Article on Trans-Racial Adoption

http://merecomments.typepad.com/merecomments/2008/05/transracial-ado.html

Good article on trans-racial adoption

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Homestudy Begins

First meeting with our home study gal yesterday. We LOVED her. LOVED HER!!!

She first got into the adoption world because she's pro-life. She's a Christian. And she totally understood our motivation and reasoning for the Asian process.

She also seems to be a fairly analytical processor, like I am, which is going to be super-helpful. She didn't look at me like I was crazy when I started talking through all of the wrestling I've done with different decisions in this process so far. In fact, she seemed to support some of the more specific reasoning we've done.

Also, she seems to have the heart of a teacher. I love this. I think she's going to be a great resource through this whole process.

Downsides? Yes. This is going to take a while. At least 1-3 years from China.

That time frame will give us more time to prepare, though. More time to apply for grants. More time to get things ready at the house. So, we're just going to keep walking toward it.

Reading some fascinating books on the history of China, meanwhile. My heart for the country is growing, as well as for our new child. Such a long and complex journey that nation has taken!

ALSO, God has provided a temporary job that I'm PUMPED about. It's the sort of job I would do for free I like it so much. Flexible. Creative. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. Since it's just a temp for now, I'm not going to get specific. It might be a one-time shot. But I can't deny being excited about the possibility.

Yesterday was a hard day. Found out my dad will probably need heart surgery. He's the best dad EVER. And he's still young and strong. So, this is really unexpected. I'd appreciate your prayers.

Love you all!
Bec

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Storms At the Beach

We won't move through this adoption process perfectly. But I hope we will at least be able to move through it honestly.

For a decade, we have considered adoption. Over and again, different rising fears have pushed me away. This time, I'm committed to staring those fears in the eyes, calling them what they are, and seeing what falls away and what remains.

For years, I was frightened of disease. The thought of bringing new bodies into our home/community that might have been exposed to hepatitis, HIV, etc., was a strong fear that lurked in the back of my mind. If Bobby and I had not had kids, or if we could live a life of exclusion, that might not be quite as much of an issue. However, we live (and plan to continue to live) in the context of a community with other children. I knew that I could not risk putting all those others in danger.

Several months ago, however, I finally named that fear and faced it. I did some research, and I was shocked to learn about all the testing and regulating that happens during a Chinese adoption. I felt pretty foolish for letting my fearful ignorance control me so long -- for not having the courage to look into the facts sooner.

Last night, another obstacle surfaced. Vacation is ending, so we sat down on the little condo porch to talk about the upcoming year. Tuition is going up significantly at the kids' school. Clara needs braces. I'm having trouble finding a part time job that will let me do occasional field trips and pick up kids after school. I could feel that old wave of fear starting to choke me. I got frustrated. There was a rising temptation to retreat... to not look the monster in the eyes.

As we were talking, a huge storm rolled across the sky. It was one of those storms where the lightning is shooting back and forth in the clouds every two or three seconds. It was like fireworks, only brighter. Remarkable flashes of color and light. JD saw it smack the building next to us.

My skin was crawling with electricity, and I felt a strange sensation. It was anger. I was angry at the fear. Angry at what fear keeps me from trying.

How many kids around the world need help because fear sends people like me back into our rooms of safety? We go to rooms where we can manage smaller storms and block out the dangers other nameless faces must weather alone?

God, protect us from the temptation of convenience. Help us stare it down this time, and make it run from the room with its ugly tail tucked between its legs.

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Woo Hoo!

We just found out that our agency approved us for the adoption! Yaaaaay! Day to celebrate! Now, on to more paperwork...

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Moving along...

Some good friends of ours have a condo at the beach that they let us use every year. It’s an incredible gift. No matter how far ahead we schedule the trip, when the time to go arrives, we always seem to be in serious need for a break.

Tomorrow is that day this year. And we are definitely ready for a little R&R.

Last week, both vehicles and several major appliances decided to throw a temper fit. Bobby got called for jury duty. And we’re coming off a semester that has been sweet, but hectic. (I was a little overwhelmed and grumpy yesterday, in fact.) Soooo, the thought of sitting somewhere quiet, sleeping as much as we can, and taking some long beach walks sounds about perfect. My only sadness is that our child across the sea can’t go with us. Maybe next year?

As for the adoption, some of you know we sent in our agency application this week. This is now a, “hurry up and wait" situation on our end. Since this application is what determines our “start date” on the long wait for a baby, we are eager to hear from them.

We’re also working through the in-depth home study packet that we will give to our social worker. Those questions range from memories of our childhood experiences to discipline techniques that we use with our current kids. Thinking through all of this has actually been interesting. I’ve noticed several triggers from my past that have, over time, opened up my heart to this adoption.

I’ve been thinking about how my family kept foster kids when I was a child. Once we hosted a “failure to thrive” baby. His parents had given him so little attention, that he had lost his will to live. He was physically and cognitively delayed, and acted months and months younger than he was. After a month of living in our home, the child was strong enough to do so much more. His little personality blossomed under the love of a family who cared about him.

It was so sad to return this baby to a family we knew had not treated him well. But through this experience, I caught a vision for how much the human body and mind can recuperate in a safe environment. Maybe this is part of the reason why I am so looking forward to watching our new child grow in and atmosphere of safety and love that he/she won’t ever have to leave.

Finances are coming along. We’re over halfway toward being able to cover the homestudy. That’s great, because once the homestudy is complete, we can start applying for grants. If God would provide another $700-$800 in the next few weeks, we would be so grateful. I'm also looking for a part-time job next semester (starting in August, during school hours) to help fund this endeavor. So thanks for your prayers toward that end.

I was also deeply encouraged by a phone call that I received this afternoon from a new friend. She is one of those people who just “gets it.” I was so moved by her enthusiasm, and I can’t wait for our new child to meet her when he/she arrives!

Also, several friends are now wearing Willow jewelry while praying for our child and other orphans around the world. It’s so encouraging to have their support! Thank you! Thank you!

Well, I should return to packing. Thank you so much for keeping in touch with this journey! I'm not sure I'll be able to update next week, but your prayers are a treasure!

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Update

Today we sent in our completed application packet. I can't foresee any problems, but please just pray that all goes smoothly!

Also, so far God has provided funding for the initial application fee and about half of the $1500 home study fee. This is great news, because once the home study is complete, then we can start applying for grants. (I'm also hoping to find a flexible, part-time job next fall (during school hours) to help cover some of our other expenses.)

Basketball camp started today. While I was waiting, I had the chance to make six or seven more bracelets. That's a good thing, because they take longer to make than I had anticipated.

What else...

I think we may have found our home study agency! That's a big relief! Everyone we asked recommended one lady, and she said she does have time for us. So, that's good. Now we just have to write a really in-depth autobiography, get criminal background checks, etc. Lots of paperwork.

Yesterday I ran into a friend whose parents adopted a little girl from Asia when she was 12. her brother was 14, I think. It was so cool to hear about their experience!

Another friend sent me a link to this organization: https://www.kingdomkidsadoption.org/308208.ihtml

We aren't sure if we will use it or not yet, but it sounds very interesting. Praying for wisdom there...

Thanks to all of you who are keeping up, asking us about progress, and praying. We are so grateful!

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About This Blog

Welcome to our family’s adoption journey. As you read, you will see us stumble and take wrong paths. You will see our hopes surge and fall. You will see the gaps in our humanity, and how our God realigns us to His purposes over and again. We think the messiness of this process is important. Sometimes walking with God isn’t a neat, linear package that can be summarized in bullet points. More often, life ebbs and flows around our plans, while God works His sovereign wonders from it all. We are learning so much through this journey. And we are super excited about our new son. If you’d like to join us, we’d love to have you along for the ride.

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