Sunday, September 23, 2012

No News and Good News...

Well Hicks Hikers, we were all expecting to finish the week last week with two major questions answered about what's next for our family.  On that front, we're 1 for 2: we got an answer about our adoption, but not about Jake's next assignment.  The latter is pretty darn frustrating for our family.  Jake is going to be following up with people this week to see what's going on.  But in the meantime, it really just stresses him out to talk about it. I'll say we need continued prayers, and leave it at that.

As many of you know from reading my earlier post, we were thrown a curve ball in our adoption process this week when Welcome House, the amazing agency we've been working with, essentially got dumped by the Philippine government. I spent the entire week making phone calls trying to find a replacement agency, and after nearly four dozen "no" answers, I was feeling really discouraged.  BUT we received a call on Thursday afternoon (from an agency I actually called Monday but hadn't heard from, apparently because they were closed for the Jewish holidays) informing us that they have space for us in their program!  I can't tell you the relief and joy we felt at finally finding a new agency to help us through this process, especially in the face of so much rejection. See, Philippines adoption programs are really small. Most agencies only take two to four families per year.  Not only that, but many of the agencies I called were subject to the same restrictions that prevented Welcome House from being able to complete our application.  In fact, I learned that there are actually only seven agencies that get to file new applications this year.  That's about fourteen slots nationwide.  The fact that we were able to secure one of them...there's no question in my mind that God's hand was in that.

But of course, nothing about this process is ever easy, so naturally there's a catch.  Our new agency, Vista Del Mar, was told by ICAB (the federal agency that oversees adoption in the Philippines) that they have 2012 slots, but there are no guarantees that they will be given 2013 slots.  What does that mean? It means that the dossier we thought we had until February to complete now has to be finished by December 1! Holy moly! That means home studies, application to USCIS (immigration), psychological evaluations, all of our letters and other required materials, have to be ready to go in just over two months!!  Needless to say, it will be an insane fall.  And it will mostly fall on me to complete because the Army has Jake in rotation for all of October and November (meaning he can't be more than 30 miles from post and works around the clock).  So,  again, please please keep the prayers coming! I am most certainly going to need them.

Given the good news and the no news, it was a pretty mixed weekend. Jake got to take Howie with our church's preschool group to the zoo on Friday, where he was outnumbered by mommies nine to one.  But they both had a great time, and many of the ladies caught me today to let me know how they appreciated Jake's willingness to go with the flow, even when the ladies were not moving as quickly a he would like.  Saturday Howie and Jake had father/son time, and that evening we had dinner with some friends we haven't spent nearly enough time with lately.  Then today, we got to attend church and have lunch together before Jake had to head back.  You know, we've been doing this for over four years, but it never gets easier to see him drive away on Sunday.  When we are finally done with the Army, there will be much rejoicing in the Hicks house--we'll finally get to live under ONE ROOF!

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