Christians, Join Us in Praying for the Howells
June 22, 2012 11 Comments
Adam and Liz Howell, potential adopters, are in our Bible Fellowship class at our church, Ninth and O Baptist. Adam leads the class along with Ryan Hanley, and both are some of the greatest examples of godliness amongst my own generation of 20-somethings that I am sure I will ever come across. (Although, I’ll take a guess that they’re well out of their 20’s by now.) Please read Adam’s post taken from his blog, and pray for this wonderful, godly family.
In November, the Congo held its second “democratic” elections. As a result, we’ve been told that the adoption process for most families in the Congo program was delayed about 3-4 months. That brings us to now. In the meantime, we’ve been waiting for a referral and have found out some good news at times and some bad news.
Some of the good news is that we are expecting another biological child in November of this year. So I guess you could say we have two kids and two on the way. Liz and I found out about our newest biological addition in March and so we began the process to update our home study to account for this “change of condition.” In October 2011 (I’ll freely jump all over the calendar) we found out that our home study agency had to shut down, so for this second home study, we basically started over. Childplace in Jeffersonville, IN helped us out tremendously and made the process quite simple the second time around. We sent off our second home study to USCIS for updates yesterday and we will now wait on them to send us a new I-171h to add to our dossier. This addition of a biological child was a hurdle we were worried about. At the beginning of our process, our agency told us that Congo will allow adoptions to families with two children already. This new child would make our third, so were a little concerned about what this might mean for our entire process. Thankfully, our agency has placed children from the Congo with families that have as many as five children already, so our case worker didn’t think another biological child would be a problem. So, we updated our home study and are still trucking.
In the Congo, our agency has now opened a second orphanage. For those who don’t already know, one of the reasons we chose One World Adoption Services was that they have an orphanage in the Congo. Now that they have two orphanages, there are more places from which our agency can care for children and supply referrals for adoptive families. This was good news to us hoping that we would have a referral soon. This news came about 3 weeks ago, and still no referral. We’ve talked to our case worker several times and she tells us that it will probably be soon for a referral. However, just in the last two weeks, we heard that the director of the orphanage in the Congo was let go from her position, so the agency has focused their attention on hiring and training another direct in country. This again has slowed down our process. We’ve yet to receive a referral.
Liz and I feel like we prepared ourselves to be patient, and somehow we’ve not jumped off the deep end with all these delays and changes. However, we still deeply desire to see the face of our little Congolese orphan. But for now, we wait. I saw via Twitter this week that the agency congratulated two people for their new positions in the orphanage in the Congo, so I’m assuming that they have placed people in the proper positions in country and will be training them to gather the necessary paperwork from the Congo for referrals to be processed. Pray with us that these people will work with integrity and precision for all those families who are still waiting on referrals from the Congo.
So, here we sit. Summer schedule; time on our hands; still waiting.
We don’t regret any of this process so far and we know that the Lord has led us the entire way. Here are a couple of stories that show Liz and I how the Lord has worked so far. Financially, the Lord provided all but $300 of our expected costs for this adoption. This amount included ONE home study. However, we had to do two. Our church graciously has set up an adoption grant for families who are adopting, and because the Lord was so good to provide what we needed, we have not yet needed to apply for that grant. We found out during this second home study that the price of our second home study was exactly the amount of the grant we can receive from our church family. What a blessing to see how God has provided even before we knew we needed it.
A second example of God’s providence and goodness is related to our wait. Liz and I CANNOT complain about our wait. God knew that he would give us a third biological child. The Lord knew that we would have to redo our home study. The Lord knew that this school year would be the busiest one of our lives and that we probably couldn’t handle adding an adoptive child to our family yet. However, in the midst of our waiting on a referral, we’ve had time to unwind from a difficult school year. We’ve had more than enough time to redo our home study without the pressure of deadlines. Now, we have a second home study completed and in the mail, our dossier is translated, and we are back in the waiting game knowing that God has delayed our process until now. We are thankful that his timing is perfect, and we continually pray that we will rest in his timing.
We would continue to covet your prayers. Pray for our little guy in the Congo. Pray for our agency as they train new staff in the Congo. Pray for us that we would continue to be patient and trust the Lord.
Adam and Liz<><
Visit the Howell’s blog here and keep them in your prayers.