Sunday, November 16, 2008
Lately we've been working on completing all of our homestudy paperwork. There was A LOT of it, but thankfully we are pretty much done. We will be mailing it off this week in a giant envelope! There are some expenses coming up that we have been nervous about. One thing is that we will have to pay around $3,000 for the homestudy fee, and another is that we have to pay over $800 to USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), which is a crucial step that will get the ball rolling on the citizenship for our baby.
Since we felt called to adopt so suddenly, we really had nothing saved up ahead of time. So, we were brainstorming ways that we could earn some extra cash to help pay for this early portion of money due (oh believe me there will be MUCH more coming up!). James loves to bake and has been making cakes and cookies our coworkers ever since we started working. He's talented at it, partially because he loves sweets so much, and also because he's a PERFECTIONIST! And since I am also a perfectionist and have always been very entrepreneurial myself, I had the idea to start the Heart and Seoul bakery fundraiser. We have a menu of some really yummy treats perfect for Thanksgiving, and we are taking holiday orders from people we know. If it goes well, then we'll do a different menu for Christmas. So far we've had a great response! We are going to be extremely busy getting all of these orders ready, but we aren't afraid of a little hard work. I am so excited that we have a way to show off our talents and earn money to help with the adoption at the same time!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
There are so many kids who need to be adopted here in the US, so why not adopt one of them?
We chose to pursue international adoption because almost all domestic adoptions are "open" or "semi-open," which is referring to the level of contact with the birth parents. Also, in domestic adoptions the birth parents have up to 6 months after placement to change their mind. We just decided we weren't ready to face that heartache.
Why adopt from Korea instead of another country?
We did a lot of research about this.
Korean orphans live in loving, stable foster homes instead of orphanages.
Korea has excellent medical care--comparable to that of the US. We can expect regular medical updates about our baby once we are matched with one.
Unlike most international adoptions, Korea accepts the US homestudy as documentation enough, which means much less terrifying paperwork for us!
Travel is optional. Several countries require lengthy stays abroad, which would be difficult for us considering the nature of our jobs. Korea, on the the other hand, has optional escorts for babies to the US. If we chose to travel to Korea, (we'd love to!) then the stay is only 3-5 days.
Korea is a stable country to adopt from. Korean adoptions first began in the 1950s with Harry and Bertha Holt. We have selected their agency, Holt International, to represent us in this process.
Mostly, it just feels right to us!
How long until your baby comes home?
That's difficult to answer because it depends on so many factors. A lot of those factors are out of our control, such as processing time from our agency and the USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services). However, some of it is in our control--how fast we complete and send off paperwork, etc. Also, if we chose to adopt a "waiting child," our wait could be shorter. Our wait will approximately be 21-24 months from application until the baby comes home.
Do you want a boy or a girl?
We would be blessed and thrilled beyond belief with either one, but as of right now we are leaning more toward wanting a girl. In Korea, however, there are more boys for adoption than girls, due to Korean families wishing to adopt girls (opposite, I know, from China). So, our agency will not allow us to request a girl unless we go through the "waiting child" program. We could just see what we got, but odds are high that we would be matched with a boy. Right now, we are praying about the WC (waiting child) program, and if it is right for us. WC means that the babies have some level of medical need, which can vary from very mild and/or correctable, such as crossed eyes, premature birth, cleft lip/palate....all the way up to some very severe lifelong disabilities. We will be looking further into this program to see if it's right for us.
How will you afford it?
Good thing we have thousands of dollars in savings, huh? Seriously, we aren't too sure about that still. Right now we are brainstorming a few fundraising ideas that make good use of our talents.
Are you giving up on having your own baby?
Of course not! We will continue to have hope of our own child if God deems that it is right for us. What we are giving up on is the heartbreaking, roller coaster of fertility treatments. I am not regretful of going through that process, though, because I think it took that for us to be ready to open our hearts to the idea of adopting.
You know you'll get pregnant as soon as you adopt. It happens all the time!
I can honestly say that I'm already getting tired of hearing this one. Maybe we will and maybe we won't. We're leaving that in God's hands. And, we are NOT adopting out of some hope of a "magic" pregnancy. Also, I want it to be known that we aren't adopting as a last ditch effort to have a child. We decided to stop our infertility treatments without pursuing all options because we felt it wasn't what was meant for us.
"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.” Isaiah 43:5