Monday, March 5, 2012

Shock and Awe

I've been a little depressed when I think about adoption.  Grieving a bit over James.  Frustrated with the Tanzanian system, not just for me but also for good friends.  And unmotivated about the future.

We have always known that we would pursue international adoption should the door close in Tanzania.  We thought that might happen after #2, so I started some research back then.  But after Lily, we had no reason to believe that we wouldn't eventually bring home #4 from Tanzania.  Until January.  As you already know.

And I also knew that international adoption takes time.  A lot of time.  So if we want #4 anytime soon, I would need to get cracking on it.  And I did a little.  Here and there.  Asking some questions, making some inquiries.

But I was not motivated at all.  Depressed with the system.  Not feeling particularly excited about any other country.  And not even wanting to think about the time...and the money....that we would invest. 

And I knew that one of our biggest hurdles would be the homestudy.  We had already learned the hard way that there is no one in Tanzania who is qualified to do a homestudy for an American agency.  So that meant our only option would be to fly a social worker out here, from the States, to do a homestudy.  I didn't even want to think about it.  I didn't even know where to begin finding that person.  And I didn't want to think about how much it would cost.

But I've been praying for direction.  Show me the next step, I asked.  Not really knowing what to do.  Or what to expect. 

Until Thursday.

It all started with a phone call.  A friend asking me, "Do you know where to buy smoke detectors?" 

She was not overly concerned about fire safety.  No, she wanted smoke detectors because her family is pursuing international adoption.  And she had just found out that an American social worker would be in town in just three days to do a homestudy for someone else.

My head immediately started spinning. 

I asked her if I could contact this social worker as well.  She gave me the info. 

So on Friday I emailed the guy.  He told me that he was arriving Sunday evening and leaving Tuesday morning.  Barely enough time to do two homestudies, let alone three.  But he asked if we would like to meet with him while he was here.  Yes!  Of course.

So last night, we took him out to dinner.  He's from an American, Hague-licensed agency.  He's done dozens of homestudies for missionaries living abroad. 

And they are starting a new program in Uganda.  Our country of choice.

We got lots of questions answered, and figured that would be it.  I figured that maybe we could catch him on his next trip to Africa to do our homestudy. 

But then he said it: 

"You know, if I could come to your house and get some information, then if you decide to move foward with this, we could complete the rest of the homestudy over Skype."

What? 

Really?

But we wouldn't have any time to get our house "homestudy ready."  I asked him what we would need in our house to pass the inspection.

He told us:  Smoke detectors in every bedroom and the kitchen, and a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.

Holy cow.

Guess what our house came with when we moved in?  Smoke detectors in every bedroom and the kitchen, and a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.

From previous renters, or someone.  And if you don't live in Tanzania, you can't understand this significance.  Not only do houses hardly ever have smoke detectors in them, it's extremely hard to even find them in a store to buy them.  When we moved into this house over two years ago, I remember thinking that a previous renter must have been paranoid about fire.  Because you just don't see these things.

Sometime, years ago, before we even moved into this house, God made our house "homestudy ready."  So that when He decided to bring us a social worker, but no time to do anything to get ready, all we would have to do is nothing.

I had been praying for direction. 

There you go, God said.

And He dropped a homestudy into our laps. 

So, um, I guess we'd better listen.
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