If there is one thing that is predictable about international adoption, it is it's unpredictability.
It's fairly inevitable given how many people and government organizations are involved to make an adoption happen. Especially as governments seem to be prone to delays, changes in policy, and changes in operating procedure on a frequent basis.
Yesterday's e-mail brought us this news: the American Embassy in Addis Ababa has decided that they are under-staffed, and as such they are going to reduce the days that they will issues visas for children being adopted from Ethiopia. So, instead of families being allowed in every Friday, they will now be allowed in twice a month. Also, they have decided to add a new medical test to the physical that is required before a visa is issued.
What does this all mean? Honestly, we're not sure. But, we were told to expect that this may bring a delay of 1-3 weeks before we can travel. Our agency only just got the news yesterday, so they can't tell us for sure yet exactly what the delay will be for each family. This will affect how often families can travel (currently there are groups of families travelling weekly, but this will no longer be an option and so in-country processes will have to be reviewed in terms of how many families can travel at a time, how will they transport them, house them, etc.. and once the consulate changes take effect, seeing just how it all actually plays out) They did say it might take them two weeks to get it all figured out. Do you remember what happens two weeks from today? Rosie's court date!
The first thing that sprang into my head when I read the news yesterday: Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Written in Proverbs, and describing pretty well my instant reaction to the e-mail, heartsick. Longing desperately for Rosie to be home and no more delays or setbacks.
My second thought: And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.( Romans 8:28) How good to rest in the truth that this too is for Rosie's good and our good, even if we can't see how.
In the midst of disappointment, it is so sweet to be able to rest in the knowledge that it's all for our good. Nothing that comes (or doesn't come) our way is for our good, sifted through the loving fingers of a God who knows what we need and can see the big picture, even when we can't.
Not that we're never disappointed, just that we don't lose hope.