If you get our monthly newsletters, you know that we’re smack dab in the middle of the adoption process. If not, this might be this first you’ve heard, and you’re not sure how all of this happened. It still seems very surreal to me too, so you’re not alone. (Sometimes I honestly wonder how we got here–and I think to myself, Hmm, that’s weird.)
I’m going to attempt to explain a few things so nobody’s left in the dark, but I’m not promising in any way to fully conquer all facets of adoption and answer every possible question you might have. I’ll try to give you framework for what’s really going on in the Downing’s world right now—mostly so you can PRAY! Boy, do we need it…
Q: When did you hatch this crazy plan?
A: Back in April we heard from Asia Pacific that we weren’t going to be able to head there until September 2015. That was 1.5 years away. Our original goal was November 2014, then there was April 2015, but figuring out what to do until September seemed impossible (now our departure is scheduled for July 2015). So, we prayed and prayed some more. Long story short, God prompted people, papers, and pamphlets to cross our path and adoption began to take shape in our brains.
Q: Wasn’t it kind of a rushed decision?
A: Once we had the idea, we talked with a lot of people–friends from church, other missionaries, and church leaders, many who’d walked the same path themselves. One thing we knew was that 1.5 years is still a very short time to complete the adoption/visa/passport process, so we had to get a move on things. Both of us are now more than ever 100% convinced that we’re supposed to be pursuing adoption. But, even though we’re not 100% sure that it will work out, we know that God is asking us to respond to His promptings in obedience.
Q: But what about Asia Pacific? Are you still going??
A: Yes! We are still also one hundred percent convinced that God wants us to keep pursuing church planting in Asia! And yes, it makes things waaaaaay more complex, but God is not held back by paperwork, red tape, and very tight time frames. What we’ve come to rest in is that He’s the one who asked us to do this and He’s the one who made the time frame so tight, so He will have to do this His way!
Q: What kind of child do you hope to adopt?
A: a newborn from the state of Michigan–domestic infant, not foster care (the foster route would take more time than we have)
Q: Where are you at in the process right now?
A: We are homestudy approved by the state Michigan, we have applied to an agency, our adoption profile book is almost complete, and we’re on schedule for an orientation in early September, which is why we’re heading to MI for two weeks before going to California.
Q: So does this mean that you haven’t been able to have kids?
A: We get this question a lot. It’s kind of awkward and personal, but it burns in everyone’s minds anyway. The answer is yes. A lot of my health problems have been a part of that. But, we want you to know that after several years we can confidently say that God is the one who opens and closes the womb–it has nothing to do with virtue or faith. He has clearly been the one allowing this to happen for the time being, and we are trusting Him with every day of our existence.
Q: How can we pray for you?
A: Here’s a few:
1. Acceptance of our application without complications (in the next week or so)
2. Finishing up our profile book (editing, getting a few more pictures)–and printing it; plus our web profile (not sure what work that might entail) (in the next week or so, hopefully)
3. Smooth/quick update to our homestudy while in MI (first week in Sept)
4. Orientation/all paperwork (still LOTS!) in order during early September– these are requirements before we can have our profile shown
5. The mother and baby that we might be matched with–they will have to be okay with sending a baby to the uttermost parts of the earth, which makes that person special, indeed.
6. Pray for our hearts–adoption is not a guarantee. It’s very hard to trust and not have your heart utterly entangled and crushed in the process. Plus, we can’t manipulate anything at all. We really, truly have no control. All we can do is turn in paperwork on time and pray.
We will be in Michigan for the next few weeks to finish up adoption paperwork before heading to California, so pray along with us and we walk the path that God has for us–and we’ll keep watching to see what He will do!