So, as you might have figured from our blog subtitle, we are officially in the process of adopting child number three! It has been a looooonnnngggg road to this point and we have a much longer road ahead of us. The purpose of this blog is to keep our friends and family in the loop with the goings-on of our adventure. As this is our first adoption, we feel like we are kinda making it up as we go, though we have found some amazing resources and will definitely share them over the next few months.
Sometime soon I will blog about the "how we got here" story but for now I wanted to write a "where are we today" post in effort to stay current...
As of today we are working towards adopting a child with limb difference (missing a leg, arm, foot, hand, etc). When we had originally begun looking at countries, we settled on the Philippines and began looking at agencies working in East Asia. The more we learned about the Philippines, the more excited we became. The culture, the government's approach to adoption, the cost...we were in. The only road block we kept coming across was that not many children with limb differences were being adopted out of the Philippines. I began to call some larger agencies working in East Asia and asking them about Waiting Children (that is the official term for adoptable kids with special needs) with limb difference. No one had good news. Everyone told us to go to China.
Now, we never crossed China out, but China has a few more rules and stipulations than most countries, one of which being that both adoptive parents must be at least 30 at the time a dossier (all the paperwork required to request an international adoption) is submitted. China is also a bit more expensive than the Philippines and since this adoption will be primarily paid for via fundraising, we were hoping for a total cost of less than $20,000. Lastly, we are ready to move on this adoption. Having to wait an entire year before I turn 30 and can apply to China felt like forever. The road to international adoption is tedious enough.
All of this to say, last week China was not high on our list.
While talking with a social worker about what country she felt fit our profile best she said, "If you want to go where the need is greatest, go to China." She then proceeded to tell me about the many children with Amnionic Band Syndrome and limb differences who are regularly added to the Waiting Child list. She also explained that with the Waiting Child grant offered by her agency, our total cost would be between $22,000-24,000.
So we began to ask whether our son/daughter might be in China. And today, we think our son/daughter is in China. I am hoping that as we get a bit further down the road, we will KNOW our son/daughter is in China...though I know once we reach that point in the journey, it will become monumentally harder to wait to bring him/her home.
We will be working with Holt International and they have put together a plan and timeline to keep us moving forward as quickly as possible. We will submit our initial application to Holt on my birthday, August 19th. We will then take the next six months to begin saving and raising money to cover the cost of the homestudy and stateside legal fees. On February 19th, my half-birthday, we will officially begin our homestudy. This process should take 4-6 months, getting us as close as possible to my 30th birthday. On August 19th of next year, we will (Lord willing) submit our dossier to China. The social worker I have been speaking with said that because we are willing to take a special needs child, our wait for a match could be as quickly as 1-2 months. Once a referral is made and we accept, there is about a three month wait till we can begin making travel plans. Best case scenario, we will be flying to China to pick up our child in about 18 months. I am very aware of the fact that international adoptions rarely go according to plan but we will be praying for things to stick as close to the ideal timeline as possible.
So that is all of it in a nutshell. There is so much more to the story and I will use this blog to fill in the holes as the weeks go on. God has already taught us so much and I am thankful to have a means to record what He is doing in our lives. I love to think that someday our third child will be able to read over these posts and clearly see the hand of God orchestrating his/her arrival to our family!
"God sets the lonely in families..." Psalm 68:6