Monday, May 26, 2008
How sweet is this! (Our little Sweetie at 6 months.) To think that in less than 24 hours Todd will be meeting her for the first time. I think his heart is about to explode.
When we first learned that the family in Africa was willing for us to adopt the baby, I began packing my bags, gathering gift preparing passports, researching, etc. I was ready. I thought we would get on a plane, go to Togo and get our baby and come home. Let's see...that was...17 months ago!
I soon learned there is a process. Even though both families are agreeable, there are still laws and processes. In going to the Togo website, I saw that there had not been an inter country adoption in over six years. I also "noticed" a line that said, "If you already have biological children, you are not permitted to adopt." My thought was that, the family has said yes to us. They want this. We will certainly be exempt.
We contacted the Us Embassy in Lome. We also called the State Department. Without us asking, they contacted each other and began working on our situation. Everywhere we turned, we seemed to have favor.
I will not forget the day that the State Dept. called me. They said that they had sad news, there was no way that we would be able to adopt this baby due to the fact that we already had our "own" children. I hung up the phone and went to my bed. I had a few tears. Then I tried to make myself cry more.
A conversation that I had in my head went something like this..."God, Why am I not crying more? This is sad, horrible news." Answer, "Did I tell you that this would not work? Did I say to stop?"
Me: "Well, actually, no. You said that this baby was ours. You said that we are to pursue her."
God: "I want you to continue to move forward on this. Act as if this is already a done deal. I am not limited by man. I am doing something here."
From that point, we continued to complete our home study, communicate with the Embassy, pray, stay in touch with the family, pray some more, etc. As we have walked out in this, we have seen the hand of God in remarkable ways.
As we have prayed, our heart for Togo has grown. Our heart for the orphans of the world have grown. We have become more involved in issues of compassion, justice, injustice. We have seen that this is not just about the Hedgepeths getting a beautiful baby girl, and her getting a forever family. This is about God's dream coming true...about destines being fulfilled, about nations being set free.
How humbling to know that God wants us to be a part of seeing His purposes established on the earth. We are grateful and privileged! Right?
Guess what? During this time, it is our understanding that the laws have changed in Togo. Families with biological children are now eligible to adopt.
"He sets the lonely in families."
Praise God for the changes that have come to Togo! Please pray...
*that laws would continue to be changed, allowing children to be adopted into good families.
*that adoption agencies would be put in place (currently there are no adoption agencies in Togo)
*that advocates of orphans would be raised up in this country, being a voice for the voiceless
*that in our situation, there would be no more hold ups! That we would be able to bring our baby home.
Thank you so much. We are grateful for your prayers and your love!