Friday, September 12, 2014

It Doesn't Have to Be a Lonely Road...

In July, we passed the two years mark in our Philippines adoption journey, and this month makes eighteen that we have been on the approved families list. If the averages hold, that means we are probably looking at a match in the Spring, but averages are just averages.  I have to remind myself of that a lot. We knew from the beginning that this would be a long journey, but somehow that doesn't stop the impatience eager anticipation for the day we finally get the call.

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

The thing that is hardest about the adoption journey is that it can feel really isolating. As time passes with no word, you start to fret. You start to wonder if it is ever really going to happen. You start to worry whether you dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's. Did I miss something? Could we have done a better job with the documents? Are we doing it wrong?

I'm meticulous. I know I did it all right, and more importantly I believe that this whole process is in God's hands. Yet I still obsess a little a ton about the details, worry about the unknowns.

I think part of the reason for that is that, comparatively speaking, the Philippine international adoption program is really small. There are only about 300 international adoptions each year from the Philippines, usually fewer than a hundred in the U.S. That includes matches, home findings for special needs kids, as well as relative adoptions. It's a small group. And because it's a small group, there just aren't a ton of support resources out there. It's hard to find other people who've been there.

Actually, that's why I started blogging about this in the first place. I wanted to write our story to keep our friends and family informed, but also because I hoped that other people out there, Googling "Philippines Adoption," might find it and not feel quite so alone in the process.

It's starting to work! In recent months, I've had a couple of families reach out to me on the blog and share their stories. One family, the Nissa family, sent me a message a few weeks ago letting me know that they had been matched with a baby boy. They're in the process of finalizing paperwork to bring him home now. You can read all about their story here (it's in French, so you'll need a translator). When Anne Nissa wrote me with her good news, she said "I just want to animate you on this road!" Boy did she! My heart still swells when I think about it.

I recently heard from another woman whose family was just matched with a five-year-old boy and his eighteen-month-old sister. She left her comments anonymously so I don't know who or where she is, but it was definitely encouraging to hear from her.

Reaching out really helps, too. Last year, through someone who reads my blog, I finally found a Philippines Adoption Group. It's a group of twelve people, all at different stages of the waiting game. At times, if feels like we are all taking turns being frustrated with the waiting, but sometimes commiseration is exactly what you need. And when any of us has questions, needs help or just an encouraging word, someone is there. 

A few weeks ago, a friend sent me a new story about a couple in Denton, Texas working on a Philippines adoption. We were able to find each other on Facebook, and our virtual conversation about adoption led to our being found by another woman who recently started a Philippines adoption group on Facebook. Through that group, I met Mandy Rose and Jessica Wood, both mommies waiting for Philippines matches, both blogging about it.

We're all still waiting. Finding each other certainly didn't fix that. But what it did was give us someone with whom we can commiserate. Other families working through the same challenges we are, sharing the same hopes we do. Finding community in this journey, it means we'll get a lot more of those joyful heart swells as these families welcome home their children.

It makes waiting for ours just a little bit easier.


  1. Thanks for the update Reda! I also found some new connections as we wait, and wait during this process!

  2. Hello! My name is Jenny and I just wanted to say hi! We finally met our 27 month little guy 2 weeks ago in the Philippines and have been home for a week. It's going better than we could ever have believed so far. It's so good to finally be with him.
    Hang in there - the wait is long and hard, but God's timing is absolutely perfect and we have definitely seen that be the case for us.

  3. I am so glad you made this blog. That is exact how I found you by searching Philippines adoption blogs. It is such an encouragement going through the process with people that are doing it with you. I am going to see how to join those other community groups as well.
    And P.S. We received our referral a couple of weeks ago of a beautiful 13 month old girl!! The process does work, though it took longer than I anticipated, I know God's timing is always perfect! :)