Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Adoption FAQ's

What made you decide to adopt?

Back in May we decided that it was time to expand our family. We talked briefly about our options, and quickly decided that we wanted to adopt instead of trying for another biological child. We've talked for years about giving a forever home to an older child. I wasn't anticipating it being while our current children were so young, but God obviously had another plan!

Why a teenage girl?

If we wanted a baby we probably would have tried for a biological child, and we didn't want to adopt kids too close in age to Leeann or Titus. So, we decided that we wanted a girl (since Leeann & Titus are so young we thought it would be the best fit for our family), and that we wanted her to be at least 8 years old so Leeann wouldn't have to deal with the same sort of competition issues that come with siblings so close in age. So, our official age span that we are looking for is 8-16. Most 17 year-olds in the system opt not to be adopted, because by the time it's finalized they'll already be 18.

Why this particular girl?

This particular girl caught our attention because of what she was looking for in a family. She wanted a young, active Christian family that had at least one other adopted child in it. We couldn't help but wonder if God has been preparing our hearts for this specific girl! A lot of kids profiles state that they should be the youngest in a home, or an only child, or that they should have older parents etc. This is the one girl in our age range that our family seems to be the perfect fit for. And as we've learned more about her over the months we just keep feeling like perhaps God has prepared us and our family for this specific girl. Hopefully, we'll see soon enough!

What's her name?

We aren't telling her name because she might want to change it. It would be easier for her to change her name when she moves down here if not very many people know it. So for now, we've been mostly referring to her as "big sister".

Will she change her last name?

We hope that she will, but that's completely up to her. We respect her heritage and her story, and totally understand if, at 15 years-old, she's not wanting to give up her last name.

What's her story?

Because she's 15 years-old, we would like to respect her privacy and let her tell the details of her life story to whoever she would like to, when she's ready.

What if she doesn't like you?

It's kind of a funny question, but it's legitimate! A child over the age of 12 has to consent to her own adoption, so if she doesn't like us she doesn't have to become part of our family. It's her choice. But, she is choosing to be adopted which shows that she really does want a forever family, so we're optimistic that she'll like us!

If you adopt her, when will see come home for good?

There are a lot of x-factors, so it's hard to pin-point an exact time line. Roughly it goes like this: We'll meet her. When she's comfortable, she'll come visit us, we'll take her back and visit some more and then when the red-tape of interstate adoptions settles, we'll get to bring her home for good. Okay, that's a really rough time line, but the concept is the same.

What do the kids think?

Oh, Leeann and Titus are quite excited! Of course, they don't fully understand what any of it means yet, but they talk about "big sister" often. I personally think that our kids are at the age where bringing a teenager into our home and family won't even register to them as strange.

Hey, you'll get free babysitting right?

Okay, I have to address this one because I'm surprised at how much this comes up! No, we won't get free babysitting, and that certainly is not why we're adopting a teenage girl. We won't ask her to babysit our kids (in fact, I think it may even be illegal until the adoption is final), and even if at some point after the adoption is final we feel like that's something that we want to do, we will pay her for it just as we would any other teenager watching our kids. There ya go, just thought I'd clear that one up for you :0)

When will the adoption be final?

It usually takes 6-12 months.

Will you be crushed if you don't get her?

Obviously we'll be sad. We've spent months learning about her and praying for her, but we truly believe that God has a plan for her and for our family. I can think of many reasons why he might have brought us this far even if she doesn't get to become part of our family. Maybe she needs to know that more than one family was interested in her? Maybe having 2 families to choose from will help the state workers see something that will benefit her that they wouldn't have seen before if it were an open and shut 1 family case? Maybe God's been preparing our hearts but the girl he has in mind for us isn't available yet, and he's using this young lady to help us learn what we need to learn while we wait? Maybe we'll end up connecting with another child because of this case that we wouldn't have been connected to before. Her caseworker has said that she has several co-workers that have seen our book that would like us to submit a home-study for their girl if we don't get this one. Crazy huh? Who knows what God is doing?!?! We trust him and his plan, so while we can't deny that it will hurt, we recognize that God is at work here and he doesn't make mistakes!

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