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Monday, June 30, 2008

Answers, At Last!

I was pretty frustrated last week in my attempts to get some answers from adoption agencies about various issues related to international adoption in general, and China in particular. I spent many hours on the computer, investigating our options...everything from waiting children in every country imaginable, to domestic infant adoption, to foster to adopt here in the U.S. I prayed and prayed, asking God to give us direction. Over the weekend I found two more agencies that looked interesting, so this morning I called them to see what I could find out. I have found that in calling agencies, I get a much better feel for their staff and how they relate personally to people, which is important to me. Any agency can have a five-star website, but it is how they relate personally to me that matters. To make a long story short, after talking with these two different agencies, I think we now have some answers, and an adoption agency! I think we just might qualify for China now that I understand better how the assets requirement is documented, so we are definitely pursuing that option first. The agency we are sending our preliminary application to has a birth order and spacing policy which states that they will usually not place adopted children out of birth order, and they like nine months between the youngest child and the adopted child. Dave and I thought that over, and we agree with the reasoning behind their thinking. We will hopefully be submitting a formal application for the healthy child China program, but with the thought that we can change to the waiting child program at any time, should a child come forward that meets the birth order criteria. Right now we probably wouldn't be able to find a waiting child (children with special needs) who would fit the birth order/spacing requirement set forth by the agency. I feel good about having a plan, and I know that God will continue to guide and direct us as we move forward. It's going to be a long journey, but the reward at the end will be well worth the travel! Stay tuned!

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Many Questions...Few Answers

Years ago, when we first entered the world of adoption, we thought we had God's will for us figured out. Seemingly out of the blue, we were contacted by an old family friend, via my parents, regarding a child who was in need of a family. We traveled out of state twice to visit this child and finalize the adoption privately, but it fell through at the last moment. I still have photos of that child, and often wonder how he is doing now. From that disappointment arose the desire to learn more about our state's foster to adopt program, and thus we met, and ultimately adopted, our two older boys. God used the first situation, as hard as it was, to bring us to what was meant to be at that time in our lives.

Once again, we find ourselves entering the world of adoption. We think--or shall I say, thought--we again had God's will figured out. China was where we would find our daughter. However, after much reading and searching, we are now not so sure. Last year (2007), China changed its requirements for adoptive parents. You can read the entire list of updated requirements here. We think we meet most of the requirements except two biggies: we must prove that we earn $10,000 per year for each member of our family, including the child that we wish to adopt, and we must show that, not including our income, we have at least $80,000 in assets (after subtracting all liabilities). Since I no longer work full-time, or even part-time, outside of the home, we will be hard pressed to meet these requirements any time soon. We believe that God wants me to stay at home right now, so my working a "regular" job is not an option. Dave already works insanely crazy hours and is not home as much as he would like, so a second job for him seems out of the question as well.

So what to do? Part of me thinks we should just press on, trusting God to miraculously supply so that we can lower our liabilities (i.e., debt!) and meet the requirements for China, which has always been our first choice for international adoption. However, we would like to complete the adoption in the next couple of years in order to keep the ages of our two younger sons close to our new daughter's, so the "miraculously" part would really need to occur soon! The other part of me questions whether our goal is to adopt a daughter from China, or simply adopt a daughter. If it is the latter, there are MANY other options out there, including adopting out of foster care again. Thus, the title of this post: Many Questions...Few Answers.

Please pray with us as we try to discern the Lord's will in this process. We don't want to make any hasty decisions that we will regret later, but we also don't want to wait too long to start the ball rolling, as we know how long adoption can take. As always, I'm glad that God sees the beginning from the end, and that we can trust that He knows what is best for us and will show us in His time!

Thanks for your interest in our journey!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Ever since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated with the land of China. I remember hearing the stories of missionaries who gave their lives in service to the Lord in this exotic land before the gospel was pushed underground by the Communist government. I loved their food, their art, their music, and their rich history...so much older and complex than our own. When Dave and I met, we talked at length about adoption, and we both felt drawn to adopt a daughter from China, where little girls are routinely left on roadsides and in train stations due to the one child policy and the desire for sons to carry on the family name. Dave even got a job working for a Chinese ministry for a couple of years, and we were blessed to travel to China in the summer of 2000...we both came home more drawn to this land and her people.

Since then, God has led us down many interesting paths. We adopted a sibling group of two brothers, now ages 13 and 10. Then God opened my womb and I have since borne two more sons, now ages 3 and 9 months. There have been many job changes for both of us...after teaching in both the public elementary school system and a Bible college, I am now pretty much a full-time stay at home mom, and Dave is working hard to support our family on one income. We have recently moved in order to cut down his commute a bit which has meant a change in schooling for our older boys and a change in church for all of us. Change is hard, but good, and we are settling in.

Which brings us to this blog. One might think that four children would be sufficient in this day and age, and in many ways, they are more than sufficient! We love our boys and certainly have our hands full with the age span God has given us and the needs they all bring to the family table! However, the desire to adopt a daughter from China has never really gone away. After the birth of our youngest last October, it almost seemed to intensify, especially for me--could it be the over-abundance of testosterone in our house? Perhaps, but I also feel very strongly that the Lord has given us this desire, and until He takes it away, or closes the doors, we must walk by faith in the direction the desire takes us. This blog is our first baby step in that direction. I will post more about the requirements to adopt from China and how we will have to work really hard to meet them before we can even start the adoption process. I will also post about the long wait for Chinese adoptions at this time and how it could be many years before a child is referred to us, if we go the traditional Chinese adoption route.

But for now, suffice it to say that we know God has directed us to take the first steps on our silk road...a journey to adopt our daughter from China. Thanks for walking it with us!

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