Lily’s homecoming was taking waaaay longer than we expected. And every day that went by, I knew our future plans were getting screwed up.
Namely, because there are two ways for an adopted child to get U.S. citizenship. One way is by that child living with their new family for two years overseas. Then you just fill out a few simple forms, and whammo, you get the citizenship. This is how we did it for both Grace and Josiah.
Our original plan for Lily was to do the same thing. However, the longer it took to bring her home, our chances seriously diminished to use that citizenship process. Lily ended up coming home on August 23, 2011. And we planned to go to the States for our year-long home assignment in July 2013. Which meant that process would not work for Lily, since we would have to wait until August to even apply.
So in the summer of 2011, I was really worried. Being the long-range thinker that I am, I knew that the longer we waited for Lily, the more complicated it would be to get her citizenship in time for our home assignment.
But God showed me that summer that our theme of waiting for Lily was from Matthew 6: “…do not worry about your life….See how the lilies of the field grow! Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”
There is another way to apply for citizenship for an adopted child. It is the fast-track way (the I-600, similar to the I-800, for those of you who know international adoption lingo). But the fast-track way requires a home study by an American-licensed social worker…..which there is not an abundance of in Tanzania, East Africa. How on earth would we find a social worker willing to fly to Tanzania and do a home study? How would we afford it, even if we could find someone?
Then the amazing happened. God brought us a social worker last year, out of the blue, who was with an adoption agency who worked a lot with American ex-patriots. He did a home study for us. This is what allowed us to start the process to adopt from Ethiopia.
And for no extra cost, he modified that home study so that we could use it for Lily as well.
In January, I submitted both applications to the American embassy: one for Lily’s citizenship, and one that would allow us to be pre-qualified to adopt from Ethiopia.
Yesterday, I found out that both were accepted.
Why did I worry? God had it all planned out. Now Lily will receive her immigrant visa, and when she steps foot in the States in June, she will be a U.S. citizen.
And soon, in very short order, our dossier will be sent to Ethiopia, where we will begin the wait to be matched with a little Ethiopian boy.
And God says, Easy as pie. For heaven’s sake, stop worrying.