Adoption is an emotional, unpredictable process.
We went into the adoption knowing that we would experience trials. We could think of a hundred reasons why the timing wasn’t right, or people would criticize our decision.
We also knew that if we waited a lifetime trials and hurdles would still exist but that one day in our home with love and provision is more than this child might have in a lifetime.
As expected, the trials came, highs and lows came, throughout the emotional roller coaster of adoption. I broke down crying on the phone to a FedEx guy one day, our insurance company another day, and those weren’t even the trials.
Jesus never promised that following Him would be easy, but He did promise to go with us. We saw Him provide for us throughout every single trial and step and put so many people in our lives to support and encourage us throughout the entire process.
From our sisters, parents, brothers and sister-in-law, Aunts, Uncles, cousins, friends, coworkers, students, church family, old friends and strangers, the outpouring of love and support in donations, prayers, sharing through social media, encouraging notes, was truly amazing and a constant reminder that if we are obedient to something God has called us to, it won’t necessarily be easy, but He will provide the way.
Everyone who helped us in one way or another shared an equal and important part in bringing Nic home.
This is so important for me to emphasize because many of you want to do something for these orphans but cannot adopt. You play just as valuable a roll when you come along side adoptive parents. Please do not underestimate how important your individual roles are in orphan care!
Nic laid alone in that orphanage crib with no idea how loved he was already by so many and our hearts were aching to show him.
We worked frantically to get to him, so he could experience this love that he had never known.
One of the biggest deterrents from adoption for most people can be the cost.
“It’s like you’re buying a child” is a comment that is said often by either rude or unknowing people who have never opened their eyes to the orphan crisis. It can be a high cost, not just financially, but if one is going to view it monetarily then they could better describe it as “paying the ransom” for a child that is being saved.
Raising funds can be a humbling endeavor. No one wants to ask for money. I get embarrassed just writing about it. But, as I said, adoption cannot be done alone. We knew that it would take the Body of Christ functioning as God intended it to in order to bring Nic home. There are many people who would love to adopt but do not because they do not have the finances (really, who DOES have an extra $20,000-$40,000 sitting around?) and there are also many people who cannot adopt but would love to help participate in orphan care and have the funds and generosity to give. But until both individuals trust in the Lord to serve in the way they have been called to, the orphan's wait.
We trusted God to provide the "ransom" and He did in astounding ways. We received donations from so many people who wanted to help bring Nic home. Even the smallest donations meant so much to us because it showed love and support that is so needed during the emotional adoption process. We were in complete shock and tears when we received a check to reach the "fully funded" mark. After we were fully funded others still wanted to be a part of helping Nic and asked if they could donate to any medical bills. We were in complete awe of the faithfulness of God.
It does not always go this way with fundraising but there other funding options, such as grants, loans and organized fundraisers that can be done. I've been told that some domestic adoptions can be done almost for free. But whatever the cost, orphans all around the world need us.
THE ADOPTION PROCESS... Just some of the tedious details you might want to know if you are looking into adoption.
This process is completely different for every country and it has even changed for Ukraine since we were there.
The first part of adoption is pretty standard wherever you are adopting...completing a Homestudy. This involves a social worker visiting your home multiple times, conducting numerous interviews with EVERY member of the family, many background checks, fingerprints and endless paperwork.
You choose your Social worker from local agencies. This is a VERY important decision so get referrals and do your research. You will want one that you enjoy talking with and getting together with, because you will be dealing with them A LOT as well as one who is timely and efficient because your adoption may depend on this and you will go crazy if they are not. In our case, we also wanted a Christian organization who understood WHY we chose this path and the heart of the Gospel.
While this takes place we also had to fill out the endless required paperwork for Ukraine’s government.
Reece’s Rainbow had referred us to a facilitator, "Hand of Help in Adoption" who “held our hand” through the whole process. We could not have adopted without Nancy. She is THE BEST!
All of this paperwork had to be notarized, then certified by the county clerk and then Apostilled by the Secretary of State before it was handed over to US immigration for approval. Once US immigration has approved the adoption all of the final paperwork is mailed to the Ukraine facilitator. The Ukraine facilitator has to translate every piece of paperwork to be turned in to the Ukraine department of Adoption.
One has never known the stress of waiting for the mailman to arrive with a necessary document or the amount of frustration you can have at FedEx (who I will never use again) until you have gone through the adoption process. In my mind the act of someone delaying paperwork in any way was the equivalent of knowingly leaving a baby lying in a crib, unloved, malnourished, and not caring. I know that they didn’t know this or understand the urgency, but that was how important it was to us.
Once Ukraine's government has approved the paperwork they will send the "DAP Appointment date." This could be 4 days notice, as in our case, or 4 weeks notice. At that appointment they show the child's file, look at our paperwork and conduct a short interview. They then issue a referral to go visit the orphanage and meet your child.
More on that meeting tomorrow, but the next step after meeting Nic...we sat with the director of the orphanage and were told any details about his history that they knew, which was very little and were asked if we accepted the referral (meaning we were definitely go to adopt him) or rejected it. We knew our answer before we ever landed in Ukraine. We just wanted to get him home!!
At that point we had to wait to see when the court date would be issued. We waited in Ukraine for over a week, visiting Nic twice a day. When we still were having trouble getting our date we decided to fly home and wait which was hard to leave Nic but ended up being wise because the date we received ended up being almost a month away. The waiting was so hard. We then flew back in time for court and to visit Nic and immediately flew home again. There is then a required 10 day waiting period (I believe that has increased to 30 days now). We flew back to Ukraine to be there immediately at the end of the 10 days and begin the "paper chase," in other words getting Nic's passport, filing paperwork at the US embassy etc. Ten days later we were flying home with our baby boy!!!
That's the process, more on the story of it in my next post.