Yesterday marked the end of our 14-day waiting period and our adoptions of Alayna and Lily became officially official! The court decrees have been issued and our attorney has filed for the new birth certificates (which should be ready within the next two weeks). In addition to this news, we also learned that our dossier for Little Lady #3 was filed with the Ministry of Justice yesterday and the MOJ feels confident that our official (verbal) referral of our little ladybug will be issued on Friday! Once we have her official referral we can begin making firm travel plans!
At this point it seems fairly certain that we will travel the last two weeks of July. While this is a bit further out than we expected, we are content knowing that the reason we must wait is because there are so many other Bulgarian children who have been matched with their forever families and our facilitator must somehow manage to fit us all into the schedule (Toni is truly a "God-powered" superwoman and I am still trying to figure out when she actually sleeps)!
One of those other families is my good friend, Kelly, who is also adopting two beautiful little girls, Yana (who has Down Syndrome) and Tavi (who is blind). Kelly and I started the process to adopt from Bulgaria around the same time last year and have remained "neck-in-neck" for most of the process. We have become good friends, especially during the "home stretch" of this process which has proven to be the most difficult, I think, for both of us. I am SO grateful to Kelly for her friendship, support, encouragement and empathy! This morning, in a courtroom in Sofia, Bulgaria, Kelly and John officially became the parents of these two, beautiful souls and there are now two less orphans in the world! Although Kelly and I have never met in person, I felt this victory just as deeply as I did the day our own little girls were declared ours and I am grateful to my Father in Heaven for all of the mighty miracles He has worked to bring these two precious girls into a loving, Christ-centered home!
The "gift of adoption" is so much more than simply welcoming a child into your home and providing them with a life that they might not otherwise have had. The journey also brings with it an indescribable increase in faith as you witness the Lord's hand in your life DAILY, lifelong bonds of friendship, support and love with people you may not otherwise have met, and deep humility as you realize that NONE of this would be possible without the help and support of others, especially the Lord. What a blessing and a privilege it is to have this opportunity and experience in my life!