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Why Eastern Europe? and other burning questions.

We have received such an outpouring of love, support and prayers since we announced our Adoption Plans exactly a week ago. Thank you SO much for your words, care and desire to help! We are floored, speechless, humbled, and often in tears (well, at least I am, Matt holds it together better than I do) at reading your emails and Facebook comments. THANK YOU. Also, I’ve received a few questions and thought I’d begin by answering some of the common ones we have been getting. So, the big one first:

WHY ARE YOU ADOPTING INTERNATIONALLY AND FROM EASTERN EUROPE?

In short, because God told us to. I wish I had something more profound to sink your teeth into, but I don’t. That’s it. It is constantly becoming more and more clear that this is a way for our family to be loving the world in a tangible way. I know there are plenty of waiting children who NEED a family right here. I assure you, we are not overlooking the fact there are so, so many children in foster care waiting for a family and just not enough willing families stepping up. This has actually been the once piece of criticism we have received thus far (and yea, I expect we will get a lot more)– why go all the way around the world when there are kids right here in our own City? I don’t know. Other than the fact that Adoption is a CALLING. I think if God called us to go move to Zimbabwe or China or Bolivia or Detroit to plant a church, it would be the same. God is saying go here. Specifically HERE. To a SPECIFIC little girl. We can’t minimize the way God is asking us to obey by over-simplifying it into our this being our preference or choice. Yes we have a choice, we always do. But God has a bigger plan, that we have to choose to be a part of His will joyfully, or alternately we basically tell God he is wrong with the plan for our life. Our Family might be called to Eastern Europe, but that doesn’t mean ALL Families should adopt from there. I can attest, in the past 4 years, we have mostly sorted through what God was NOT calling us to do. We were presented opportunities in Chicago, and back to California, and those just further solidified that we are supposed to be in Seattle. So we are ‘all in’ here. We will always continue to serve right here in this county and in this city. But our family also desires to seek social justice for the poor and marginalized in this world– as God commands us to– in a more permanent and sustained way through this Adoption. We feel God has been, is, and will continue to be using us locally. This is how He is choosing to use us globally.

This is not everyone’s reason. And it is not everyone’s story. But it’s ours.

WHOA, ANOTHER GIRL?! WHY NOT ADOPT A BOY?

This one is pretty funny. I can’t tell you how often I or Matt is out with the girls and we get asked, ‘are you going to try for a 4th so you’ll get a boy?’ It kills me. First off, who says that boys are that much more desirable anyways? Our friends with young boys have a whole different spectrum of things they deal with, and I look at that and sometimes am so glad we have girls. Serious. Do we still have some evaluative preference to getting a boy child is better than a girl? Or that we are missing out? Where does that question even come from if we don’t assume that our family is somehow lesser or lacking because we have all girls? I tend to come back with snarky answers to this one. ‘With our luck, we’d end up with Twin Girls.’ Yea, I am sure it will be a trade-off. While right now raising boys would be crazy in some ways (like every object becoming a weapon), we will have 4 girls as Teens ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Oy Vey. I can’t wait. (Yes I can, I have 5 more years). But back to the question, why not get that coveted boy through Adoption? We know other families who have diversified their gender statistics this way. Referencing back to my previous answer, we are called to this specific little girl, not just adoption in general. So our options were already pretty narrowed down. Thinking about how Adoption and 4 kids will impact our family dynamic, we have come to the conclusion a 4th Girl will be Awesome. We are not desperate for a boy. I think if we were going the boy route, and he would be our only adopted child, there would be a lot more differences and issues we might have to unpack if the lines between adoptee and biological were also marked by the gender difference. Not saying it does, but it could lead to some additional feelings of remaining an outsider that we would have to be extra sensitive to. With a 4th girl, we are already doing the girl thing. I hope that in bonding and acceptance of a new family, she will more easily feel comfortable with other girls her age, be understood by her siblings and feel included rather than singled out. Watching our 3 girls now, they have such a special bond with one another. It makes me super excited for this little group of wee ladies to expand in affection for another member whom they can relate to as another sister.

 

ISN’T INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION EXPENSIVE AND A REALLY LONG PROCESS? 

Yes. A lot of people’s experience with International Adoption is very, very long and it does involve a large investment. When people think of International Adoption, they tend to be most familiar with programs in African countries & China, which can take several years. However, there are many other programs where the processes have far more oversight and paperwork moves through a bit smoother. The Eastern European Country we are adopting from is one of the countries who’s adoption processes adhere to and the children are protected under the Hague Convention requirements (you can read more about that HERE). They estimate a 6-9 month timeline, although many families we know are a bit longer than that. Because we are pursuing a specific girl who is already been made available for International Adoption, our process will likely go a lot faster, contingent on us getting our paperwork and homestudy and both the I-800-A & I-800 immigration paperwork done as quickly as we are able. We have been told we could get travel dates as early as January, and might still be able to host her for 4 weeks over Christmas. So our timeline could very well be lightning fast as far as International Adoption goes, which is crazy/awesome/scary/amazing all at once. But we just don’t know until we dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s and allow the Governmental Agencies to do their thing and officially match us with Ana & schedule an Orphan Court hearing so we can arrange travel. In regards to costs, I am looking at it as one of our c-section bills from the 3 births we have had. Now, obviously we had insurance, but for Pia, my Insurance Company tried to pull a fast one and claimed my pregnancy was a ‘pre-existing condition’. We had to fight it for a year and finally they were over-ruled, but were looking down the barrel of a $24K medical bill, which is what it costs in our country to deliver a baby via c-section. It’s a lot of money, but it is not impossible to save, earn, and fundraise what we will need to bring Ana into our home as our Daughter.

 

Have any other burning questions? Feel free to hit us up in the Comments and we will do our best to answer!

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