John and I decided we would start the adoption paperwork when we returned from our vacation in early February. Before our trip, I was doing some research, only to discover there was going to be an international adoption information meeting the Tuesday after we returned from Mexico – only a few miles from our house. It was the only meeting (that this particular agency was having) in Moore, Oklahoma for the entire year. Once again I felt like God was laying out the pieces of our adoption puzzle.
But the question was, where were we supposed to adopt from? We didn’t want to randomly choose a country. We knew God was calling us to adopt, so we believed He would show us where we were supposed to go.
The Bible says in Isaiah 58:11 that “The Lord will guide us always.” We were believing He would guide us to our baby, wherever that might be.
Before the meeting I prayed for wisdom and discernment. I knew God already knew all the details of our child. The Bible promises that God sees us before we are ever created in our mother’s womb. (Jeremiah 1:3 and Psalm 139: 13-14)
Once we were at the meeting, we quickly discovered that every country had a long list of rules and guidelines that adoptive parents had to meet. Once John and I had been married two years, we would only qualify to adopt from Ethiopia or Russia. However, there were several things that stood out about Ethiopia.
1. You can adopt a baby! (as young as 6 months). This was really important for John and I because with our first child we wanted to experience all things baby….
2. In most cases, an excellent medical history is provided for children being adopted from Ethiopia.
3. As first time parents, you are not able to choose the gender of your child. We like this for two reasons: First of all, how would we ever choose between a girl and a boy (I would want to bring home one of each!) and second, you don’t get to choose when you have a biological child…so we were excited that we would be surprised.
4. To adopt from Ethiopia didn’t cost near as much as Russia. (It was $10,000-$15,000 less).r
But the “Icing on the Cake,” and the answer to my prayer for God’s direction, was that Ethiopia strongly preferred that their children be placed with Christian families! I was sold! That was all I needed to hear, to know that we had found our country.
As soon as John and I got in the car after the meeting we agreed that a trip to Ethiopia would be in our future.