We've been home almost two months now. I've had lots of time to reflect on what happened with our journey to Ukraine and what we term as an "unsuccessful trip". I have grieved the loss of the child I thought would be ours. I've experienced great bouts of guilt over leaving Nina in an orphanage when we could have made such a difference in her life. I've been depressed about the lengthy, time-consuming, expensive process we've just gone through only to be back to "square one". Sometimes, I've just been plain mad! But as I've experienced all these emotions, God has been faithful to me through it all. He's given me peace and comforted me as I've grieved. I still don't understand it all, and I realize that I may never. I know that God loves Nina much more than I ever could, and he has a perfect plan for her life. He has a plan for my life too that's better than anything I could ever dream up for myself. I can honestly say, despite all the grief and the tears, the anger and frustration, the depression and guilt, I wouldn't change the opportunity to have visited a Ukrainian orphanage and to have met little Nina. My life will be forever changed because of it, and that's a good thing.
Even on the plane ride home, Rodney was encouraging me not to give up. He said he still believes we're supposed to adopt. Our child just wasn't in Ukraine. After taking some time to process the roller coaster ride we'd just been on, we decided to pursue the adoption of a child right here close to home. We've begun the process to be approved to adopt or foster-to-adopt through our state. There are so many children right here that need forever families. We've started some initial paperwork and done some required training. There's still more paperwork and of course medical exams and a home study, etc. Only God knows what he has planned for us, but we're trusting him to reveal it to us. In the meantime, stay tuned for chapter two of our adoption adventure.