Well, our big news is that we are adopting a baby from Ethiopia!!!! Adam and I are beyond excited!!! We cannot wait to see how the Lord is going to use this to open people's hearts to Him, especially our sweet, sweet baby. Oh, my heart is full!!!
I've been keeping an offline log about the things we have already been doing in preparation for this. I will post that information sometime later.
For now, though, I want to answer some questions...a lot of which have been repeated multiple times already.
•Why Ethiopia? What's wrong with a baby from the United States?
And yes, I have had people say that very thing to me. So, first off, I am going to say that our decision to adopt from Ethiopia does not mean that we think children in the United States are less important. At all. But, our hearts have been led to Ethiopia. Plain and simple. The Lord showed us the need there and we are following His will. Period. It's kind of like why do people adopt from Russia and not the US? Because that's where their heart is. And our heart is in Ethiopia. We have a baby there and we will do anything and everything to get him or her.
•How much does an international adoption cost?
Good question. It will cost roughly $30,000 from beginning to end. This includes traveling to Ethiopia twice for two people, dossier paperwork completion and submission, orphanage fees, agency fees, etc. There is a lot that goes into an international adoption and even though we are in this process, I still don't know everything yet.
•What agency are you using?
We have chosen to go with America World Adoption Agency. awaa.org if you want to check them out. They are very informative, a Christian agency and they believe what we believe. They have been extremely helpful thus far and we know that they are the perfect fit for our family.
•Are you getting a boy or a girl? How old will the child be?
We have decided not to decide the gender. We feel that that is up to God. Whatever He decides to bless us with is exactly what we are meant to have. We have requested a 0-12 month old because I would like to keep the birth order in our children. That does not mean we are not open to an older child. The most important thing for me in terms of birth order is that Makayla stay the eldest in the family. I feel it would be much too difficult for her role as big sister to be taken away, especially among all the other changes that this adoption will have on our family. That being said, we will be looking at waiting children, as well.
•How long does the whole process take?
The entire thing, from turning in our application, to picking up our baby will be roughly 12-18 months. It could be longer than that, though, too. There are a lot of unknowns in the Ethiopian courts right now, so we are praying that those issues get cleared up.
•How long after you turn in your dossier before you get a referral?
For our agency, they said that the trend has been 5-8 months for a boy and 7-11 months for a girl. This also means that since we have chosen not to put a gender, we will most likely get a boy. This is not for certain, of course, but it is highly likely. So, our wait time once our dossier is in Ethiopia will be anywhere from 5-11 months. Of course, we are hoping for the shorter wait time!!
•How are you going to get $30,000??
Another good question. This past week, I have been fervently sending out letters to our friends and family asking them to support us in our adoption journey. It is a very humbling thing to ask people for money, let me tell you. But, I feel that every single person we know has a part in our journey with us. Each one of you is an integral link in our chain to get this baby home forever. So, we have asked for donations. We will be participating in the annual garage sale in our town this summer and during that time, we will also be doing a bake sale, selling handmade crafts and our t-shirts. We will also be getting t-shirts made to support our adoption. I am so excited about them! We plan to do a spaghetti dinner at our church and hopefully we will have a silent auction to go with that. I have some other things planned as well. :)
•Is all the money due right now?
No. There are different times when different money is due for different things. We have a schedule and once we are set up with our Family Coordinator, we will know even more. We just sent in our agency agreement yesterday, along with the first check of many!! $1,500!!
•Do you know your baby yet?
We don't. The way international adoption works is that you do tons and tons of paperwork, home studies and get pretty much every single piece of history on everyone in your family (and I mean me, Adam and the girls) and then you send that all in. After that is sent to the agency, it will get send to Ethiopia. Once it is in Ethiopia, we will be put on a waiting list. From there, we will have the wait I discussed earlier until we get a referral for our baby. So, right now, our baby isn't even born yet.
And here are a couple videos that might explain a little bit more to everyone.
Lucy Lane's Gotcha Day Video...the video that led us to Ethiopia
If you have any other questions, please ask in the comments on this post and I will answer them!! Also, please, please, please pray for us during our journey!! It is going to be long, hard, exciting, sad, heart wrenching, thrilling and everything in between. We know that God is behind this and He will bring it to fruition in His time. We don't need to worry about the money or any other part. He will come through. But, that doesn't mean we're being dumb. We are doing our part...saving when we can, cutting out costs where we can and praying every single step of the way. So, please pray for us, too. We can use them all!!! ♥