Upwardly Dependent » walking the delicate balance of absolute truth and overwhelming grace.

Masthead header

Adoption is Just Flat Messy

At any given time, there are about as many tabs open in my brain as are open on my laptop.

My Safari app presently has nine alone, with five more files open in Microsoft Word.

My current screen shot is this:

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 12.38.38 PM

Side-by-side documents full of instructions on how to adopt from Uganda and Lesotho, information on filing I-600a and I-800a forms, and a new document to try and organize my thoughts into some coherent structure.

All I can think is this:

Adoption is just flat messy.

We started the process almost a year ago, knowing that we’d be transitioning overseas and needed to have our ducks in a row if we wanted to bring another child into our family when Eliza turned two.

We honestly expected about a two-year process from start to finish. That was mistake number one.

No matter how organized we were or how many documents we prepared before the move, so much of this journey has been unpredictable.

We welcomed a case worker from China soon after renting a home here in SE Asia. We knew we would need to update our home study with our current residence, so no problem. This was completed in April.

That’s when we learned we needed to have a background check from our new local government as well. In the United States, this involves taking five minutes to make an online appointment, driving to the office, taking another five minutes to scan each of your fingers on a screen, and driving through Starbucks on the way home to celebrate a successful criminal history report.

Not the same here.

We hunted through our dictionary for the words adopted child, letter, background check, and criminal history. Some were there, some were not.

We asked around for where to go to have such a thing completed.

Ministry of Public Security.
Ok, easy enough.

We got all psyched up, put Eliza in a cute outfit, tried to look like a nice family, and drove across town to find the building. Three loops around the block later, we finally guessed on where to park and walked into two different buildings before being told that the Ministry of Public Security wasn’t the right place to have a background check completed.

Ministry of Justice.
Ok, we could do that.

So we drove to where we thought we had been given directions, walked in, allowed everyone to oooh and aaah over the falang baby, and finally got to the point. We were escorted upstairs, asked to wait for a few minutes, and then were brought into some important woman’s office. We made our case, and then thirty minutes later were told that we were not actually in the Ministry of Justice office.

Ministry of Justice.
Hey, let’s go there this time.

We found the right building, another couple of blocks up, and used all the words again to tell the people what we needed. There, we were told to write a letter in English saying that we had no criminal history here, and then the officers would translate it and stamp it. Easy peasy.

The next week, we took the letter that had been requested, things were going great, and we were about to pay for the translation and stamp when the officer decided (duh) that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have someone write their own letter saying he’s not a criminal. Turns out he couldn’t help us, but someone else could.

The National Supreme Court.
Back to square one.

Seriously, I can’t make this up. Two buildings later, we finally got an official-looking form to fill out requesting all of our information. After we both completed the forms, we took it back to the window, but were told that we must have a picture to attach.

Photography shop.
This will only take a minute, right?

We got our nice passport pictures, and were only minimally photoshop-ed to have bleachy white skin. Same day, one hour later.

National Supreme Court.
Now we could submit our paperwork.

Except not yet because everyone was on lunch break.
For two hours.

That day I drove back across town to turn in our forms only to learn that they had to first be signed off by our local village office. At the local village office I was told that they couldn’t sign our form until we had a letter of employment. At our place of employment we were told that they couldn’t write a letter until a Memorandum of Understanding was signed, officially giving us a job.

All we wanted was a background check.
The dominoes weren’t falling at all.

So, we waited for five months to have the last document needed to complete our home study. But now, it’s in our hands! Thanks to some good friends from our host culture, we are on the move.

The criminal history says that I am the daughter of Devid and Sam Goudman from the Umited States of America, but who the freak cares.

We got a red stamp, y’all!


That leads us to our current state, and that is the question of where to send all of this paperwork.

If you’ve been following our story, you know that we’ve had our hearts set on Lesotho. Our agency had just opened a program there a year ago and was very optimistic about the matches that would come quickly.

Twelve months later, there are now forty families ahead of us and none of them have yet been able to welcome children into their homes. Things are moving, but moving very slowly.

We spent last week on video calls with our agency, researching other program options, and learning about the process for Hague vs. non-Hague countries. Our brains are swimming and our hearts are a tad weary.

But in the next few days, we hope to have a peace in our spirits about the country from which the Lord wants to grow our family. We are eager to welcome Baby #2, and we are ready to hit the ground running and jumping through the hoops that remain between us and that child.

Will you pray with us? We need clarity and perseverance.

And some cash flow. {I hate this part.}

Over half of our income is still devoted to Gavin’s student loan debt from medical school. We have a $720 check to write within the next week, and I’ll be perfectly honest in saying it’s a toss-up as to where that money will come from.

Here’s a shameless plug for our Pure Charity page, our Amazon Affiliates link, and our Just Love coffee roasters storefront. All the links are also in the side bar. –>

Gosh, you guys are good. You’ve just read 1086 words about this hectic journey, and you still believe in God’s redemptive power in uniting a child with his forever family.

A forever family with the last name of Pinkston.

We are beyond blessed. You love us so well. I can’t wait to see how you wrap your arms around our next little love and show him or her what it feels like to have people all over the world who are cheering you on.

Bless the Lord, oh my soul. Bless each of you, too.