...but I'm not pregnant.
We are embarking upon an incredible journey, to adopt a child. We feel that it is time to complete our family and this is how it will be done.
From where, you ask?
Why, you ask?
Well, many people go out to Africa, Asia, or heck they stay here in North America, and serve as missionaries. They feel called to the field of missions. Adoption is sometimes referred to as "Reverse Missions". What a cool term
A site I have visited often (our agency...www.choicesadoption.ca) over the past many months states that, "Nowhere on this planet do more helpless orphans exist, than on the continent of Africa". In a place where 1 in 10 children will die before their 1st Birthday; where 1 in 6 children will die before their 5th Birthday, and in a country where the doctor to children ratio is 1:24,000; we feel led.
We contemplated and researched the prospect of adoption after Noah was born and before we were expecting Tait. The timing wasn't right. The cost scared us a bit. And, I just don't think we would have been ready. What an intricate process it is for us to merely be accepted to begin the adoption process!
I remember the morning I mailed off our Application. I walked into the Post Office, paid for my postage, put the stamp on the sealed envelope and hand almost shaking passed it across the counter to Barb, our postal worker. This in itself was such a huge step (oh - did I mention the big juicy cheque you have to send in JUST to have your application processed? this guarantees nothing, nada...but, bu-bye money).
Since that day, we have started our (very thorough!) physicals...a six page "in and out" of Ben and Ashleigh. They aren't kidding when they want to ensure we are in good health. HIV/Heb B/Mantoux (TB) tests. Criminal Record check. Prior Contact check with the Ministry Of Children and Families. Four letters of Reference. This is just the beginning! Sometime late April or very early May, we will begin what is known as our Homestudy. We'll get up close and personal w/ a Social Worker and over the following 3 months will learn more about ourselves individually, as a couple, and how we function and will function as a family. We will take a 1 day educational seminar. During these 3 months we will learn more about Trans-Racial adoption than we can even fathom at this point in our life. We are so excited!
After our 3 month Homestudy, it will take another 1 month (& more money, gulp!) to prepare our dossier, send it to Ethiopia and have it translated. Then, we will wait another approximately 2-6 months to receive a proposal of our (potential) child. This proposal will include what is known in layman's terms as a "mugshot" of the child. We will also receive as much information on the child's family and personal history/health/(family) background as is known. In countries as poor and poverty stricken as Ethiopia this usually totals 1 page...maybe 2, if we're lucky. We will have 30 days in which we will declare our intent to accept the child (or not, if for some reason alarms go off in our heads). After this we...yes, you guessed it...send off more moola, then wait 3-6 months to travel to Ethiopia (!!) and pick up our child. This last wait time is due to court dates, etc.
Now you are wondering what kind of a choice do we have as far as age, gender, etc goes, right? It's pretty incredible actually. The Facilitator, (Kids Link...this is not our Adoption Agency...which is CHOICES...I know it's complex!) we will work with runs 2 baby and 1 toddler orphanage(s) in Addis Ababa. This is the capitol of Ethiopia. So, there are many children. We will request a child between the age of 0-12months. We will also request a girl.
All in all this process will take anywhere from 9-24mths. Adoptions are anything but predictable time-wise...regardless of whether a family decides to stay domestic or go international.
Well, there it is in a nutshell. We're an open book so please feel free to email any questions or thoughts. If it's in your beliefs to do so, please pray for us. We will continue to update this journal so-to-speak, with much frequency.