled letter to this judge and request that CEJA (who is 100% on our side for this adoption) submit it on top of the paperwork that the judge will see when she returns (refreshed) from her vacation.  This latest delay may prove to be God’s provision since this is a beautiful opportunity to add our personal voice and plea to a stack of papers written about us by others close to a year ago and long before we knew the names of Maynara, Abraão Lucas, Luana and Brayan.

Friends and family, please pray that the judge will see our hearts and desire to unite us as a family with our children.  Please pray that any notions she may have about the appropriate age of new adoptive parents will be set aside and that our love for these children and our strength in the Lord will be clear and obvious. 

Dearest Father in Heaven,
You know how we love these children and how we already see them as ours.  Reveal yourself to the judge.  Show her your heart and your plan for our family.  Fill her with mercy and compassion. 

Dearest children of my heart,
Can you see how your Lord has connected us from long before we first held on to each other?  Can you see how He’ll never let you go and how He’ll never let this family dissolve? 


Friday, June 12, 2009

Together for Adoption

I just read about this blog ( on the AWAA blog.  Maybe it's just what I needed right about now.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Good news that just feels bad

I just got this note from Stuart at Limiar.  I'm sure all of this news is good, but waiting longer (and not knowing how much longer) just feels bad.

Dear Kim,

            I spoke to Lino last evening.  Luciana still has not returned to work after her trip to Brazil.  

            Lino informed me that the substitute judge does not want to make a decision in the case preferring to wait until the acting judge returns.  According to CEJA, these children will either be placed with your family as a unit or broken up and adopted separately.  That is the choice the judge has to make, and CEJA always had a strong belief that the children should be kept together and placed in one family if at all possible.  Because of CEJA's strong support for your family and because the precedent is that the sibling groups are always placed together if possible, we still believe that reason will prevail, but it will be another couple of weeks before a final decision is made.  I wish I had better news today for you because I am sure you do not want to be in this agonizing state of limbo any longer, but I believe that we are doing all we can to get this adoption approved.  

            Luciana will be able to review and confirm this information by tomorrow, I suppose.


Stuart Cameron

Limiar USA Inc.


Sunday, June 07, 2009

Final stages

It's been a long time of planning and waiting, preparing and loving.  For the first time, we really feel like we are in the final stages of our pre-parenting life.  From what we understand from a few emails with LIMIAR's staff in Brazil, the last signature of approval that is needed before CEJA can issue a Letter of Invitation is that of a Curitiba judge who happens to be on vacation.  A substitute judge has taken our paperwork home to review our petition and (hopefully) approve our match with the 4 children we've been falling in love with for the last couple months.  It's possible that we'll hear the judge's decision tomorrow.  It's not enough to make us feel like we can exhale yet, so we're still holding our breath for the final word.

In the meantime, we got the boys' room put together and that means pretty everything is ready to welcome home all four sweethearts.