Sunday, January 1, 2012

Why?

We anticipate some questions with our latest announcement. We've certainly wrestled with some questions ourselves as we've come to our decision to adopt from Haiti.

So let's start with the most obvious one...

Why are we adopting so soon after Aria just came home?
As we mentioned in our previous post, we made the decision that we were going to adopt again even before bringing Aria home. We knew that to make a decision like this, we needed to do it when we were fully in our "right minds". Let me put it this way, when you come home from the hospital with a newborn baby, in your state of exhaustion, sleepless nights, and little to no time to yourself, you don't start to think "Gee, I'd love to have another baby!" Well, at least I didn't do that. I think most of us, in that state, can't even fathom doing that all over again when we are in the thick of the rough part of it. It's the same with adoption. We knew we probably wouldn't be able to even think about starting the process to adopt again once we brought Aria home, so we made our decision before we went to China.

As far as starting now, international adoption takes a while. The child (or children) we bring home won't be here for probably 2 years. That gives us plenty of time to bond with Aria and grow as a family of five before we add any new members to it.

And the last point with this, Aria is adjusting really well. That doesn't mean things are rainbows and sunshine here all the time. They definitely are not. But things are going, overall, very well with Aria. But even if they were not... we feel a call on our hearts to adopt again. It is a pressing call, one that has been deeply stirred in us over this last year. Whether our home life is "easy" or not, when God calls (and with this it has been a strong call!), we have two choices - either obey or disobey. We've seen how disobedience worked out in the Bible. We've seen how disobedience works out in our own lives. Given the choice, we'd rather obey. We don't have the obedience thing down pat. But this one, quite honestly, was a pretty easy choice.

How can we afford to adopt internationally a third time?
With Aria's adoption, we had no idea how we were going to cover the costs of her adoption when we started. But God provided every last cent we needed to pay for her adoption. I'm not trying to say that our experience with Aria is prescriptive in how God will work in every adoption. I'm just saying we are taking a step of faith to where God is working, and we trust He will provide what we need so we can do what He has commanded!

We already have two children from East Asia. Why not there again?
This is a question I (Kristin) really wrestled with. As we mentioned in our last post, we truly thought we would be adopting from China again this time around. The door is definitely closed to China for us at this current time. Our hearts are very much linked to that area of the world, so we researched every country's program in that region... Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea again, etc. One reason or another, each of these programs were not a fit for our family. For some, we were just ineligible to be a part of their program. (Reasons like having too many kids already to be able to adopt from their country, etc. Or in the case of Vietnam, their program is not even open at this time!)

It's funny, because from there we researched Eastern Europe, Africa, Central and South America, even the Middle East. Not one of those programs grabbed us or seemed to fit our family. And, almost as an afterthought, Haiti came to mind... that little island not too far from the United States, a country we weren't too familiar with outside of the devastating earthquake that took place not too long ago. So we read and we researched. The program is open - that was a start! We met the country's requirements. The program's description was a perfect fit for our family. And last, I found an incredible agency. I had spoken with Hand in Hand already before Aria came home about their China Special Needs program. I really liked the person I talked with and found their agency to be incredibly helpful, quick to answer all my questions, and just truly personable. Chad and I both wanted to work with them if we adopted from China again. After deciding Haiti may be a fit, I researched online what agencies in the country have a Haiti program. And what do you know, Hand in Hand has a Haiti program! I talked with the director, and found that she too was very helpful, personable, and quick to answer my (MANY) questions.

The more we researched about Haiti, the more our hearts broke over the children there. All I can say is... we had NO idea. Once again, we can't unlearn what we've learned. Fears and trepidation aside, the need is enormous there. It didn't take much before we both decided this was where God wanted us to go next.

We've adopted a 14 month old boy, then a 3 year old girl... what's next?
We are open to having a boy and/or a girl. Haiti has some sibling groups that need a family. We are open to that this time around too. As far as age, on our application we listed "any up to age 11". That's what we put, anyway. But we are open to the child(ren) God leads us to. The exciting thing about this process is that we will get a referral very soon after our dossier is received. We were told that some have even received a referral the day after! However, we will have a longer wait this time around after our referral. The estimated time to travel is from 12 to 18 months after referral. That will certainly be different for us. We waited 8 months for JJ to come home after his referral, and we waited about 5 months before we traveled to China after Aria's referral. BUT we know it's about God's timing, not ours. Estimates are just that, so we are hoping for shorter. But if not, God is never too early and never too late. (I may need to be reminded of that during the wait, though!)

What if Haiti's program closes again? What if this adoption doesn't work out as we think it will?
We've crossed that bridge a bit with our first adoption. We initially started in the China program (not special needs), and as the program's length increased from an estimated 18 months to 4 or 5 years in the year we were in it, we had to make the very tough and emotional decision to change programs in the middle of our adoption. After praying and talking a lot, we switched to South Korea. We received JJ's referral just weeks after we switched! If we hadn't switched programs when we felt one door closing and another opening, we would've missed out on the incredible blessing that is JJ!

With international adoptions there are always risks. Quite honestly, having kids at all poses risk. We can live in the "what ifs" and be too afraid to move forward, or we can go when we hear the call. If God closes a door and opens a new one, it will be tough as we are already emotionally invested in the children of Haiti. We've already begun to dream about our future children. But we trust that God gives us His best for what we think is better. So forward we go...

Last but not least... Are we crazy?
Seriously, are we? Yes, said in jest. But what are we thinking?

Are we just that self assured in our parenting abilities? Um, yeah, that's definitely a big no. Are we addicted to adoption? Chad joked about that this morning. Adoption is amazing, but I think there are much easier things to do in life (like Facebook - ha!) that addiction would be more likely to creep in. Nope, not addicted to adoption.

What's more, we have definite concerns and fears. I have insecurities over some of my choices as a parent. I have no clue how I'm going to homeschool more than the three I already have. We wonder if our future children will face racism and wonder how we can tame the mother and father bear that want to claw out to protect our own. (We have dealt with only one ugly comment and a few meant-to-be-innocent-but-still-hard-to-hear ones that come to mind
in this regard since we've adopted JJ . And yes, it's hard to tame the bear within!) We wonder about our finances within all of this. We think, we wonder, we walk forward in some fear and trepidation. It is serious spiritual work to put those things to the backburner and choose faith instead. Drawing near to God is the only way... otherwise those doubts and fears creep right in again. (We appreciate your prayers as those darts and temptations are very real!)

I've said it before and I'll say it again (I need to so I can remember and believe it!!!)... God always equips us for what He commands us to do. So, in a nutshell, that's why.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to see God provide in this for you and Chad, Kristin!!

    ReplyDelete