This is the first time I am blogging about the adoption process that my wife, Andrea, and I are working through. We decided that we wanted to blog about the decisions that brought us here, the decisions and challenges we are currently facing, what we need to do next, and how you can be involved in all of this.
First, let me start with the decisions that brought us here. For a little background my wife and I both come from families that have adopted. My wife has five adopted siblings and I have one. We both knew from early ages that the example our parents were setting for us was something we wanted to emulate in our own families. This desire simply grew as we became adults and found each other. Adoption was something that we both felt strongly about and wanted to find a spouse who felt the same. Praise God that we did!
Once we realized we shared a common goal in adoption, we knew that we needed to start the process. Some people asked us why we are not waiting to have a child “of our own” (a phrase that, even if meant in love, makes adoptive parents cringe) and we answer, “We are. They just don’t know us yet.” We see the children we are blessed to adopt as “our children.” Just because they don’t share our DNA doesn’t mean they don’t share the DNA of our heart. Which brings us to the first step in the process, finding the right agency, and person, to help us find our children.
Andrea and I, after much prayer, decided to start by simply sending our information out to different agencies. The agency that we got the best and most professional response was from an agency who did international adoptions as well. You may have noticed a word there that you may not agree with – International. Why are we not adopting from here? Aren’t there children who need to be adopted from here? We will be and yes there are.
We didn’t decide to adopt internationally just ‘because.’ Please understand the heart behind our choice. Andrea has a heart for children from other countries and I have a heart for children from here, but the most important fact here is this: every child deserves a good home. We did plenty of research before finally landing on Hungary. Important factors for us was the efficiency of the overall process and the health of the child. We didn’t want to want to wait several years before the process was completed and we knew that we are not currently equipped to adopt a child with significant health concerns. Maybe someday we could but not right now. And we discovered, much to our surprise, adopting from the US comes with it’s own issues and obstacles that made us more inclined to adopt from somewhere besides here. On top of that, we discovered that adopting from Hungary could match us with a child, or a set of siblings, in little over a year. Furthermore, we could be reasonably confident that the child that is placed with us would not have significant health concerns. All of those factors combined together led us to conclude that we had made the right decision in choosing the agency we chose and Hungary.
We now had a country and an agency. Next we needed to start raising money and working through the plethora of paperwork. International adoptions are expensive because they involve two governments, two adoption agencies, numerous government officials and workers, translators, travel expenses, medical expenses, etc., etc., etc. Once this process is all said and done, we need to raise a significant amount. This fact, along with the fact that my wife and I are not yet wealthy millionaires, lead us to the conclusion that fund-raising would be essential to us successfully completing this process. It is not the easiest thing in the world to ask for financial assistance, especially when this financial burden would not be there if we were adopting locally.
As a man, the hardest thing is admitting you can’t provide the funds necessary for adding a member to your family. You feel it is your responsibility but this process has grown me and taught me that sometimes you can’t do everything yourself. We have felt the love and support of so many people, including our families, through this process that I’m glad we had to ask for help.
Now, where are we currently at? We have completed the first round of paperwork and fees, and the agency has determined neither one of us are bad, crazy people. The next step is the home-study where an agency, who works in conjunction with our agency, comes out and evaluates our home to make sure it will be safe and comfortable for the child. They also check our financial stability and that we have the emotional/psychological ability to a care for and raise a child. The size of our home and the number of bedrooms also determines how many children we can adopt. For instance, if we want to be able to adopt siblings of different genders we would need two separate bedrooms, which we don’t currently have. We weren’t sure if we liked that fact and we had planned on moving but we feel the Lord has told us to stay where we are at. After all is said and done with the Home Study, all of our paperwork goes to a judge in the State of Arizona who will continue to make decisions about us as individuals and as a married couple: he/she will make the ultimate decision (at least here in the states) about our fit-fulness as parents.
Now that is a lot of information and we understand if people still have questions or still don’t understand the entirety of the process. That’s ok, we are not experts ourselves. We are happy to answer any questions and are not looking for just financially support. We appreciate prayers, well-wishes, or any other type of support you would like to give us. We are so thankful to be going through this process and want to share our joy with everyone.
Going forward, Andrea and I are going to try to be better about updating all of you as we move forward. We realized that we haven’t done the best job updating people and we want to change that.