Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Why not Anna last year?

Anna and K.D. are together again after not seeing each other for about a year and a half. Seeing them side-by-side is one of those things that gives you a deep sense of satisfaction and peace in your innermost being. The question has come up in a comment on our blog as to why we did not adopt Anna last year when we adopted her brother K.D. The truth is that we tried. Both K.D. and Anna were brought forward for adoption in Ethiopia and CrazyMom and I pursued them both.

We could not adopt Anna at that time because the adoption agency we were using decided not to facilitate the adoption. While we won’t be sharing why they refused in this case, in general adoption agencies may make this sort of decision for a variety of reasons. For example, they may not feel comfortable working with the birth family, the child, or the adoptive family. Or they may feel the child and the adoptive family are not a good fit. Or there could be a host of other concerns that the agency has.

While this was a setback for us and we strongly disagreed with the agency, I remember not being that upset with them about it. It wasn’t like we couldn’t adopt Anna; we would just have to use a different agency that thought more like us. Yes, it was going to cost us thousands of dollars and take another year to start over with a new agency, but I remember just thinking, “So be it.” CrazyMom and I contacted Adoption Advocates International who was very willing to help us adopt Anna.

AAI told us that the normal procedure is to do an agency-to-agency transfer of Anna’s contact information. I called our old agency and let them know to whom they could send the information.

Our agency said no. They would not transfer the contact information to AAI.

Our agency said they were acting in our best interest. But in subsequent and futile conversations with them I was told that if they gave the contact information to AAI, AAI would still not be able to find Anna. In order for AAI to find Anna, our agency would have also have to disclose to AAI some of their “business contacts” who worked in the area of Ethiopia that Anna was from, and they were not willing to do that.

I was both shocked and upset. I was shocked because our agency was acting at least in part on the perceived best interest of their business model in the region. I was upset because I knew that this meant we would not be able to adopt Anna. The only information we had about her that we could give to AAI was a 1” by 2” photo of her with a hat on and the region of Ethiopia that she was in. Finding Anna would be like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack, and only God could do that.

And God did.

Scripture repeatedly tells us that we are to care for the less fortunate, particularly orphans and widows. Scripture also tells us that God sees himself as the “father of the fatherless” and the way He has chosen in this day and age to be that father is through His people - people like you and me. But these are all general things to me. What has impressed me over the last year is seeing how God specifically wanted Anna in our family and to prove it, He found the needle in the haystack. He used a network of people to find Anna - some of whom we knew at the time, some of whom we now know, and some of whom we will probably never meet this side of heaven. Finding this precious little girl in Ethiopia was truly a remarkable thing.


Anonymous said...

Great picture, amazing story!

Symona D.

The MSILF said...

That's interesting. I guess from some sides, adoption is an industry just like any other.

But also - any agency can help you find any kid? Kids aren't partnered up through an agency who takes care of their file only? This was informative.

Darcy said...

What an AMAZING testimony. Thank you for sharing all your thoughts and your beautiful family with us!

Raskell Party of 8 said...

God is good ALL the time. Your precious Anna was always in His arms and now she is in yours. I can't wait to meet her later this summer! Blessings, Sandra

erika's funny farm said...

What an amazing testimony to God's awesome power and faithfulness. What a precious gift for your daughter that she will grow to know that she was hand chosen by the Almighty and that you persued her out of love and devotion and faith. Blessings to you.

Lisa W. said...

Wow. What a story. Your old agency should have had their moral compass on. I am so proud of you and your family for pursuing this precious little girl...You go Mama!

darci said...

God is so AWESOME! that is a fantastic story of His love and goodness and greatness against all odds. I love the pic of them, they look so much alike. sweet! darci

Norah said...

That was a beautiful story. It really bothers me how some agencies play the role of God and feel they know what is best for a family. Some agencies believe they are so powerful and leave their clients powerless. It's sad. I have used 2 different agencies and lets just say one and big and powerful and the other was run by 2 people. 2 wonderful, caring people.

Heidi Mehltretter said...

That picture brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for doing what you did!!

Jori said...

So glad that you went foreward and followed God thru the doors! What a great blessings for your family and for brother & sister to be reunited!
Blessings, Jori Armstrong
AWAA family

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. We are hoping to adopt from Ethiopia. We are a bit discouraged right now b/c of money but your story shows how God is infinitely faithful!