On Monday I applied for my passport. I’ve traveled throughout the lower forty-eight, been to this place and that, but I’ve never gone abroad. I hope to go soon.
Megan and I are planning on adopting from Uganda. We’re working on our paperwork now. There are letters and reports and statements and evaluations and more. We’re almost done. But it’s been a long road so far.
We started looking at domestic adoption back in January. We jumped through those hoops and remain very grateful for the help our agency lent us in the process. We did the paperwork, the interviews, the background checks, all of it. And then we hit the pause button.
We started talking about adoption when we were dating. I remember the first time we discussed it. It was one of the moments I knew that we were right for each other. Megan and I mesh in a million ways, but when you’re just starting a relationship there’s a certain tentativeness, hesitation, and provisionality to things. What if she says the wrong thing? What if I say the wrong thing? Tomatoh or, cringe, tomatah?
Megan tossed out the idea and waited to see if I’d freak out. Far from it. I was already inclined toward the idea. There is so much of the Gospel wrapped up in adoption. Through Christ we’re adopted into the family of God. As an extension and picture of that, true religion is “visit[ing] orphans and widows in their affliction….” Adoption is Christian faith in action.
The conversation was invigorating. At that moment we knew something definitive about each other, something affinitive about each other, too. It was a soft-focus scene, I can tell you. (The grace of it all, if I’m allowed a bit more gushing, is that we ended up being right for each other in more ways than we could have guessed or anticipated at the time. Wow.)But there we were. Pause button. There are several reasons we cooled on the domestic adoption idea, all of which could probably slide under the header of a certain disquiet about things. Domestic adoption is good and admirable—and older children and sibling groups especially need loving arms and homes. When you see the traits that make a child difficult for an agency to place, it’ll break your heart in two. But Megan and I couldn’t get peace about it. Maybe we were wrong about things, after all.
We disengaged from the process.
But then, out of the blue, some doors began opening up to Africa. That lit the fires. Megan had been to Uganda about ten years before (she’s much better traveled than am I), and that trip sparked her passion for adoption in the first place. Suddenly we started thinking about Africa. Uganda is tricky, and Ethiopia at first seemed like a better option, but Uganda kept pulling at us. We read blogs. We viewed pictures. We watched videos. Every hope you have in life is confirmed by those stories.
We’ve been exploring the options there, and doors continue to open. When one way turned out blocked, several others came into view. We have peace about Uganda. And excitement.
So there I was standing at the passport counter at my local post office, the clerk’s hands flipping through papers, stamping this, signing that, and then suddenly placing in my upturned palms a receipt and some additional documents. It was done. My application was filed.
I’ll have my passport in a few weeks, and the whole journey now feels very real.