I’ve said before that Joshua and I started out this adoption journey with our hearts set on bringing home an infant. In fact Ethiopia is one place where you can still bring home a very young infant (sometimes under 4 months old). We purchased a crib, a few family members sent cute baby clothes, and we got really excited about joining our friends in this fun “baby stage” of life.
As we progressed in our paper-chasing we began reading more about adoption and about Ethiopia. Did you realize that children over 3 years old are often considered UN-adoptable, or dare I say, UN-wanted? Many feel they will come with too many problems, too many developmental delays, too much of a past, and no English skils. Even as we have shared about our referral, a common response has been, “Wow, you’re adopting a 6 year old and a 4 year old? That’s pretty old! You’ll sure have your hands full!” And then we get a look. I don’t think people mean to give us a look, or make us feel uncomfortable, I just think there is a common misunderstanding about adopting older children.
I really want to challenge those in the adoption process to consider the possibility of adopting an older child. And for those who aren’t adopting to pray about the possibility. Would God give you faith to provide a family to one of His precious children? James 1:27 reminds us: “Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.” I’ve often found myself “corrupted” by a desire for ease and selfishness. Corrupted by doubt that says the money will never come, and how do we expect to ever live off of one income? Yes, it will be difficult. No these kiddos won’t speak much English. No they haven’t had any formal schooling. Yes, they have a sad past. But what the heck! I have a lot of sin and God still adopted me. And this simple and beautiful truth has stuck with us, has been ingrained in our minds, has broken our hearts. I pray it will do the same for you.
Take a second to check these blogs out, hopefully you’ll leave changed-
http://kidd-ethiopia-adoption.blogspot.com/ check out the post on June 27th about visiting their daughter’s orphanage
http://welovebigfamilies.blogspot.com check out the post on March 8, 2008 titled, “I don’t have a family”
Bethany here, I wanted to chime in on this exciting news too!
We are so amazed at God’s kindness in this referral. Like Joshua said- to us and our dear children. I’ll give a little more of the details. We have been referred a 6 year old little boy and his 4 year old sister. They are the most beautiful little kids, with big brown eyes, and perfect little noses. The picture we have is absolutely adorable, the little boy has his arm around his sister’s shoulders and she has reached up to hold his hand. Due to adoption laws we are unable to post any pictures until we have successfully passed court (in Ethiopia). Once this happens these precious kiddos will be ours and we can share with the world their beautiful faces.
To give you a little insight into what happens now. . . we will finish up our homestudy on July 14th at our new house. That week our homestudy report will be sent into USCIS and matched with our I-600A application. In about 8-12 weeks we should receive our I-171 which is the paper that every family longs and waits for! This is our approval from US immigration to bring two orphans here to the USA. Once we have this paper (probably October) we will put it with our other dossier documents and mail it off to the Virginia Secretary of State for certification. They’ll mail it back and we give it to our family coordinator who will have it authenticated and sent off to Ethiopia.
This is where our process will be different from most peoples. Usually when your dossier is sent off that is the time when you go on the waiting list to be matched with a child/ren. But since we already have a referral our acceptance of these children will be sent off to Ethiopia with our dossier and a request for a court date. It will take about 4-6 weeks to get a court date and sometimes families have to go to court a few times to be approved. Then about 2-4 weeks after a successful court date we fly to Ethiopia to get these two cuties!!! So as Joshua mention it is looking like December or January!!! That is only 6 months away folks!!!! Woo Hoo!!!!
We have updated the Funding Our Adoption page with our new fee schedule and where we are in the process. We have a lot of money to save and raise in the coming months. So please keep us in your prayers and check out our funding page for the upcoming fundraisers we’re looking into. Thanks to everyone who has been supporting us through this process. We are so grateful for each and everyone of you!
A little over a week ago, Beth and I received an email from America World Adoption with seven to eight pictures of Ethiopian children who were a part of the Waiting Children Program.
When we began our adoption we originally thought that we would be adopting an infant. We reasoned that an infant would grow to love us more quickly than an older child. We reasoned that an infant would have an easier time learning English. (sure…) And we reasoned that an infant would more quickly adapt to the American culture. Slowly, however our paradigm shifted. Blogs and books, emails and online news gradually changed our thinking.
We learned in our study that the waiting period for an infant is much longer than an older child. We wondered at what the older children could be feeling when time after time, they witness infants being plucked up from the transitional home. We learned that many children with even slight developmental challenges ended up being passed over in the application for immigration due to the potential parents not specifying the developmental challenges they are willing to embrace.
Then came the email of a brand new program for Ethiopia; The Waiting Children Program. This program highlights those children, that for one reason or another are in urgent need of adoption. We began to have a real burden for those children. We began to inquire about the process of adopting a child on this list and submitted an application YESTERDAY.
Okay, so here is the fun part. An hour after submitting our application to adopt from the Waiting Children’s Program, we received an email with pictures of two beautiful children who met our adoption request perfectly. Our adviser said in astonishment that this kind of turn around for a referral has NEVER happened before. What a precious gift and a reminder of God’s loving kindness towards us and those children.
Lord willing, we could possibly be traveling to Ethiopia in December or January. We have almost completed our home study phase and then we will be able to share with you more details. Right now we are amazed by God’s grace in all of this. We sense His pleasure and we are filled with joy. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.
All of this is not void of temptation for worry and impatience, so please continue to pray for us.
Grace to you,
I’m just writing to let anyone stopping by know that you’ll want to stop by our blog either later tonight or tomorrow for an exciting announcement. Joshua will be writing the next post. . . so stay tuned!
I might have to stop writing on this blog because I have to keep changing what I say! It appears God’s plans are far above our own! In the last post I mentioned that our timeline has been pushed back due to our upcoming move. . . Well, our social worker called the end of last week and said she’d be willing to do our first 2 visits in our apartment and the final walk-thru in our townhome once we move! This way we will save a few hundred dollars and a month or more of time in having to renew our background clearances!
We had our first visit this morning and it went soooo well! We have a great SW that really put us at ease and helped us think through some great questions about transitioning two children into our lives here. We are counting our blessings as God continues to provide and work in our hearts!
More to come on upcoming fundraisers! Stay tuned!
The past few weeks I’ve neglected the blog as life picked up pace and I needed to devote more time to home and life then to blog checking and updating! =) Blogging can be addictive!
So. . . much has happened here on the Taylor home front. We will be moving the second weekend in July! Originally we thought it best to stay in our apartment, renew our lease and move our adoption along. Then we got our renewal rates, and we’ll potentially have to renew one more time before the kiddos come to live with us depending on our wait times. So, we started praying about a move. We prayed very specifically for a townhouse no more then 2 miles from Joshua’s work so that we could sell one car and save some money. Well, we started looking in the area and found everything was $200 to $400 over our price range. But we felt we should keep waiting and looking. And. . .Praise the LORD, a 3 level, 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath townhouse, with a yard, in our price range, that is 1.5 miles from Josh’s work opened up! God is so kind to us. So, now begins the arduous task of packing everything up and moving across town. . . oh the joys! (We’ll gladly accept any help, hint hint!)
This move means that our adoption process is slightly delayed because our social worker can’t visit until we’re in the new house where we’ll be bring the kiddos. So our time frame now looks something more like:
In-home visits in July with the social worker. The social worker will write our homestudy report and we’ll submit it with our USCIS I-600A application. We then wait for a fingerprinting appointment (maybe August?) and then wait for the I-171form to be issued. The I-171 takes 8-12 weeks so we’re thinking probably October before this comes. Once we have that form we can submist our dossier to Ethiopia (hopefully within days of receiving the I-171). At the time of our dossier submission we will go on a waiting list with our agency to be matched with children.
Originally we had hoped to have our dossier submitted by July, but God knows what He’s up to and this waiting time has proved to be a productive and influencial time in our lives. We started out this adoption journey requesting 1 infant. Soon we decided that we’d like to be considered for 2 children under 3years old with atleast one under 12 months. But in the past few months of waiting God has continued to broaden our hearts. We will officially be asking for a referral of 2 children under 6 years old. This will bring some unique challenges as 2 children will arrive that do not speak any English and have a past and probably a family that they remember. We will have more detailed information on their past at the time of the referral, but we will keep that private for their protection. Many times older children are orphaned though due to poverty and disease. We are so excited at this prospect and ask for your prayers as we prepare for this major life change.
Concerning when the children will arrive. . .? Well, I spoke with our family coordinator and she said there isn’t a really specified time range for this request. She said that after we have submitted our dossier it could be anything from 3 months to 9 months. This is because children over 5 you usually only wait 3-7 months for, but children between 0 and 5 are about a 5-9 month wait. So it will depend if a young sibling group becomes available or if we’ll have to wait for 2 unrelated children to become available in our requested age range. So, with that said we could know who are children are anytime between January and September next year!!!! We’re hoping for the earlier part! =) And we’re very thankful that God already knows them by name, and that He is taking very good care of them.