“…once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act.”
~Proverbs 24:12

Monday, February 15, 2010

To All My Guinea Pigs: FAQs

As you guys know, we’re still in the process of sharing our plans for adopting a child from Russia (despite wanting to shout it from the rooftops!). I know with every unfamiliar topic life presents you, there are bound to be questions. I’d venture to say, adoption is unfamiliar territory for many people. So, I thought I’d try out a few Q&As (FAQs, if you will) on you, my current guinea pigs—er, I mean readers:

Is adoption our “Plan B?”
Not in the least! God our heavenly father adopted us as His children and we all know God never has—nor needs—a Plan B. It was His intention all along.

In the same vein, adoption is not Derek’s and my “next best step.” For years God had been planting seeds for adoption in my soul. It just so happened that it wasn’t until we were faced with the hurdle of infertility that we discovered God’s true path for this part in our lives. There are NUMEROUS avenues of fertility that we passed up to move full-steam ahead with adoption. Of course there’s nothing wrong with those options, and we know many who have pursued them with successful results. It’s just not the path we’re lead to travel.

Why international adoption?
(Why is it this always seems to be a question when one chooses to adopt from a different country? Don’t all children deserve loving homes? But, I digress…)

Not many people are aware that domestic adoption can cost upwards of $30,000, so it’s not always much cheaper than international adoption. Many times prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) end up having to pay for the birthmother's delivery, medical care, housing expenses, etc. Also, the birth mothers more than likely choose the adoptive parents, which leads to a pageantry we’d much rather avoid.

Foster care (as Derek knows well, from his work experience at DCS) is not something we feel we could do well. We both work full-time, causing it to be difficult to take children to court hearings, DCS meetings, etc. on top of what we are more than willing to take off for health issues, which can arise in any child.

Our last reason? Because God said “go.”

Why Russia?
Many reasons. We wanted to work with a country that has a history of completing many adoptions with the US. As first-timers to the process, we definitely want to go into as secure of an environment as possible. Three countries that have been most popular for some time now are Guatemala (currently closed to US adoptions), China (we’re not old enough to adopt from there) and Russia. While some countries are recently doing more adoptions with the US like Ethiopia, South Korea, Kazakhstan, etc., we just felt those weren’t right for this, our first experience with adoption.

It is required by the Russian Federation that orphans are available exclusively to Russians for at least six months (time can vary depending on region). This usually means that the orphans available for international adoption have been “passed up” several times before being referred to PAPs from other countries.

When did we begin the process?
Truth be told, adoption has always been something I’ve thought of—even back in high school. Derek’s heart for children who need good “forever” families grew during his time at DCS.
We attended our first adoption seminar on May 2, 2009. While we did not choose to sign with this placement agency, it was the vehicle in which God told us this IS His plan for us. We attended more seminars, talked to adoptive families, did more research than you can probably imagine (well, if you know “A”-personality-type-me… I’m sure you can imagine… ;-) )

After things with the future of Derek’s job were—one could say—“put up in the air” a bit, we thought it wise to put our plans on hold. International adoption is already a financial mountain we’re uncertain how to climb. We didn’t want to put ourselves in a foolish position. However, on a Wednesday about two and a half months ago, God made it so perfectly clear to both of us, separately, that it is His Will for us to go on and proceed.

How long will the process take?
A. Long. Time. I’m just putting that out there from the get-go.
In all seriousness, there is a possibility that we could have our child home in 2010. Likely? Probably not. So if I’m approached with a well-intentioned “have you heard anything yet?” or “when will you bring him/her/them home?” or “can we see pictures?” and I begin to scowl... you’ll know why, and you’ll also know to pray for me! ;-)

Who in the world has been reading this blog?
Um… you got me! More than 12,000 hits…?!
(The blog was public up until several months ago)

So, what do you guys think? What am I missing?


Jenny said...

I don't think you're missing a thing; in fact, I really am excited for this path you are on! :) All children need loving homes - especially Godly loving homes. This is as much a spiritual mission for you as a desire to expand your family.
I look forward to more updates, sweetie! *kisses*

JerricaSykes said...

WOW Kat I havent been on to catch up in a while but seeing you tonight made me realize that I havent talked to you in quite a while and I wanted to check on things.. so when parker zonked out in the car on our way home tonight I thought I would take some mommy-duty-free time and catch up on your blog.. Things seem to be progressing well, though I know its a super long process. I love you guys..


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