"I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west."
We are working with Christian Adoption Services in Matthews. We had a sweet social worker that just completed our homestudy and we just got it in the mail this week! (A lot faster than I expected!) We decided to look at where the biggest need was and decided that was internationally. We looked into several programs but didn't qualify for a lot of them because of our age. A lot of countries require you to be 30--and while Brian is a LOT closer to 30 than I am (ha!), neither of us qualify for many places such as China. The countries we qualified for (that CAS works with) were Vietnam and Guatemala. We didn't have a peace about Guatemala so we decided to pursue Vietnam. Christian Adoption Services networks with an agency called Plan Loving Adoptions Now (PLAN) so right now we are working on all of our paperwork for PLAN and our Vietnam dossier (the packet of papers Vietnam requires.) Right now we are waiting on a paper called an I171A which is basically permission from the United States government to bring in an orphan. We should hear something by August or September and then our paperwork will go to Vietnam and we will wait on a referral--a picture and information on a child waiting in a Vietnamese orphanage.
In the meantime, in trying to be open to WHATEVER God has planned for us, we are also registered with the Department of Health and Human Services who will notify us if children come into the foster care system in the United States that we may be interested in adopting. We were clear, however, with CAS that we were NOT interested in dual-placement (I know, I know.....what did I just say about being open to WHATEVER God has planned--I better be careful!) :-) so once our dossier is in Vietnam we will take that as a clear sign that that is the path we are supposed to take. Another adoptive parent gave us some real words from the Lord that we have really taken to heart. She said that the thing to consider was where OUR child is--and pray that God would reveal that to us. It gets so easy to make it about the country, but the truth is God has a child out there that he has chosen for US--so we are trying to be open to His Spirit and His leading--whether that be in the United States or in Vietnam.
Whatever God has planned, we are very excited!