Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Prayer request: adopting Alex

Many of you remember we are adopting five year old Alex, whose lives in an Eastern European country institution, and lives with cerebral palsy.

Well, we received some frustrating news. The adoption authority in Alex's home country has told us the dossier is allowed to be submitted March 29th. That's over six weeks later than we expected! And with extended approval time, and waiting for a travel date time, that puts traveling to meet Alex and adopt him well into ... May.
  • All together: AUGGGGHHHHH!
  • And as our kids reacted, sputtering: "That's not fair!" (We have expected early March all along.) Yes, kids, you get that point better than those fun-loving bureaucrats. We realize adopting is a privilege and not a right. But when literally everything is done, approved, translated, and collecting dust in a tray...waiting three months to travel is a bitter pill to swallow.

This far-out dossier date was unexpected on everyone's part. Because the adoption authority just reorganized, they instituted some new rules around ceasing to fast-track many special needs adoptions. We're getting caught in that delay through no fault of ours, no fault of our facilitators, and certainly no fault of Alex's. Remember--the government doesn't even formally know we hope to adopt him, due to the way they handle international adoptions. They just know we want to adopt a child his age with his special need.

Alex's country being what it is, this could "change back" to a fast-tracking process. That is our best hope for getting the date moved up. Honestly, we're ready to go. Alex is no doubt ready to have a better life: a family that loves him, therapy for his CP, an opportunity to learn. And he needs out of the institution--he's not hanging out at the Club Med. This date is just one more hurdle.

After a difficult few hours, we realized there is really nothing we can do to change this situation but pray. The situation feels like we need prayer and fasting (Mt 17:21). Jerry is fasting from sweets. I am going to be fasting from Diet Coke for nine days (those of you who know me know I'm dead serious now, because I'm completely addicted). If you feel led to fast for smooth and quick sailing for Alex's adoption, please do. You can tell us, or not, but we do appreciate it regardless.

Also, we are encouraging people to do nine days of prayer with us (our Catholic friends know this is called a novena, nothing "magical" about it, just a set period of intense intentional prayer). We're going to be praying a short prayer for the intercession of St. Joseph, who, as the foster father of Jesus, has a special love for those in need of fathers. You should feel free to pray for Alex's quick and smooth adoption process as you wish--if you pray in another fashion you prefer, please add Alex to your prayers for nine days with us all. But if you want to join us:

St. Joseph, foster-father and protector of Jesus Christ! To you do I raise my heart and hands to implore your powerful intercession. Please obtain for me from the kind Heart of Jesus the help and graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I ask particularly for the grace of a happy death, and the special favor I now implore, that Alex is kept safe and well, and that his adoption move forward quickly.

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel animated with confidence that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

V. O glorious St. Joseph, through the love you bear to Jesus Christ, and for the glory of His name,
R. Hear my prayers and obtain my petitions.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us, and move quickly this adoption of your small friend, Alex.


The novena and fasting will start for us Thursday, February 9th. Please consider joining us in some fashion. We will post reminder updates on the facebook page for Alex (feel free to "like" the page and follow that way). We trust God has our back in this, but Jesus did say "ask and you shall receive"--which means he wants us to ask for great things! We will accept God's response in any case, but we are compelled to ask for a much sooner travel date, against all bureaucratic lethargy. By the way, we know--moving out the travel date by three months doesn't seem like too long, but when you are a child who cannot walk living in a mental institution, and when you are prospective parents not knowing how your son is really doing, and when there is no reason to wait--three months is too long.

Thank you, and we believe Alex will thank you.

(More about Alex and the adoption process here.)