Friday, May 31, 2013

Our adoption journey so far (part 1): Let's start at the beginning

Many of you are just now tuning in to our adventure in adoption ("just now" meaning because I am just now posting and you don't live near me and hear me talk about things all the time!) so I thought I should back up and tell parts of our story and timeline from the beginning. As I write these posts I am definitely open to questions and comments, but I think for any personal/negative questions or comments please just send me a private email and I will happily respond. Let's try to keep things on here positive! We also would really rather keep a lot of our kids' personal information private. If I am cryptic with this info it's not because I am ashamed or being rude, I just want to protect their privacy and their story until they are able to share it themselves! Other Mamas and Papas reading this, please give me your insight in how you go about protecting your kids (bio or adopted!) info online. I definitely welcome all the insight and wisdom you all can give me!

I will also reference a few agencies and I am debating whether to write their names or not... if I choose not to reveal their true identity then feel free to email me and I will gladly tell you exactly who I am referring to :)

So, where should I begin? I guess I'll just start by saying adoption and orphan care has personally been on my (Sarah's) heart since childhood. I am so incredibly thankful that this is also something that John felt strongly about even before we talked about marriage so that when the subject of having kids came up in our relationship the conversation went "ya, of course we are going to adopt." John is going to write a well thought out and well written section about adoption and the church and the theological reasons for adopting so I won't pretend to sound good talking about it. Read his post. Basically, we knew we wanted to directly be involved in orphan care and we felt that obedience to us always was: ADOPT!

So, how did we choose when to start pursuing adoption... we got married in 2006 and John was in seminary and I was pursuing medical school to become a Physician Assistant. We knew we wanted to wait a little bit for having children. When we finished school and eventually decided to have John join the military (about 4 years into our marriage) we decided to start pursuing both biological and adoptive kids and just see where the Lord guided. We had Esther about a year later!

About 6 months into my pregnancy we started seriously researching adoption. What countries are open to adoption? What are the age requirements? The marriage requirements? The wait times? There is a lot to look at! For instance, China requires both parents to be over 30. Other countries require that you are married at least 5 years. Others won't let you adopt if you already have kids in the home. We were mostly reading from this government website which also shows the number of visas issued to Americans to adopt from there each year. It's a good place to start looking... but really discouraging too!  Some countries have had ZERO international adoptions in the last few years. Mostly because they are closed to having westerners adopt or are closed to Americans because our government is pushing that country to clean up their process (which is good... but is a cycle because they are too poor or too corrupt to be able to meet the US standards, then no adoptions happen, then more children suffer, but if they continue with unethical adoptions they suffer too...). We also started learning about Hague vs. non-Hague countries and what it means to adopt through each. If you are interested in adopting, I would encourage you to read up on these terms (the above linked website can help) and read up on the info about the country you are interested in before pursuing adopting through them.

At this point I started systematically clicking on the information for each country in Africa on the above mentioned website. Just reading about them and praying...
Since this is already too long of a post I'll stop here until next time!

1 comment:

  1. This post is not long enough ;)... I'm hanging by a string! Cannot wait to follow this posting. You have always talked about adopting a child(ren) from another country, the fact that the lord lead you to your soul mate that feels the same way about adoption just adds to the beauty of this journey. You have an incredible family that is carried by the Lord. This journey I know hasn't been easy, smooth or quick, but it is yours. Like every other situation you have faced in life, you have found the beauty and lessons in it and trusted in the lord! You are a remarkable person Sarah and the most incredible mother!!! Any child would be honored to be a part of your family! Although I think you know I still feel the need to share the fact that we will always be here by your side to support you and love you and anyone you bring into your beautiful family! We cannot wait until you come home/are closer so we can celebrate this journey together! We love you and WILL ALWAYS BE RIGHT HERE!!! You all are absolutely amazing for following through in this difficult process to allow your family to be completed by nonbiological child(ren) as the Lord has always intended. Tears flow from my eyes with pride for you, John and Miss Esther! So much love for all of you, our hearts are over flowing! Big hugs and kisses are being sent your way! If you need anything, you know we are right here! Great job! Trying to hold back until the next portion of your post is published ;)....