I'M THIRD (& AND WHAT COMES NEXT) August 30 2016, 2 Comments

When I started this process more than 2 years ago, other adoptive parents told me that "the waiting" was the hardest part. Honestly, I thought the year-of-paperwork was the hardest part...until I got to the waiting. There is a distinct and deafening silence in the waiting. It's there when I wake up and when I go to sleep. It's there when people ask me how the process is going. It's there when I pray for Mercy. It's ever-present and it's hard to live in "the waiting" for so long. 

Thankfully there is one other ever-present thing in my life, as well "God is our refuge and strength. An ever-present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1.

After all this time and preparation, I finally have some news to share: I'm third. There are two families, who turned in their dossier (paperwork) before me, who are waiting to be matched with a child. Two. And I'm third. 

So what does this mean in terms of timing? I'm not sure. No one is. Sometimes South Africa will have 4-5 kids approved for international adoption in one day, and sometimes they will go 2 months without any approvals. It's still all up in the air. But it IS getting closer! 

A lot of people have been asking about what happens when I finally get THE call. Here is a quick synopsis:

1. My agency will match me with a child and I will have 24-48 hours to officially accept the referral of that child. During this short time period, I will talk with my family and communicate with a pediatrician who specializes in international adoption. If all goes well, I will accept! Because the child will meet all of the criteria that I laid out in my dossier, there should be no problem accepting the referral.

2. After I officially accept the match, I have to file some additional paperwork with the US Department of Immigration to bring my specific child into the USA. Simultaneously, the case workers in South Africa will request a court date to finalize the adoption there. This could take anywhere from 8-12 weeks.

3. Once my immigration paperwork is approved and the court date is set, I will travel to South Africa and finally meet Mercy! I will travel there about 2 weeks before the court date so that I can get to know him/her before I take custody. 

4. After the court date, we will officially be a family. But I will have to remain in South Africa for another 4-5 weeks until Mercy's new passport is issued. After we obtain the passport, we can come back to the US. The total time in South Africa is normally 6-7 weeks. My Mom will be accompanying me. Yay!

If you're interested in praying, here are some things that are currently heavy on my heart:

- Courts in South Africa are closed during the holidays (mid-December through January). The time from when I'm matched until the end of the process, when I get Mercy's passport, is quite long (14-19 weeks). So, if I'm not matched pretty soon, I will not be able to travel to South Africa until February of next year. Please pray that I am matched soon, that the immigration filing is completed efficiently and that a court date is set quickly. It would be wonderful to have Mercy home for Christmas. 

- I am saving as much money as I can and I am planning a local fundraiser in the near future. But, if God lays it on your heart to give, you can make a donation at Pure Charity or you can contact me directly at marlee.august@gmail.com.

- I have been learning a lot about how to help Mercy recover (emotionally, physically and socially) from everything that will have happened in his/her short life. I have also been learning about the best way to raise a black child (as a white mom) in order to instill in Mercy a positive sense self worth. Lastly, I have been researching how I can help Mercy connect deeply with me (and others) after living in an institutional setting. Please pray that I will be able to recall and implement all that I have learned.

- More importantly, please pray that I would have endless love, empathy and compassion for Mercy from the moment we meet.

Thank you all so much!

*Some of you have asked why I am no longer selling coffee. Earlier this year I ran out of coffee, shipping boxes and bags. Because of the quantity I would have to buy of all of these products, it would cost me close to $1,000 to replenish all that I need. Since the final stage of the adoption is imminent (hopefully), I am not going to risk purchasing all the supplies I need, then not being able to recoup the cost of the supplies or make a profit.