Actually, Q and A time is probably well over due! I have been meaning to do a Q and A session for about 2 months now, but never got around to it. We get ALOT of questions about various aspects of our adoption(and that is GREAT), so I figure that there are probably those of you out there who have questions that you have never asked. Now that our adoption has changed drastically by adding two kiddos with a very different diagnosis than Daniel, I am sure that questions have all but doubled!
I know that I won't hit on everything in one post, but this can get us started for now.
1. Why Eastern Europe? There are orphans all over the world, including here in America, so why Eastern Europe?
The answer to this question could be a 3 part blog post in itself, so I will just give you the super shortened answer.
That is true that there are orphans all over the world, around 147 million of them actually. That total includes THOUSANDS of waiting children whom are eligible to be adopt right now in the United State. The short answer to "why Eastern Europe" is God. Plain and simple, that is just where God called us. I in no way view orphans in the United States, or other various countries, as less worthy of love and a family than the orphans in Eastern Europe. EE is just were God called us to go. He drew our hearts there through bringing to our knowledge the fate of orphans with mental and physical handicaps or special needs in EE. When Josh and I first learned about children with special needs being sent to mental institutions, being viewed as garbage by the society in which they live, or being treated inhumanly due to poverty or neglect and abuse, it was almost as if we heard the audible voice of God say, " YOU go to them." Something inside both Josh and I changed. It was more than just feeling bad for them, we were broken. The heartbreak was unpleasant, espeically when you feel helpless to do anything in your own power. But amist the heartbreak was hope. Hope that God was going to use us to make a difference in a child's life.
2. Eastern Europe isn't a country, so why do you use Eastern Europe instead of using the actual country name you are adopting from?
Privacy reasons. The country we are adopting from prefers to remain annonymous, so we respect their wishes.
3. Since your original adoption cost was in the $25,000 ballpark, does that mean that the cost will be tripled now that you are adopting three?
Praise Jesus that the answer to this on is a resounding NO! The majority of our adoption expenses are related to travel. Adding Parker and Josslyn added about $8,600 to the cost of our adoption. There is a $2000 per extra child facilitator fee, a USCIS(our government)fee of $670 per extra child, about $1050 extra per child for their visa, medical examination in country, and passport, and then around $600 a piece for their plan ticket home. As of right now, we are a little over $11,000 away from our adoption being completely funded.
4. Did you have to re-do or add alot of paperwork when you added Parker and Josslyn to your adoption?
Once again, I am thrilled to say "NO". We had to add 2 Child Specific Petitions that named all 3 of the children, and we had to update our Adoption Petition so that all 3 of the kiddos were named on that too. Those 3 documents just had to be notarized. Since we are already a pro at that it was simple as pie. The new documents have been completed and approved, now they just need to be apostilled.
5. What do your bio kids think about you adopting?
Oh my goodness, they are thrilled to pieces! Luke has been begging us to adopt for a while now. He put his request in for a brother his age. A black brother named John to be exact. Once we committed to adopt Daniel, I was afraid that Luke would be disappointed that Daniel was younger than he requested and that he had Down syndrome. Luke is very familar with DS because of my Uncle Mike. He adores Mike, but I was worried that a tiny little handicap brother wasn't going to be what he had in mind. God had prepared Luke's heart ahead of time though. When we told him about Daniel he was thrilled. He is so proud that he is going to be the big brother of a tiny little DS boy. I should have just trusted that God was going ahead of us and preparing the way. Now that we have added Parker and Josslyn, Luke is just over the moon! We knew that Ray would be happy about getting a little sister, but she has surprised us at how excited she is about all 3 of her new siblings.
6. What is the medical part of your life going to look like with 2 kids with HIV?
All 3 kids will see a specialist in Houston after we get them back home. She specialized in international orphans. She knows all the tests to run to check them over from tip to tail. Once she has given them the once over, Parker and Josslyn will see a pediatric HIV specialist at Texas Children's Hospital. They will take meds twice a day that helps keep their immune system strong, and they will have blood work done every 3 months to check their levels. Pretty simple. Once we get Daniel and he is seen by a specialist, we will see if he needs any kind of physical therapy, glasses, etc.
7. Are you going to continue to homeschool? And are you going to homeschool them all?
Yes and Yes.
8. What is your biggest fear about adopting 3 children at once?
The plane ride home!! I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty terrified of it. Me, by myself, with 4 kids(3 of which do not speak of understand English), on a plane for over 20 hours. YIKES! If we can survive that, I can deal with anything back here at home!
9. Are you and Josh ok with the fact that you will never be empty nesters?
Absolutely. We know that Daniel will be with us until the day he or we die, and we are completely fine with that. I have the awesome example of my grandparents with my Uncle Mike to put any concerns to rest. It doesn't bother us one bit. I know that special needs adoption of this kind isn't for everyone. The fact that we are completely fine adopting a child who will live with us the rest of his life doesn't make us special. This is just what God has called us to do and he has given us a peace about it.
10. Are you done having kids?
Haha! We get this one alot! I don't really have a good answer for you though. Sorry! That is up to God, not us. The passion God has placed in our hearts for the fatherless is pretty consuming. That in mind, I would have a hard time saying that we will never ever adopt again. Adopting 3 kiddos at once will put us out of the game for a while, but unless God calls us in to full time orphan ministry of some sort, I would imagine that we will adopt again one day down the road. All that being said, that is just my best guess. I have no idea what God has planned for our family. Where we are at right now is somewhere that I never would have guessed we would be ever. Adopting 3 kiddos at once! Even 6 months ago I never would have guessed that this is where we would be right now. So GOD is seriously the only person who knows what the future holds for our family.
I know I haven't answered all your questions, but at least that is a start. Please feel free to email any questions you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to email you back or address it here on my blog in another Q and A time.
Have a wonderful evening!