Sunday, October 22, 2006

World Travelers

It’s been a while since the last post, and I had a draft post that somehow got blown away with a few tidbits. Hopefully, I’ll be able to rephrase those as well as I did the first time. Blogger has the ability to save draft posts without publishing. I typed out a few paragraphs, clicked on save draft, and kablooie-page cannot be found, back-page, blank post, work gone. Oh well, I’m sure it’s Bill Gates’ fault, I should have been using Firefox instead of IE.

I’ll get to the tidbits in the next post, but I’ve got a little news. OK, it’s pretty big news.

We’ve decided to go International for sure. We stayed up very late Friday night talking about it and just came to the conclusion that this was the way we needed to go. I wanna get back to the news and tidbits, so I’ll get more into explaining some of the reasons later. Some might fault me for being so analytical, rather than just following the path that God shows me. I’ll accept that, but I also believe that God made me this way as a means for me to discover His path. In other words, my research takes place precisely because I seek the right path, not because I trust myself more than the Lord. This process has served me well in other decisions like this; changing my major in college when I realized I had more aptitude for something else, switching jobs and career paths when I saw the right opportunity. I’m not changing now.

So, now, you’re asking – from which country will you be adopting? Sorry, haven’t decided yet.

I’ve been officially over-ruled on the Uzbekistan thing. I knew it was a long shot, but hey we’re a couple and we’ve got to agree. Our philosophy has always been that if one or the other of us is in total disagreement, then the answer is no. To be honest with you, it was probably number 3 or 4 on my list anyway; I just wasn’t as ready to rule it out. But again, back to reality – we have to start narrowing this down.

We had also considered Haiti, but realized that we were really only drawn to that because of how quickly and cheaply one can get through the process. Russia was another possibility, but they are going through some changes right now, and have actually closed a portion of their program temporarily, making it quite a bit more difficult. Perhaps later in life, we’ll be revisiting these possibilities, but not now.

For a lot of reasons, we’ve narrowed it down to China and Guatemala. It’s not so much a matter of process of elimination, but we do feel drawn to these places.

China remains likely simply because of the relative simplicity of the process. OK, when you stop laughing, I’ll explain. Re-read that – I said “relative” simplicity. No matter what, it’s going to be long and complicated, but so many orphans have been adopted from China that they’ve got the process finely tuned. 10’s of thousands of Americans adopt through this program each year. The timeline is fairly predictable, and once you get to the travel stage, they make all your arrangements and send you along with group of other China adopters from Bethany.

We also feel very drawn to Guatemala, which I have now gotten the hang of spelling properly. There are a lot of reasons, but the need there is just so great that we really feel it’s something we should do. The process in Guatemala is also fairly well streamlined, so we’ll know more of what to expect. The wait for a referral is also a little shorter than most places, and the travel is not the least bit intimidating. Also, the need there really breaks my heart.

I’ve traveled a fair amount, particularly at my previous job, where I had the opportunity to visit several locations around the US (SC, MN, KS), as well as Argentina. I’ve done a little work travel since then(mostly AZ, and CA). Also, Melissa and I have been to Israel and the West Bank together. I’m pretty comfortable traveling then, including in strange places. Melissa has traveled a bit as well – she went to France when she was little, but hasn’t traveled as much as an adult. Also, anyone who knows me knows I’ll eat just about anything (except mushrooms and clams), particularly strange ethnic, spicy foods – common in Guatemala and China. Melissa tends to be a little more careful about strange places and foods (but she loves mushrooms and clams), so I don’t think I’ll get in any trouble by expressing a little surprise when she told me the travel portion of the adoption process is the least of her concerns. After thinking about it though, I shouldn’t be surprised. She’s much more willing to just go with the flow and be sacrifice her own comfort and safety things for what she thinks is right. So, taking a long flight to spend weeks in a strange place doesn’t faze her a bit.

That’s where the comparisons will inevitably be made - travel. The fees for China are fairly low (again, in comparison), but the travel long and expensive. The fees in Guatemala are higher, but the travel fairly short and cheap.

I believe that at some point, we’ll make the right decision - so, let the analysis and prayer begin!!!


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