Tomorrow afternoon Mr. Beaver and I will take an extensive psychiatric test called the MMPI. The MMPI is required by Russian law.
If I remember correctly from when we tackled the test for our 2010 adoption, the personality exam has more that 500 questions. That's a whole lot of circles to fill in! In all honesty, this test is probably one of our least favorite of the many adoption requirements. The soul-searching required to answer the questions is exhausting. Two years ago, when we reached the 567th question and shaded in that last oval we experienced a real sense of triumph!
Once we complete the test tomorrow, a trained psychiatrist will evaluate our answers. She will then submit her report to both our social worker here in Iowa and to the woman with the Russian Orphan Lighthouse Project who works with parents to turn piles of paperwork into official dossiers that get submitted to the both the U.S. and Russian governments for approval. The step we take tomorrow is one of the big steps required along the way, and will take us one step closer to being the parents of four more beautiful children.
If you're wondering who the four children in the photo are, they are our motivation for wading through the many requirements of an international adoption. We're not allowed to post identifying photos until the children are legally ours, but we thought you'd enjoy this glimpse.
Recently the "Fab Four" (as we're affectionately calling them) had the opportunity to go on one of the Lighthouse Project's trips and thus go swimming--a rare opportunity for kids living in an orphanage! The Lighthouse Project's trips bring together orphans with adults who have a heart for orphan care and may even be interested in adopting one or more of the children. The adults are called hosts. Not every child ends up having a host, even though that is always Becky's goal as she coordinates the trips.
The Fab Four didn't have a host, but God used their presence on this trip anyway. When Becky returned from Russia after spending four days with the children, she sent us an email saying, "Would you have any interest in these four siblings? They are amazing kids." Those few words stirred us to seek God as we have few times in our lives. We prayed. We searched God's word, "listening" for His direction through Scripture. We spent hours discussing this gynormous decision with each other, and we prayed some more. Joy-filled hearts have been God's gift to the two of us since we made the decision to enlarge our family by four. Tomorrow evening after shading many ovals we will be one step closer to bringing the Fab Four home!