Garrett and I were overwhelmed by your excitement and encouragement for our adoption plans. Thank you!
For years we have researched, talked, and prayed about growing our family through adoption, but we have largely kept the journey to ourselves. This is such a fun and exciting time for us to have this big news out in the open!
Not to mention, a major relief to not have to hear from our moms/grandmothers (we told them about this big news back in March) about how much longer they have to keep it a secret…. 😉
Truly, we appreciated every sweet note, every email of encouragement, every offer to pray or help, and every single Facebook like.
So many of you had similar questions for us, and I wanted to take some time to try to answer them here. I wish I could answer them all with more detail, but international adoption – like parenthood – is a journey that is full of unknowns. Trust me no one would like to know the answer to questions about when and how soon and what next and can-it-happen-right-now more than me!
Let’s get to it…
Boy or girl?
We don’t know and we are open to either! My mom is convinced we are adopting a boy AND a girl, so there’s that.
Our child will most likely be 2-3 and definitely less than five years old.
What agency are you using?
Our placing agency is All God’s Children International (AGCI). Our homestudy agency is Carolina Adoption Services (CAS).
What’s the timeline/process?
To everyone who asked this, first, thanks for asking! Second I’m so sorry that I probably responded in a way that made no sense. The truth is, of course, we don’t know.
Our prayer right now is that we would be matched by Christmas and able to travel possibly this time next year or sooner. I really have no idea if it will go more quickly or take longer, and we are preparing ourselves for any and all scenarios. We would appreciate your prayers for a quick and smooth process!
Right now our focus is on completing our homestudy. The homestudy is an official document that CAS will prepare as part of our dossier (the official application/document submitted to the Filipino government). Our homestudy includes things like birth certificates, marriage license, personal statements and autobiographies, medical exams, financial information, etc. It is a lot, a lot, a lot of forms.
During this homestudy process, we are also taking online classes and will be meeting with a social worker multiple times. Our social worker will be the one to write our official homestudy based on her conversations with our family and the information that we have submitted to her. This is a really important first step for any adoption, domestic or international.
Once our homestudy is completed, our placing agency (AGCI) will begin showing us bulletins of potential children in the Philippines who could be a possible match for our family. From this point our timeline really depends on how quickly we are matched and approved by ICAB (the Filipino government). Once we are further into this process, I will share more about how this works.
When we are matched with a child and the Filipino government has issued our travel dates, we will only be required to travel to the Philippines one time for about 5-7 days. In many international adoptions, families are required to make multiple, lengthy trips. We are thankful that is not the case with this program. When we travel to the Philippines, it will be to meet our child and bring him/her home!
Will he/she have a name?
Yes, and we will most likely change it to give him/her a name that Garrett and I have picked.
Will your child be bilingual?
Well, I certainly won’t be the one teaching him/her Tagalog seeing as how I have not one time said that word out loud correctly. (Hint: it does not rhyme with a certain girl scout cookie). In case you’d like to one up me by pronouncing the native language of my future child correctly, you can listen to this on repeat.
In all seriousness, I do not expect our child to speak much Tagalog at the time of adoption or to retain much once he/she is home. Our research on the subject suggests that most children adopted at a young age don’t retain their native language.
On a not-completely-unrelated note: if you know someone who is Filipino and/or speaks the language, we’d love to meet them/email them/ask them lots of questions.
How can we help/pray?
This is my favorite question! We would love your prayers right now. Here a few things you can pray for specifically:
– We believe strongly that our little boy/girl is already born and just waiting for us to find them. Will you please pray that they are well-cared for and there is someone in their life whispering to them every moment of every day that Jesus loves them and their mommy and daddy are doing everything they can to find them and bring them home?
– Please pray that everything that can go quickly will move quickly and that God will answer our prayer to travel by this time next year? We believe in a God who can and does move mountains
– We are also praying daily for patience, trust in His perfect timing, and a peace that passes all understanding. Join us?
Are you tired of filling out forms?
Actually, nobody asked this, but I just wanted to tell you that yes, yes we are tired of filling out forms. I know I should probably follow that statement with something sweet about how I’d fill out a thousand more and it would all be worth it to have our little boy/girl in our arms. That is completely true – and the way things are going there probably are a thousand more forms. But, worth it as it may be, I would still ask why they could possibly need our social security numbers and mailing address on so many forms and wonder why they couldn’t just look at the ten other forms in this same packet that have the same exact information you just asked for only in a slightly different way? Also, why do you need to know what my brother’s occupation is or what my most recent dream was (I did not make that up)?
Adoption = paperwork. It’s totally worth it.