Friday, April 30, 2010
So...we thought we would do a FAQ's for everyone reading out there. These are the questions we get asked the most.
Why are you choosing to adopt?
Simple/Short answer: Because Jesus has called us to adopt, and we are following through in obedience.
Long answer: See here
Do you have a specific gender/age you are requesting?
Yes. We feel called to adopt a little girl, and we have requested that she be anywhere from 0-4 years old. She is required to be at least 1 year apart from Caleb, though we don't know yet if she will be younger or older. We know that the Lord already picked our daughter for us, and we're leaving those details to Him. Additionally, we want her to be at least one year away from starting school so that she has time to attach to us and adjust to her new life in the U.S.
Will you tell her she's adopted?
Yes, absolutely. We want her to know that she has a unique story from a very early age, that this does not make her "strange" or "weird" but that it is a part of who she is.
Why Moldova (and not the U.S.)?
Simple/Short answer: Because Moldova is the place the Lord has laid on our hearts. We have prayed long and hard over the country, and Moldova is the answer we keep getting. Our hearts have been broken for the people and the despair in this country.
Long answer: In addition to the long answer to the question above (why we are adopting), there were a number of practical advantages to choosing Moldova. First, given that we are looking to adopt a little girl who is younger than 5 years old, Moldova is one of the few countries where this is achievable. Additionally, a Moldovan adoption requires two separate one-week trips to the country to complete the adoption, whereas many other countries require much longer in-country stays (some as many as 8 weeks).
As far as why we're not adopting from the U.S., here's the answer:
To adopt in the U.S. through the foster care system, we discovered that we would first have to be foster parents for at least 6 months, during which time we are working to reconcile the relationship between the child and birth parents. We could find an adoptable child the first time, or she might not come for 10 children later. We felt that, with having such a young child (Caleb) already in our home, the emotional aspect involved with dealing with birth parents and possibly having many children in and out of our home would not be right for our family in this current season of life.
We believe that EVERY child deserves a loving home...whether they're right here in the U.S. or somewhere else around the world.
How long does the process take?
From start (submitting our application to our agency) to finish (bringing our daughter home), it ranges anywhere from 1 year - 1.5 years. This being said, it can always change. Right now we anticipate bringing our little girl home between April and October 2011.
Where are you at in the process?
We have submitted our applications to our agencies (placement and home study) and received approval from them. We are now in the process of doing our home study, with our first interview being done next week.
Will you have more children?
It is our desire to have more children, but we will let the Lord lead us in that.
How will the adoption affect Caleb?
He will now be a brother! Just like families who add to their family through the birth of a child, their current children learn a new normal. We, too, are adding another child to our family, but we're just not doing it the "normal way." We also believe we are not taking anything away from Caleb by adding a sibling through adoption versus birth. We KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord is leading our family to adopt. We pray that we are modeling for Caleb what obedience to the Lord looks like regardless of how the rest of the world sees our decisions. We also hope that Caleb will see that being a family is more than just sharing the same DNA and that he will discover that we should always, always open our hearts and homes to others in need. As Christians, our life is not our own, and we have been called to love others the way that Christ loves us. As another adoptive parent shares, "You are NOT taking anything AWAY from your birth children. Instead, what you are doing is imparting to them something eternal: you are expanding their capacity to love. Think about that for a minute before you read anything else. How do you plan to teach your children to love others unconditionally and in total compassion without giving them an opportunity to do so? I'm telling you now, you can't." She goes on to say that, "My biological children have a greater capacity of love in their hearts than I could ever impart to them by just giving them a safe Christianity, by maintaining their status quo, by simply modeling "godliness" as parents (as if that's the end-all be-all for a Christian family). My kids...all of them...have lived out self-sacrifice and understand (because they live it!) that laying down one's life does not steal anything from us. That is the lie of the devil, who would have us believe that sacrifice is not worth it; that there is nothing for us in return; that God doesn't really mean what He says when He said to His followers that anyone who does not take his cross up and follow me is not worthy of me. [Because] Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it (Matthew 10:38-39)."
So how much will this adoption cost?
Based on the figures we've been given, somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000 - $45,000. Yes, we know. It's A LOT. However, we were convicted by considering the fact that most of us would barely hesitate to buy cars that cost close to this amount, and that over the course of even a few years, many of us will spend this much or more on truly frivolous expenses (i.e. eating out, vacations, boats, media, etc.). It convicted us when we paused to worry (believe us, we did!) about this amount knowing we were spending it on something God called us to do. We believe that fleeing from this calling for fear of the monetary cost would ultimately cost us far more than any adoption ever would. We also know that where God guides, He always provides.
What can we do to help you?
Pray! Seriously, we need YOU to be in prayer for our family, for our circumstances, and for the little girl we are going to bring home to our family EVERY DAY. We will try to post specific requests here on the blog so that you know how you can pray.
Provide emotional support to us. This process is hard for us! While we are so excited about this journey the Lord is taking us on, we're also very scared. We've never done anything like this before, and we don't know how it's all going to work out. We sometimes find ourselves listening to the world and how so many things can go wrong instead of listening to the voice of Truth. We need people like YOU to lift us up and encourage us along the way.
Consider providing financial support. The Lord has blessed us with a good income and we are saving every penny we can (and using our savings already established), but it's not enough to cover all of the expenses that will be incurred. We will be doing several fundraisers in the coming months, from selling t-shirts and coffee to hosting a dinner/silent auction and having a garage sale. Every dollar you give brings us one step closer to bringing our little girl home.
Oh, and if you have any more questions that we didn't address here, please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or post a comment on our blog. We will try to answer those questions for you!
Posted by Austin & Brittany at 9:00 PM