Friday, April 6, 2012

A Year Waiting for Avery

Avery Faith Ha-rin  - Newborn

5 months old

5 months old - this was the first photo we saw of her!

10 months old

1 year old

1 year

1 year old - wearing the birthday hat we sent her

16 months

16 months

16 months

17 months

18 months old

18 months

It was a year ago today we were matched with Avery.  It was a miracle.  We were told by our agency that they weren’t seeing girls much at all anymore, and they certainly weren’t’ seeing girls that matched our profile.  It was discouraging.  We were told that on Tuesday and by Thursday we were matched with Avery.  It was simply God’s hand.  When we were matched with her, she was losing weight, had some bowl/digestive trouble and was behind developmentally.  The first time we received a report for monthly well-baby check they digestive issues had been resolved and she was beginning to gain weight.  Over the past year we have watched her become completely caught up in all areas except speech.  Her gains have been huge, and we are so grateful for her incredible progress.  God has been very kind and gracious to us. 
I am, however, very frustrated and sad she is still not home.  I pretty much quit hanging on every word or report issued by the agency.  Korea is not terribly up front about what they plan or will do, so my agency’s knowledge is limited so they have good guesses and educated predictions, but nothing that boils down to an absolute;  a “yes, this will definitely happen.” 
To be honest, most days are fine. I truck along, all is well, I do my day to day things, and am fine.  (This is a huge change from the first adoption where I was a wreck the whole time) But on occasion, just sometimes, I hit a wall and I just crash.  That describes this week.  I had, for some inexplicable reason, expected Holt would submit a group of Emigration Permits (EPs)  (This is the paperwork we’ve been waiting on for a full year now)  I knew we wouldn’t be in it, but we had been told it would be a big batch so I was hopeful there would be some good movement, which of course brings us closer to getting an EP too. 

I don’t know why I was expecting that to actually happen.  We’ve been told many things that haven’t happened.  In fact, I have stopped reading the Holt forum, I’ve stopped reading other adoption blogs, and I’ve stopped putting a whole lot of stock in the monthly updates from our agency because none of it matters.  Its all speculation and blind naïve hope based on nothing more than strong desire to get these babies home.  Its naïve and completely unrealistic, and I’m too far down this road to embrace baseless optimism.  My new-found realism has served me well because its allowed me to focus on each day as it comes, instead of banking my hope on a “speculative date” that usually doesn’t materialize.  This perspective has been a good shift for me.  It forced me to savor and be thankful for each day instead of suspending my peace and thankfulness till something occurs in the future.  I am thankful to have learned this, although I don't think its quite mastered yet.

But today, I find myself frustrated and sad.  Tomorrow marks a year -  I’ve been waiting a year for one piece of paper.  It makes me sad because I’ve missed a full year of my baby’s life with no foreseeable end.  I missed her first birthday, I missed Christmas, I can’t buy her an Easter dress – it’s just lost time.  That’s hard to swallow.  Its hard.  Its hard missing everything.  Its hard watching your baby grow up in pictures and be helpless to change her situation.  Its hard to walk into the room that her and Addison are supposed to share, see her crib, and know its still empty.  Its hard to see little clothes that she's long-since outgrown and will never wear.  Its just hard.

Its also frustrating to know that the delay is motivated by pride.  Korea doesn’t want to be known as the country that “exports its children” so instead, they impose thoughtless quotas which restrict the number of children who can leave the country for adoption each year.  This number is decreased every year regardless of the number of children in foster care.  So although on paper it looks like they’re reducing international adoptions, all that is really happening is the number of children who are languishing in foster homes is exploding and birthmothers are being turned away when they come for help.  Its morally unethical, motivated by pride, and a horrible way to treat children and mothers.  I'm not elevating the USA or demeaning Korea; all gevernments will make decisions out of pride, self-perservation and public opinion...its certianly not unique to Korea!  It just happens to impact my daughter, her foster family and us in a dramatically negative and heartwrenching way.
So I’m sad and frustrated.  Its not the place I plan to dwell.  Its not where I’m going to stay.  But today - this week, its where I am at.  Being sad isn’t a sin and being angry about destructive politics fueled by pride isn’t a sin either.  I won’t stay here.  God is too good and He is so faithful that I can’t stay here long.  But now, this is where I find myself.  I find myself grieving the year I’ve lost and the baby I’ve yet to hold.
Ecclesiastes 3:4
Top of Form Bottom of Form(There is ..) a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

Romans 12:15-16
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another.


  1. I am so sorry. You are strong and faithful. I pray that you will hear positive news soon. Praying for Avery.

  2. What a sweet sweet lil girl!!!
    It is so completely understandable for you to feel this way - my husband and I are just in the beginning stages of adopting from Korea (home study stage) and while we have been told of all these "issues and obstacles" I still feel drawn to stay the course and jump into adopting from there - only because I feel truly lead by the Lord - but sometimes my head:heart and friends and family wonder with all these obstacles why ? We would - at this stage I can't fathom how hard it will be to watch "my child" a world away grow and change and miss milestones - it does seem silly, pointless, cruel even for the process To take so long but I pray for your family and Avery, for all the other families waiting and for ours and hopefully something will change
    You put it into words so great - i wish you could send this post to someone that makes these decisions to sway them or show them how this affects everyone involved - or maybe on MpAK
    I hope you get your EP/TC soon
    God bless Avery and the remainder of this journey He is leading your through

  3. Praying that Avery is in your arms soon. You are so much stronger than I have ever been. Her name is prayed over on my fridge.

  4. I saw your blog on the Holt Forum. I hope you don't mind my following your blog. I am in much the same boat and mirror your thoughts in this last post exactly. I am with Holt as well and am an ATK May 26th. My daughter is not a WC so we are very much in waiting limbo right now. I would love to ask you some questions as it seems sometimes some people get answers others don't. If you would like to contact me, I am at I am so sorry for your wait. Hopefully we both get some good news soon. Erica

  5. Hugs! Praying she is home soon! I did hear that Holt submitted a batch today (well, I heard yesterday that many people were notified that they were going to be submitted today/last night), I don't know if it helps you to hear that or not, but I will pray. God is bigger than all of this! Hugs!!! Praying that it's not too much longer!!! We're waiting to hear anything about SWS! It's making me a bit crazy.

  6. thank you for sharing those precious pics and your heart with us in this post. know that people all over the world are praying for you and your family as you wait. i can't imagine how tough this has been. praying HIS peace that transcends all understanding to guard your hearts and minds.

  7. +I stop in every so often to see where you are in the process, we went to Metro years ago and are an adoptive family as well. It is so hard to watch your little one grow up form afar, praying that things will begin to move along and for grace and peace to you beyond understanding...