In the middle of last week we received a call from our social worker alerting us to a problem with our adoption case which needed urgent attention. We dropped everything and drove through traffic for an hour in the blazing sun. We were praying the whole time, trying to trust God but knowing deep down that we couldn’t face another hurdle.
Our social worker was very straight faced and told us that our case had been taken to the board meeting and there was nothing else she could do. She was returning our file and hoped to see us again in the future. Our hearts dropped! I think one of us stuttered something about not giving up… then she asked if we were going to open the file. Halfway down the second paragraph of the covering letter we read the words ‘you have 30 days to accept this child’; our application to adopt six year old Bow had been approved!
Still not sure if it was the best prank or the worst prank ever played on us but it had its desired effect; we were totally shocked and over the moon! As the news has sunk in we have been through a full range of emotions and not really slept! Just the week before, we took part in a difficult process of debriefing and emerged ready for new challenges. There is a sense of rightness about the timing.
We will go to Chiang Mai in two weeks time to spend supervised time with Bow before an official handover. She will come back to Bangkok with us just before we need to report together to a board meeting on 24th April. This is really soon. We have jumped into action preparing practical details for her arrival (order a pink motorbike helmet, a blood glucose monitor…), but the difficult job goes to her carers at the foster home.
As I sat and read the wedge of confronting medical reports in Bow’s background file I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Firstly that she is still alive. But ultimately that she has spent four formative years of her life in a loving and nurturing environment. She has had foster mothers who have fought for her tirelessly in hospital clinics and classrooms, loved her just as she is while insisting that her medical conditions do not define her. She has had precious time to heal and grow and learn. She has a whole extended family of people who will miss her and continue to want the best for her. The story of God’s transforming work in Bow’s life starts well before she met us.
So right now its joyful and messy at the same time – its not all obvious to us how we fit in and Bow will be feeling the same. The concept of a new family will provoke a lot of anxiety. We are confident that this adoption is a good thing even though it will be a hard thing. God is in and above the immediate circumstances of transition. We adore our girl already and have so many hopes for our family moving into this new phase.
Please join us in praying for Bow, for deep-rooted understanding and peace in the face of big change. Pray for her friends and carers in their grief as they prepare her to move on from the foster home. Please pray for Elliot and Sam who have processed the news really well but need to feel valued and involved by us along the way. Pray for team and colleagues who will need to adjust plans because we will be more useless than usual for a while. And pray that our capacity to love will expand as our family expands!
(The photos in this newsletter bear no relation to the content but give you a glimpse of what else happened this month before our lives got just a little bit turned upside down!)