We started the adoption process with child 4 about three years ago in May. Shortly afterward a hogar (orphanage in Guatemala) sent out a plea asking for families to consider adopting some of their children before the adoption shut down. Two families from our church answered that call.
One family that answered that call involves a guy I knew in my younger days (as in college). We didn't attend college together, but we met during our college years when my parents were living in the small town he was from for a few years. I went to his wedding and have since watched his family expand greatly through children. They are a neat family with a heart for missions. The other family also has a large family. They have two biological children then adopted three more children domestically (a sibling group). In fact, we hold them partially responsible for our own adoptions since one of their new daughters (at the time) made some comments that spurred our heart to want to adopt child 3. :)
So a month or so after we started our process, these families started theirs. I remember Mark and I joking that they would probably finish before us. Unfortunately, their processes became lengthy when Guatemala did put a halt on adoptions in order to reform the system. Technically these families were "grandfathered in" but their paperwork was bogged down in the system. In the end, one adoption went the "old route", the other went the "new route".
Since then, both families have visited numerous times. We have seen a lot of ups and a lot of downs. Adoption is not for the faint of heart. The boys the families are adopting are older boys which is a challenge in itself (adopting older children that is). But both families have remained faithful in praying and pursuing the adoption of their new sons.
About a week and a half ago, my college friend called me. I knew something was up. We speak at church and occasionally on Facebook but we rarely talk on the phone. I was overjoyed to hear the news...they had just found out they were out of PGN. What a praise! They hope to bring their new son home in the next few weeks (we are praying it is before their new baby via pregnancy comes).
The other family found out tonight. They went through the new system...no more PGN. Instead, they were in a court like setting. And tonight they found out that they were approved. It looks like their son will be home in the next month if all goes well.
It doesn't matter if it is your adoption or someone else's. Your heart leaps when you find out that another child is coming home to his/her "forever family". It never ceases to bring tears to my eyes. (Doesn't have to be just Guatemala either...I have an Internet friend heading to Ethiopia tomorrow to bring home her baby daughter...I am beside myself with excitement!) And inside, I am lifting up praises. Those two and a half years were long. Nobody is denying that. And yes, I do find myself wondering, "Why did it have to take that long???" But in the end, God's timing is perfect. And His will is good. And soon, very soon, two boys will be coming home for the first time.