We stared at pictures of little girls and prayed all week. I had emailed the orphanage director with some questions about the children, but due to an email mix-up, we weren't in communication with her until last night, when we returned from Kenya.
We knew there were three children at Forever Angels that met our specifications (girl, about 2 years old) who were available to adopt. We narrowed it down to two, mostly based on age.
Long about Thursday I asked Gil who he was leaning towards. He told me. She was the same one on my mind.
But it was torturous thinking, honestly. I read this post by the orphanage director on Friday. She wrote about how on that day, they had to transfer two of their beautiful four-year-olds to another orphanage, since Forever Angels only cares for babies and toddlers. Both these little girls were available for adoption. No one took them. Now, most likely, they will spend their whole childhood in an orphanage.
So though I was leaning towards one child in particular as being the best fit for our family, I was haunted by the faces of the others, who could very likely never join families. One child to gain a life of hugs, bedtime stories, an excellent education, a brother and sister, grandparents, and cousins, Disneyland, ticklefests, and toys she will always call her own, and the other child never truly belonging to anyone.
Some people have asked us why we are choosing a toddler this time, instead of a baby. The simple answer to that is that the older a child gets, the less likely he or she will be chosen. Since we've already had a baby girl and a baby boy, we decided to choose the oldest child we could and still preserve the "birth order" in our family.
We'd pretty much made our choice, and then last night we heard from the orphanage director. She told us that one of the two little girls we were considering is being pursued for adoption by one of her Tanzanian staff members.
But not the one we had chosen.
Praise the Lord! Not only can we rejoice in the little girl who will join our family, but we can rejoice that the other little one will get a family as well. Just as it should be.
Now....not to disappoint anyone...but we're still not revealing her identity. There is still a lot of paperwork to be done, and things can go wrong. We're not even telling our kids who she is until we are as sure as we can be that we will be bringing her home. However, if you want to go through all 49 profiles on the website and try to figure it out, go for it! My mom did, actually (of course), and interestingly enough, God put on her heart the same little girl we had chosen.
And when will we bring her home? Well, when we were at this point with Grace, it took another 4 months (which was very unusual). With Josiah, it took another 6 weeks. It has been a lot faster for some people, but we've learned not to get our hopes up too high. We're hoping for a month. Soon!