Adoption Round 2 Q&A

      Okay trying this again…..somehow the first page was accidentally deleted, so let’s hope I can remember everything!  Really adoption was laid on our hearts a couple years ago now so if you’d like the super long answer on why we’re adopting you may want to read here  and here.  Never did we expect to be starting this journey again so soon.  But then that’s how God has seemed to work in each aspect of our lives as we’ve started truly giving control over to Him…...leading us in ways unexpected, at times unexpected…..and always feeling like He’s blessing us Infinitely more than we could ever imagine… is the post about how God led us to this second adoption and Ukraine 

       This time around we shared before we really knew a lot of the details and for a while we had no answers to many of your questions!  God has been revealing things in His time and although we know things can change, we feel ready to share some of what we “know.” 

Where are we adopting from and Why?  We are adopting from Ukraine….for many reasons really.  First, because much like with Russia, it just sort of kept coming up!  Not only was the idea of adopting again something that kept arising, but with it often came a story of a Ukrainian adoption, or children in need of a family from Ukraine, people that had recently adopted from there etc.  I also have been trying to continue learning Russian.  I didn’t really know why I had such a strong desire to continue at this point, but felt that I should.  It’s been slow for sure, but I think that this may be a large reason why God put it on my heart.  Much of Ukraine speaks Russian and it is likely that the children we adopt will, as they will be older. 

Who are we adopting?  This is a loaded question and one that we can only answer partially.  The real answer is we have no idea ultimately, and won’t know for a while.  When adopting from Ukraine you submit your paperwork and wait for an SDA appointment.  When you travel there, they present you with three potential options based on your eligibility.  You chose one, travel to meet the child(ren) and go from there.  If everyone is in agreement you move forward, however if not, you return to the SDA to visit one of the other children originally presented to you. 
         You do, however, have the option to specify certain things.  This is where we struggled the first time, with not wanting to allow our own fears or desires to get in the way.  God is so faithful to make things clear, however, and once again it has not really been too difficult to feel at peace about this.  From the beginning we felt led to siblings.  We’ve also been reminded several times about the need to be realistic and consider our current family.  Realistically Caleb and Levi are still young, needy toddlers and they will continue to be!  We feel confident that two children would be the best option for our family at this time and so will complete our home study to be eligible for two. 
     When adopting from Ukraine the children must be 5 (or 6?) in order to be adopted internationally.  IF adopting siblings and at least one meets this condition, the other can be younger.  So really we have no idea what ages we are looking at, except that they will be between 0 and 12!  You have to be at least 16 years older than the child, hence the 12 year old limit for us. 
     So then came the question of gender.  There have been many factors that led us to this decision…..let me attempt to explain….  In our current home, we have one extra bedroom upstairs.  While it may seem trivial, we feel that it’s important (at least for a while!) to have everyone together….so we’re not adopting two children and sticking one off downstairs by themselves.    This led us to feel that we should adopt two children of the same gender….and it was something we were already leaning towards for other reasons.  Ever since we told Caleb about the first adoption, he has insisted he wants a sister.  Initially I didn’t even think he understood what that meant, but he has been so persistent regardless.  When we found out we were adopting Levi, we were thrilled to know that we’d have two boys close in age.  I know Caleb can’t even remember life without Levi (he asked me where Levi was in a home video of himself as a baby… cute!).  And I especially know how much he loves having a little brother…...if Levi takes a long nap Caleb insists he hears him every two minutes because he’s so eager to get back to playing!  Anyway…..despite his love for his brother, Caleb has continued to insist on sisters.  He has long since adjusted his request to be more specific as well – BIG sisters.  Don’t misunderstand…..we didn’t base our decision to adopt two girls on the na├»ve desire of a three year old.  But, it certainly has been an eye opener and has contributed to our decision.  It’s made us notice things……things like our two little boys who at the playground will do everything they can to get the attention of, and play with, the 8 and 10 year old girls, ignoring the kids their own age.  It’s also been interesting that two sweet girls, both from Eastern European countries, have had a major impact on opening my heart up to adopting older children.  They were both 10.  As we started to take all of this in, it seemed to make sense.   Adopting older boys, we felt, may bring an added sense of competition…..and perhaps more of a challenge to Caleb’s adjustment from oldest to younger sibling.  Girls are just so different that it made us think the transition may be easier for everyone.  Not that we’re looking for easy in all of this…..just what’s best for everyone.  I could go on and on about this, but for now, we feel confident this is the path God has put us on.  We’ve started to prepare their room with bunk beds and even went so far as to buy some neat Matryoshka bedding!!

How Long will the process take and how many trips?  We’ve been told it averages 5-7 months.  Yes, that quick!  Hence why we felt it necessary to hold off a bit on starting the official process when we first felt God was trying to get our attention!  From what we know…..we update our home study, apply for USCIS approval, submit our dossier and then get invited to travel.  Once we travel, meet our children and both agree on the adoption, we would return home and wait for our court date.  We would then return for court, likely just for a couple of days and then come home again.  The final trip could be about two weeks long so our goal at this point is to make this a family trip and bring the boys.  It would give us a couple of weeks together and I truly can’t imagine having to leave them a third time for that long of a trip. 

How much does it cost?  This is always hard to estimate, but we’ve been given figures anywhere from 20-30,000.  We are not working with an agency this time around which definitely cuts costs.  In addition, the facilitator we will work with does not charge additional fees for additional children, which is a huge blessing.  Whatever the cost, we know God will provide……He already has in amazing ways!

When will we travel for our appointment? It's been estimated that we may travel at the end of July/early August, but there are a lot of factors involved in determining this.  We hope it's soon!

Writing this the second time around, I can tell I’m forgetting some things so I’ll update as I remember! 

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