By the time we found our boy again (see previous post), I had spent plenty of time researching and gaining recommendations about various adoption agencies. I had complete peace that God was leading us to a specific agency. The only problem was that our boy was listed with a different agency. It was most likely I would have to go through his agency to adopt him. The agency that had his file is a good, reputable agency. They do lots of China adoptions and their process is very streamlined and reliable. They are also more expensive and I had been told that they were less willing to work with families who would need waivers, as we would need for our income which is lower than the traditional Chinese requirement. The local home study partner for this agency was also at least $1500 more expensive than other options. While I knew it was a long-shot, I decided to see if it was possible to go through a different agency.
As I talked through this dilemma with a friend, she reminded me of the above verse. God holds even the hearts of kings. Certainly he holds the hearts of those in charge at the adoption agencies, especially since many of them love the Lord! I had to have God turn hearts in AT LEAST two ways (truly, with all the paperwork and approvals required for adoption, it will be many more!):
- The agency I wanted to work with had to be willing to request our boy's file from another agency BEFORE we signed on with them, as I did not want to lose fees if we had to switch agencies
- The agency who had his file had to be willing to transfer it (I had been told that [Agency] does NOT do that often.)
When I called our desired agency, the social worker listened to my story about our love for this boy and how we found him listed with another agency. She heard our hearts, and she agreed to act as my social worker even before submitting our application. That way, if the other agency was not willing to transfer the file we would not lose any money. This was incredibly generous of her.
So I called the other agency. My story was received with absolute friendliness. They did not have any families currently reviewing his file, so he was still available! And to top it off, his file was scheduled to go back to a shared list (accessible by any agency) the NEXT DAY! Apparently these file transfers do not happen as "scheduled", so she was willing to speak with my social worker about a transfer in the case that it did not return to the shared list. A few days later, when his file had NOT been returned to the shared list as scheduled, I heard that she spoke with my social worker and was going to transfer the file! From what I understand from friends who are much deeper in adoption knowledge than I am, this was no small miracle!
About two weeks have passed now since I found him and the file transfer has taken longer than I expected, but I received a call from my social worker this morning and right now as I type, she has received his paperwork and is preparing to email it to me later today!
God turned our hearts toward this boy; He turned the hearts of "kings" to make him accessible to us. We pray now for the rest of our process to go as smoothly, and the God begins to prepare this little boy's heart for all that is ahead for him.