Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Great FB announcment

So we announced our plans on FB yesterday. The response was overwhelmingly positive. For that I am very grateful because a good many of the people we had already told had given us the responses listed in a previous post. I would like to respond to everyone individually but I'm afraid I would have to cut out too many details in the interest of time.

We are planning an international adoption. We feel really drawn to Colombia but found out our agency also has pilot programs in Costa Rica and Ecuador so we'll have to see where the God leads us. One of the reasons we narrowed it down to this area of the world is that I had 5 years of Spanish between high school and college. I'm sure I can drudge it back to the front of my memory with less effort than learning a whole new language, say Russian or Chinese. Also, we really like the way those countries focus on the children during the process rather than the adoptive parents. WE go to THEM. We stay with them in their county, on their turf, until they are attached to us. Only then do we get the all clear to bring them home. It seems a so much more loving way to disrupt their lives than some of the other methods used. I cannot imagine a better bonding experience than taking all of us out of our realm, our daily routines, and focusing on nothing more than getting to know each other and becoming a family. I also think that it would be good for the boys to experience how people in the rest of the world live.

We also feel drawn to a sibling group... yes, we will then become one of THOSE families... the ones with the suburban that functions as a clown car. You park, open the doors, and the kids just pour out! Hah! In all honesty, I'm really excited about filling my house with kids. For those of you who've seen my house, it will take a LOT of kids. :) Anyway, we don't know a lot of the details. We are trying to leave our thoughts and plans as open as possible in order to make sure that we get the children that God has planned for us. As daunting as it seems at this point to do all that paperwork and forms and homestudy (yikes!)... I draw comfort in knowing that God is in control, that He knows when we will bring them home and what their names will be. He knows where they are, what they've been through, and He watches over them while they wait for us.

So thank you for all who have been so supportive and are offering up prayers on our behalf. This is going to be a long process and I'm afraid that most of it will be spent waiting. I hope you continue to check in on us periodically. I hope you don't get bored.

As I mentioned yesterday, DS2 was semi-alarmed when he realized we were actually doing this. So today he asks, "Are we going anywhere today?" I said, "Yes, we have to take DS1 to guitar class." When he fired off another question, I realized I may not be making myself clear on this whole process. It's funny how kids brains work. His question, "After that are we going to go pick up our new kids?" Oh, if it only were that easy.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Off it goes!

So we filled out the registration and mailed it into our agency today. Woohoo! It's the first official step. We will be working with a local agency. That's the first reason we chose them. The second is that they have an extensive list of kids that are waiting for homes. We aren't looking for the 'perfect child' or the 'ideal referral.' Some of these kids have been waiting a long time and they shouldn't have to wait any longer. Some are sibling groups, some have minor special needs, some not so minor. We will see where the Lord leads us. There's a long road between now and then. We have a lot of paperwork to do. The hope is that we get the first round of stuff sent out (requesting birth certificates, child abuse clearances, etc) before DH leaves so that the waiting for that to come back happens at the same time that he is away. Then, if all goes well, we'll be able to jump into the homestudy when he returns.

We've been talking about the adoption with the boys for so long now. Sometimes you just assume that they know what's going on. When I was writing the check for the registration fee, I was telling them who it was for and why. DS2 looked at me and said, "You mean we're really going to adopt? Really? More kids?" I guess we've been talking so long, they thought it was just talk. :)

Anyway, we are sooooo exicted. Please pray for us and this process. We know that it's going to be a long road. It will be exciting as details unfold but we are not so naive that we think it will go along without any hitches. We have faith that God will take care of us and help us. We will be praying without ceasing on this matter and we ask that ya'll take the time to pray for us as well. Thank you so much!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why would you do THAT?!?!

So let's just get it out there. "Why would you do that? I mean, you have three beautiful, healthy children. Why can't you just be satisfied with what God has given you? And what about the boys... that's not very fair to them, is it?" Yes, we have heard this (and it's many variations) a lot when it comes to announcing our adoption plans. And it's not coming from just aquaintances. It's coming from friends, family, and people that I thought knew us and "get" us.

I'm sure that they all mean well. And I'm not sure that it's exactly fair to hold them to something that fell out of their mouths on a knee-jerk reaction to our announcement that we are planning an adoption. The truth is, I am so happy to share my thoughts with anyone when it comes to something that I'm passionate about. Whether it's raising kids that love the Lord, milling your own wheat into flour, cloth diapering, homeschooling or adoption-- I will tell you everything you want to know and then some things you probably don't. I just have a really difficult time answering those questions. When people put it like that, it makes me think that they've already made up their minds that they don't think we should or that they don't really want to hear the answer.

So here it goes, this is our story:
My second son was born in Sept '03. That Christmas, he was just a teeny-tiny peanut... well he was born at 9lbs 7ozs so how little could he be? All I know is that he was a lot smaller than he is now. Anyway, we were chilling watching TV one night and this program came on. "A Home for the Holidays" It's put on by the D*ve Thomas Foundation (you know, the founder of Wendy's). They are trying to raise awareness for the kids in Foster Care who are looking for homes and families to love them. It ripped my heart right out. I realize that I was an all-hormonal nursing mother holding a precious little baby, but I'm telling you, those stories were with me for a LONG time. That was the first seed that God put in my heart.

My DH and I talked about it off and on for the next couple of years. We always knew it was something that we wanted to do, but never was it time. Then we found out we were expecting baby number 3 at the same time we were building our house (right where the old one used to be). Yep, we moved out, knocked it down, built a new one and moved back in (while very pregnant and then with a newborn). Anyway, the original plan was to move in, get settled, and then start the process. At least, that was our plan. God gave us our third son. So we decided to wait until he was a little older.

So fast forward to Sept/Oct 2009. All of a sudden, all signs started pointing towards adopting. People I knew were talking about other people who were adopting. Adoption started showing up in online discussion groups as well as some mom's/homeschooling groups I'm in. We finally got the picture (well at least I did) when a guest speaker for the adult class talked about orphans on the same Sunday morning as the gentleman leading communion told a story about a little girl he saw being adopted in Russia. It all came out of nowhere and it seemed like I couldn't go a day without someone using some form of the word 'adopt'. Anyway, I started praying, I mean REALLY praying. I poured my heart and soul out to God. I begged to know if it truly was meant for us or if I was reading too much into it. Then we went to Bible Study the following Sunday morning. During the prayer, the speaker was listing off all the blessings God has given us... somewhere in the middle there was a pause and as he spoke the next word, the mic suddenly got a whole lot louder. What was the word you ask? Adoption. Now, I realize that he was referring to God adopting us as his sons and daughters but the change in volume alone was enough to make me jump out of my seat, let alone the fact that it happened on that Sunday, and that word. I've not questioned our choice since.

I could give you a million different reasons why we've chosen to adopt. What it comes down to, though, is that we believe that God wants us to. We believe that we have been blessed with this big house for a reason. We share it every chance we get. We have a Chevy Suburban... it seats 9. We have lots of room. We have always had plenty of food... plenty of love to go around. God gave us three beautiful, healthy children. Who are we to think that they are the only children he intended us to have? He has millions (443 million at last estimate) of children spread throughout this world that are cold, starving, living in the streets, sick, dying, hurting. They want nothing but someone to love them. They are innocent little children. They deserve nothing but the best, but what they get is worse than nothing. Who am I to think that God doesn't expect me to help them? He gave me three beautiful, healthy children of my own... why would I not take care of His children?