“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.” James 4:13-14a (NIV)
This verse is so true...we don't know what will happen tomorrow. In Ukraine, it was as if we couldn't predict the next hour, and that can make for a very insecure feeling.
For those of you who have been following the blog, you remember our meeting with Sasha. After our meeting and decision to move forward with another SDA appointment, both of us felt like our translator, coordinator, and agency were upset or questioning our decision. Our instincts were correct because that evening we received a phone call around 10:30pm from our agency in California. They called us to discuss our decision to not adopt Sasha. It was explained to us that we should not expect to adopt a child with less-severe special needs, especially a child who has a cleft lip and/or palate. Essentially, we were told that a child with a cleft lip and/or palate was considered "healthy" and our paperwork would not allow us to adopt a child with such needs.
WHOA! Hold on! Our paperwork specifically stated we were seeking a child with a cleft lip/palate and for the past 9 months this had never been revealed to us. Now that we're in Ukraine, we are given this information?!?!
Well...to say the least we were very discouraged. I had never been more scared in my life. I truly thought we would be in Ukraine another few weeks and return home heart-broken and without a child. It was a helpless feeling and I had no idea why God had led us down this road. I mean, this whole process sounds ridiculous...I know...I've repeated our crazy story a dozen times with the same "you are a nut" stares!!! I felt like a fool and I didn't know how we had "missed" God's direction in our lives. I read through my journal over and over again and read over countless scriptures that had spoken directly to me over the past several months. Seriously, this is where were were supposed to be...but why? For what purpose? God, what child have you chosen for us? Please reveal him/her to us!
Soooo, I don't think either of us slept after the conversation with our agency. We stayed up all night praying and contemplating our decisions up to this point. Satan attacked and I wasn't sure what the next step was. We met our coordinator the following day and she reiterated the same information about a child with cleft lip/cleft palate, but she was working hard to find us a child. At the time of our appointment, she had found a young boy who needed hip surgery. We arrived at the SDA office and waited...and waited...and waited. We were then informed that the boy she had worked so hard for us to visit was actually not eligible for adoption for another 6 months. Now what? There weren't any more leads... We waited over 2 hours in the hallway at the office as our coordinator made phone calls, talked to the social workers, and replied to text messages.
Finally, our coordinator came to us with the possibility of meeting a little girl with a cleft lip/palate. Wait...come again? I thought our paperwork didn't allow that? If we meet her and get to court, will they take her from us because of our paperwork? How is this possible? Well...she said she was really going to work hard to persuade the social workers. Hmmm...not very convincing, but I did trust her to work in the best interest of us and the children. If we did not get to see her, we could waste our 2nd of three SDA appointments. At this time it was after 5pm and we had to make a decision. I point blank asked our coordinator if we should move forward and she said yes.
Well, the rest is history...we saw a baby picture of little Inna, decided to meet her...then fell in love. Even though the decision to not adopt Sasha was difficult, it paved the way for Inna's files to be opened, and it was the perfect timing for the Bottorffs! God knew exactly what He was doing (duh) and He allowed us to see His mighty hand from beginning to end...well, who knows when the end is:) What a blessing for us to meet Sam to heal our hearts, find out that Sasha was adopted, and to have the perfect daughter for our family! It's overwhelming and I know many of you have been praying for us and have also seen God at work in your lives. May you be blessed by this story as we are!!