I am blogging.
It's been a long time. Yes, I was waiting for the time when I felt ready to post about Conner-- and I kept thinking that time would be like, the next day. But it has taken me a long time to feel ready to write this post! In the meantime, I did decide to follow advice in the comments and just blog about other things, but every time I sat down to do so, something would come up. I would literally type one letter and the doorbell would ring or a kid would fall or some other interruption-- I guess it just wasn't meant to be!
But I'm here now, and I'm not only blogging, I'm blogging about CONNER. (Insert cheers!) And I'm ready to explain why I wasn't ready before. (:
As most of you know, we first fell in love with Conner WELL over a year ago after watching this video. Because his situation has been different than that of our other adopted kids, this process has taken a very long time. During that time, much has changed in our family. Obviously, our new home is at the top of the list of changes. It only makes Conner's adoption easier, knowing we have the perfect home for him. But other changes make adopting Conner harder. I won't get into those-- they are personal and involve many things, including sibling issues that we will keep private. Suffice it to say, a few months ago we began having doubts about whether or not adopting Conner was the right thing for us and for him.
To complicate matters, along with the pre-approval we received a couple of months ago, we were able to get a very detailed update on Conner. It was a FANTASTIC report. He is doing remarkably well and seems like a well-rounded, well-adjusted, just absolutely wonderful young man. He has people who love him and take care of him, he receives piano lessons, he goes to a good school, etc. All of these things are so good, but they also left us with questions. Does he want to be adopted? Is it the best thing for him? Would he really be happier here if he has to leave so much good behind and start anew at the age of 13? Is there another child who needs a home more than he does? And the list goes on…
We requested that our agency try to find out what his feelings were about being adopted. We knew, of course, that even if we did get this information back, it might not be accurate-- how can he even begin to know what adoption would mean for him? But we had to at least try to see if he had an opinion on it. In the meantime, we went about updating our home study, filing for immigration approval and so forth. Last week we received our I171h-- immigration approval to bring him home. It's a BIG step in the adoption process and we knew it was time for us to make SURE that this is what was the best thing to do.
We have agonized over this decision. We have prayed and fasted and talked about it for months. I wanted absolute SURETY that we were doing the right thing. We know the tremendous blessings of adoption but we also know the trials, the heartache, and the many tough issues it can bring. We know all of the issues that go along with blindness and the time it will require. Most importantly right now, we know that we have a child who is really struggling with the idea of this adoption. It is one thing to choose to do hard things for yourself-- it is an entirely different thing to choose hard things for your family. To make a choice that you know will require sacrifice from those you love with all of your heart. It is a heavy burden and a big decision.
I wish this were the part where I could tell you that God sent an angel down from heaven to declare that this was indeed the right thing to do. I guess that wouldn't require the faith that our Father in Heaven wants us to exercise. Instead, He has been letting us know in small and simple ways that we are on the right track-- to keep going forward and to trust Him. We are relying on Him with all of our hearts to be with us and with Conner in the process.
Yesterday we received a wonderful gift. Two short videos of him declaring that YES, he wanted to be adopted and to know the love of a family. We were thrilled to see his countenance as he spoke those words. He is simply DARLING. And those videos helped us to finally reach the stage where we feel solid about sending him a care package to let him know that HE HAS A FAMILY. That he has a mother and father who will care for him throughout all of eternity, siblings who will love and cherish him always, grandparents who will spoil him and love him unconditionally, and a community and church and nation who will rally around him and lift him up during the tough times that are sure to be ahead. Yes, as long as he wants it, HE HAS A FAMILY.
We are so grateful that it is our family that has the blessing of adopting him.
And we want to be VERY CLEAR that we know without a doubt that all of you who have served and supported and prayed for and loved on our family have made this adoption possible. There is simply no way that we could do this otherwise. Thank you so very much for being part of giving this amazing young man a family. We are so thankful.
I think he is getting incredibly handsome, agreed?!