News on the Adoption Process as We Endure Smoke-Laden Air
Updated: Sep 26
Grainy, yellowish air hovers beyond the window. We have had to stay indoors or wear masks all the time when outdoors due to the smoke that currently blankets Seattle. It is a grim reminder of the latest catastrophic event, the massive fires burning in Washington, Oregon and California.
I decided to use this extra indoor time to update you all on our adoption process. I have been checking the waiting child list about once a week. We are hoping to adopt a sibling pair because we know that the U.S. can feel lonely compared to India—and we would definitely like to avoid going through the paperwork process a second time.
The list provides photos and minimal information about each child, a brief description of behavior and background along with medical data. Currently, most children are older, ten years or more.
After reviewing the list several times while also noting the rising coronavirus case numbers in India, I emailed Angie at Nightlight Christian Adoptions, our agency, to inquire about the process from this point. Some of her information was reassuring.
She said that the process is moving forward, and that from the point of selecting a child, there is an additional wait of 6-8 months. The process for selecting a child or sibling group goes like this: we state that we are interested, and the child’s file becomes frozen for 30 days while we investigate more. We visit a doctor with the medical report, and we can request new photos and videos. I was quite relieved to hear about the chance to see videos because the list only shows intake forms and many are outdated.
We have decided to remain open to older children while aiming more toward younger ones. It is such a sad reality that every birthday for an orphan means less chance of getting adopted. We are just going to follow our hearts and ask God to help us choose the kids that are intended for us.
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It is an emotional challenge to persevere while the events around us are so disturbing. When the pandemic started, before we even knew it was a pandemic, Seattle began shutting down. I remember feeling the reality of significant change when my husband started staying at home and when the streets became empty of traffic. Now we have suffered a week of being shut in our houses with stuffy air and with smoke visible through the windows.
Saddest of all, there are numerous reports that some of the fires were caused by arsonists. Arrests have been made—that is one basic proof. Also, in Washington we have a stark climate difference between the eastern and western sides of the Cascade Mountains; the east has a four-season climate and the west has nine months of drizzle followed by a temperate summer. To have massive fires in two such different climate zones simultaneously is strange to say the least, and in Seattle, we had both moderate summer temperatures and a little more rain than usual.
Yesterday at the grocery store, I felt the low morale of everyone and noticed that the eyes of many people, especially the elderly, brimmed with distrust and worry. The impact of these events extends well beyond the direct losses of human lives, homes, acreage and parkland. When you stay inside your house for a week and feel that the air quality both inside and outside is poor, you fully realize that you could be murdered in a political fallout. With logic, we know that we are mortal and living in an imperfect society where anything can happen, but it is different when you physically experience unhealthy air while knowing that arsonists intended that for you and for millions of people.
At the same time, we are suffering the losses of the forest animals who were innocents in this, and we are suffering from the knowledge that next time we want to get out in nature to go for a hike or go camping, it will be hard to find a highway or a path where we will not see stretches of charred trees and ashes.
And with one thing happening after another this year, we suffer the uncertainty of what may happen next.
I am just praying that God uses this time to help people find Him and to help people ultimately reunite by choosing simpler lives focused on marriage and family and on getting to know the people around us purely as fellow human beings. I pray God helps us to find greater respect for our elders, and in doing that, to dismantle the desire to appear younger than we are. And I pray that God helps us to choose safe societies. When I look back on the last few years, I know that I felt too busy and disgusted by rhetoric to watch the news, so clearly, even though life seemed better before the pandemic, many of us were suffering subtly from the pressures of our fast-paced lifestyles and from the toxic suggestions coming from all forms of media—social media, tv shows, the news, all of it.
Anyway, despite a very rough week, I have one miracle to share with you. Three weeks ago, my husband and I went hiking in Western Washington. My husband had found Libby Lake Trail online, and while reading the description, I noticed that we would pass through an area of burned forest from a 2018 fire. I wondered if it would be depressing and considered looking for another trail, but this one had the mileage and elevation we wanted, so I decided not to search for another.
I was surprised and inspired to see the brilliant green plants carpeting much of the devastated area, and a lovely purple flower that grew from the trunks of ashen trees. I am sharing a few images below.
It is hard to be in the middle of a tumultuous time, but I believe that I was sent on that hike so that I could see the beauty that awaits, someday, in the future. As adoptive parents, we are striving to create a serene place for kids who have passed through poverty and loss. From a single mountain flower nodding in the breeze, we can remember our strength in God. Thanks!
Erica Rosi Tham
Please share this post! These fires do show the troubled state of our nation. And remember that you can support our adoption by simply sharing my English language website, www.speakmethod.com. Thanks!