The next day, I looked up Nebraska's waiting child list, and there was a sibling set of three that spoke to me heart. In a big way. I decided to bring them up to my husband, all casual, fully thinking I was going to hear "are you crazy!?" After all, now I was going from one kiddo to three. Instead, two days later, he came back with a list of concerns, and despite that, a "let's do it." So, the next day I start trying to find an agency and get in contact with someone. Along the way, I learned that to be certified in NE you have to attend a 30 hour class, which most places spread out over 10 weeks. Ok. Sounds good!
Then we find out Joel is getting deployed for 6 months. Ok. That's not till April, we still have time to take the classes. Then the deployment stretches to 7 months including training. Time is getting tight, but we can still squeeze it in. And then we find out he's leaving for another month of training in January. At this point, I'm feeling pretty deflated. Not only have I not heard back from anybody, Joel won't even be home for ten consecutive weeks until late October 2015. This is when I started thinking that maybe this actually wasn't God's plan right now. Maybe we were just supposed to get our hearts open to the idea.
AND THEN. And then I finally heard back from an agency. At this point it was already the beginning of December. I'd called everyone on the list, played phone tag with several, and very scientifically decided that we'd just go with whoever we heard from first. Of course, I'm thinking we wouldn't be able to get started on the licensing process until late next year, but at least we'd have an idea of who we'd be working with. Anyways, during the conversation with the agency, I asked about the training classes, and GET THIS. Instead of the standard ten week class, the next class they were offering was going to be a five week course (two classes a week), and it was to be held exactly in the time frame husband is going to be home. He's going to be home for six weeks, and this five week class is exactly in the middle of it!! I couldn't have picked better dates myself. It's seriously like this course was scheduled around us and our needs. God is good!! This means that while Joel is gone I can deal with the other aspects of licensing (home studies, paperwork, ect) that take months to finish, and we should be licensed by the time he gets home! The simple fact that we can go to this class means we can open our home up to a year earlier than we could had we not been able to attend. I definitely feel as if it was a little pat on the back of encouragement from God.
And so, today we start our classes! For the next five weeks, we'll be driving 50 miles (round trip) twice a week for three hour classes. It's going to be a hectic time, but another huge praise is that several ladies from my church have offered to babysit, so at least we don't have the financial burden of paying for 40 hours of babysitting!
There are still a lot of unknowns. Actually, everything is unknown at this point. I have no clue if the original sibling group I saw will ever be part of our family. Most likely not-there are so many factors that would play into that decision. And even so, my heart is changing. Back in October, we were really focusing on adoption through foster care, but now we're pretty open to simply fostering. I've realized what a ministry to an entire family it is. We also have a deployment ahead of us, and a major surgery scheduled (this is a main reason I'm bumping up the time for my surgeries, btw). So yeah. We have no clue what it is we will do doing or when we'll be doing it, but what I do know is that God is with us in this- whether "nothing" happens while we're here in Nebraska (a real possibility with military life) or something huge and life changing-and God is going to use this time in some way.