I guess this serves as our official announcement...we are adopting. I know we've been "adopting" for a while now but this time the kinks are worked out and everything is really happening! I get asked A LOT of questions and wanted to take some time and answer all of them for everyone at once. Skip the ones you don't care about and read the ones you do. This may be long.
1. Why are you adopting?
This question needs a post of its own and I think I will do that soon. For now I'd like to just share this beautiful post by a man who was adopted as a young child. Please read it. It's worth your time.
2. Who are you adopting?
We are adopting a 4 year old boy and 5 year old girl from Eastern Europe. They are siblings. They are listed as "Charlotte and Jaden" on Reece's Rainbow because their real names can not legally be shared. Our kids call them "Captain and Sister" and that is what you will see them as in our blog. We will call them by their given/birth names once they are "ours."
3. 7 kids! You are going to have seven kids? But you are expecting? Why are you still adopting if you're pregnant?
Yep-7!!! I know, it even sounds a little crazy to me when I think about it. After Caleb was born and we felt the call to adopt we thought, "Five, we can handle five." Of course we found two little ones and decided six didn't sound so bad. Number seven of course was a huge surprise for us! So what now, do we leave them as orphans because we are pregnant? Of course not! God knew all along. His grace is sufficient. His power is made perfect in my weakness. I'm not worried. How much love and laughter will my home and heart be filled with!!!
4. Do you have enough room?
We are currently in a 3 bedroom house. Yeah...its a little crowded. We have 3 sets of bunk beds and everyone sleeps comfortably. It forces us to spend lots of time outside getting exercise and soaking up vitamin D. How wonderful! Of course we have plans to move into a bigger home or add on soon. However right now our focus is to get the adoption paid for and bring our kids home. After that we can start making plans for some more space.
5. What will you drive?
O boy! our little surprise blessing kind of bumped us out of the "normal"
sized vehicle. No more minivans or SUVs for this family. We are officially in the market for a 10 passenger van. I've got my eye on the Nissan but we'll see what the best deal is when the time comes. We are going to wait until the kids get home to purchase it. Right now we are trying to be frugal and put every penny toward the adoption and worry about the van after its paid in full.
6. How will you afford 7 children?
I am not really worried about that. Things are tight for us right now because a significant portion of our income is going towards adoption expenses. We are confident (as is the social worker who reviewed our finances and approved us) that if we spend and save wisely we can provide for our family of nine just fine. They may not be spoiled with expensive toys and clothes but they will have everything they need and an abundance of love and family!
7. How much will the adoption cost? and how will you pay for it?
From this point on, it will cost us roughly $25,000 (give or take a few thousand)
I have no idea how we are going to pay for it! Worst case scenario, we empty our 401k which has almost enough to cover it. Obviously that is not a wise choice so we are hoping to use it as a last resort. We are not opposed to taking out a loan either. As much as we hate debt, THESE ARE CHILDREN not material things. People take out home and car loans all the time and think nothing of it. I'd take rescuing a child over driving a new car any day-debt or no debt.
Ideally we will scrimp and save and pay all we can from our income and raise the rest. Donations welcome;)
8. When will they be home?
The plan is to submit our dossier in March. I think we can expect to travel 6-8 weeks after that! I am so excited I can hardly stand it! They are coming home!!!! As in all adoptions, nothing is set in stone. If I've learned anything this year its to trust God's perfect plan and timing.
9. When is the baby due?
End of March(ish). Do babies ever come on time? Certainly not ours! They like to keep us on our toes. Yes, we are growing by 3 in a matter of weeks. Would I have planned it this way? probably not but I'm not afraid. We have a great support system and I know I will look back one day and think how I wouldn't want it any other way.
Did I mention it's a GIRL! We are thrilled that sweet Abigail Ahava Holt will help balance out this family of mostly boys.
10. Why overseas when there are thousands of kids in the US in need of families?
You are absolutely right! There are so many children here that need families! Please look into it and find room in your heart and home! We felt called to Eastern Europe for a number of reasons that I will address in another post. The bottom line is there are so many orphans everywhere. Everyone should be doing something. So if you are concerned about the kids here in the states, do something about it! I would love to help you get started!
11. Reece's Rainbow is for kids with Down Syndrome and other special needs. Do
your kids have needs?
Reece's Rainbow is an adoption grant foundation for children with special needs. Captain and Sister do have some medical issues and that is why they were listed with RR. We have chosen to keep the details private at this time.
We were completely open to adopting any special needs and chose them simply because we "knew" the moment we laid eyes on them. I would still love to adopt a child with Down Syndrome some day when the kids are older. Having special needs does not make a child less deserving of a family.
12. What if they are ruined?
Yes, I heard those exact words (and have been asked the same question in nicer ways). This person actually said that in front of my other kids too. Let me just start by saying DON'T EVER use the word "ruined" to describe my babies or any human being for that matter. I believe in redemption. I don't believe that any person is beyond "fixing." Yes, my kids have lived their lives in an institution and yes, there are a lot of negative effects of growing up that way. We are not naive. We know the statistics. We have done our homework. For every horror story there is a beautiful one and a whole bunch of others in the middle somewhere. We choose to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Our prayer is that God is preparing our hearts for each other. We are not adopting for the warm fuzzies or the applause of man. We are adopting because there are children who need families and we are a family. It's that simple.
13. How can I help?
I am going to lay down my pride and accept any and all help. Obviously we welcome donations. If you would like to contribute you can do so directly or through our family sponsorship page on Reece's Rainbow. Donations made here are tax deductible. We would love for you to do a fundraiser-garage sale, bake sale....get creative.
Also I may need help when Jacob is overseas for a few weeks getting the kids. I will be home with a newborn and the other four! I won't turn down meals, help with the kids or even just company.
My family is close and I know will help as much as they can but I hate for them to bear all of the burden.
Most of all we need your prayers. Pray for things to move quickly and smoothly. Pray for God to provide every penny. Pray for Captain and Sister's hearts to be prepared and ours too. Pray for a smooth transition. Pray for us to bond quickly....just pray