This "paper chasing" part of adoption is definitely overwhelming . . . lots to do, lots of things that you need others to do for you, lots of things that you need the government to do. You get the picture. Some of it is tedious, some is time consuming, and some is completely out of your control.
Our case worker at AGCI has been awesome and started off giving me some really wise advice (like she's done this before or something!). She told me to focus on one step at a time and not spend time worrying over all the other stuff that needs to be done. Don't think about the 30 documents that I have to do, just the two I need to do today! I've had to remind myself of this multiple times already! I've just been focusing on what we need for our homestudy, which, by the way, is in 3 weeks!
Chad and I both had to get physicals and TB tests done. The doctors (we saw different doctors) have to sign a form that we are in good health, but here's the kicker . . . the doctor's signature has to be notarized. Ochsner doesn't have a notary so we have to bring a notary with us to the doctor's office to get it done. Thankfully we have a wonderful man in our church that is a lawyer and a notary and has graciously agreed to jump through all the hoops with us. Just imagine how easy it is going to be for us to get a lawyer and two doctors together at one time!
I had my appointment yesterday and prayed as I drove there that I would have the chance to share why we are adopting and about Jesus. God answered! My doctor is a nice woman from India and was very personable. As we talked, she all of a sudden said, "You're so young. Don't you want to try a little longer to have your own children before you adopt?" I smiled as I told her about Ava and Grayson. Her face showed that she didn't understand, so she just asked, "Then why are you adopting?" Thank you Jesus for the open door! I told her that we've been adopted by God through Jesus Christ and that reality is what leads us to adopt. I also just explained the great need for orphan care . . . her eyes widened as I shared statistics. The Gospel is so contrary to natural human desires. We aren't adopting only to fill a need in our own lives, but to meet a need in a little one's life! God didn't need more children, but we desperately needed a Savior! I pray this seed of Truth bears fruit Dr. Bethi's life!
We also had a little culinary adventure this weekend. Our adoption education workbook encourages us to try the food of our son's birth country. So we found an Ethiopian restaurant and hoped for the best! You eat community style, which I love! It is just so intimate and cozy and fun! We basically let our waitress (who was high as a kite) order for us since we had no clue. We got spicy beef, chicken with onions and peppers, and an assortment of vegetables. You don't use utensils, but scoop each bite with injera, which is like a cold crepe.
I liked most of the flavors, but the textures were a little tough for me to get used to. Poor Chad . . . he immediately started having flashbacks of his time in Burkina Faso doing summer missions. If you haven't heard Chad's stories about the food he ate and how incredibly sick he got, you're kind of missing out, but you should mostly just be thankful . . . yuck! Needless to say, Chad wasn't into the food as much as he would have hoped. We had a great time though and want to continue to learn more and more about Ethiopian culture!