Q & A (Adoption, etc.)

December 28th, 2010

Q:  Why have you chosen this particular country?

A:  Some countries place restrictions on the size of the adoptive family, but this one is welcoming to large families.  The adoptions in this country are finalized at the orphanage rather than in court.  The travel requirements are manageable.  Typically the first trip is five days long, then the second trip is six to seven days long.

Q:  Which adoption agency are you using?

A:  We are in the process of filling out applications to Lifeline Children’s Services.  Lifeline is a small Christian agency, and we are looking forward to working with them, and with Stephanie Carpenter, their specialist with this country!

Q:  Two children at once?

A:  We are considering this, yes.  An adoption from this country costs upwards of $24,000.  But we found out that to adopt an additional child from this country at the same time would not double the cost.  If the second child is at the same orphanage as the first, there is no additional cost.  If the second child is in a different orphanage, there is an orphanage fee of just over $2500.

And we do have two specific children in mind.  But we know it may come down to whether or not we are approved for two.  This time reminds me a lot of when I was pregnant with the twins, and I was constantly aware of the risk of losing one or both of those much-loved and much-wanted children.  Every day, I have to offer up my hopes to God.  He sees, and He knows, and we can trust Him.

Q:  Can you tell us more about the children?

A: Yes, they are a little boy and a little girl, very close in age, and both past the age when they are likely to be adopted.  Both have Down syndrome.  We found them on Lifeline’s Waiting Children list, which is password protected.  We have their complete files, including their medical histories.  We have one photo of the little boy, and a video and several photos of the little girl.

How I pray that we are not forced to choose between them.  Just to write that makes my throat ache with tears.  If you saw them, you would understand.  Underneath all my activities every day, one continuous prayer rises up from my soul for these little ones.

Our older children are included in our discussions, and they have all wholeheartedly agreed that they would love to welcome these two children into our family.  They agree that the lives of these two precious ones are worth the adjustments we would need to make.

Q:  Where are you in the adoption process right now?

A:  Joe is gathering our financial information.  We are filling out Lifeline’s application forms.  When that is finished, we will mail them in with the $250 application fee.  We sent information to Dr. Strauss so that he can give us his best assessment of the needs of these children, and how suited we are to meet those needs.

Just today I talked with the executive director of the home study agency we would like to work with, and got a better idea of what information they would be looking for.  We would appreciate your prayers to move a few mountains that are ahead of us, both with the home study and with the USCIS process.  (USCIS stands for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.)

We need to show hard proof that we will have a sufficient support system in place after we bring the children home.  I plan to contact some local support groups and find out what practical assistance they could give us after the adoption is finalized.  I will also find out what support services would be available from the state of Pennsylvania.  And as always, I am continuing to research and read and learn more about every aspect of every issue I can think of that we might need to know.

Q:  Do you have an adoption fund set up?

A:  For now, we have a family savings account set up and designated as our Adoption Account.  But once we are established in the home study process, we will be able to apply for adoption grants, and fundraising support (for tax-deductible giving).  That’s as much as I know right now, but we’ll keep you posted.  We have been tremendously touched and blessed to hear from those of you who have already told us of your desire to give toward our family’s adoption!

Q:  How is Verity doing now?

A:  The only issue she still has is slow eating habits, just like her mama!  But about the time I told myself that it will always take her an hour to nurse, she sped up to forty-five minutes, and has been consistent with that for several days.  She has been back to four feedings a day for several weeks now.  She’s gaining at an appropriate rate, as you can tell from her chipmunk cheekies!

Her health is amazing, as she occasionally seems to be getting a runny nose, and her body successfully fights it off.  Her eyes are so much improved that we can barely notice any issues.  So we are giving that more time before we decide whether she needs to go back to a pediatric ophthalmologist.  She is continuing to gain strength and skills.  In short, she is one healthy six month old, and we are reveling in every minute we get to be with her!

Q:  How is the rest of the family?

A:  The days of pressure seem more distant, as we have adjusted very well to our new normal.  We are keeping our schedule simple and staying close to home right now!  This week, we are enjoying our tradition of staying up late playing games and eating Christmas cookies every night!  (At least the cookies we manage to eat with our sides aching from all the laughing!)  The little ones spent some time in the snow this week before too much of it melted.

We are all motivated to work on some house projects to help us be ready for the home study.  This week, Joe and Joshua are putting the final finishing touches on the playroom.  Maybe one day soon, it will be photo-ready!

The hefty gift given by one of you amazing friends will enable us to replace our old, leaky, energy-hogging refrigerator!  Enough should be left over to buy materials for the two kitchen cupboards Joe plans to build, so we can toss the old metal ones that came with the house.  There are a few minor repairs and a painting job in the downstairs bathroom.  We are so grateful for Joe’s gift for building things, and for the discount he gets on materials because he is co-owner of the family carpentry business.  We are able to make a little stretch a long way.

The biggest project is to re-do our Ugly Upstairs Bathroom!  It is functional, mind you, but just recently, the toilet began to get a little wobbly.  All these years I have told the children that God will provide when He wants us to have a new refrigerator and bathroom!  Well, He says it is time!  After waiting for so long, it is immensely satisfying to know that He has a real and profound purpose for these improvements!

[And the last question of the day, which would have to fall under the category of et cetera…]

Q:  What version of the Bible do you use?

A:  I use a combination of the New King James Version (NKJV) and the English Standard Version (ESV), with a little King James Version (KJV) thrown in for good measure.

…and that’s all until the next Q & A day!

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5 Responses to “Q & A (Adoption, etc.)”

  1. sabrina says:

    So very exciting! I will pray that you won’t have to choose.

  2. Suvilla says:

    I very much enjoyed the Q. and A. time and as a family we will continue
    to support you, with our love and prayers.

  3. Marilyn Osborn says:

    Thanks for the update.  :) praying for you!

  4. alice says:

    God takes our tears and fears and doubts and weaves them into something beautiful, doesn’t He?

  5. Rebecca says:

    Wonderful news!!!  Praying for your cause!
    (((((((((((((((((((( hugs )))))))))))))))))))

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