Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pregnancy vs. Paper Pregnancy

Pregnancy vs. Adoption (Paper Pregnancy)
Conception (day 1) - Agency Application (day 1)
Morning sickness (months 1-3)- Home study, I600A, dossier (months 1-3)
Finding out the gender (month 4 or 5) - Accepting a referral (month 4)
Baby growing (month 5-9) - Court, CONA (month 5-8)
Nesting (month 9) - Nesting, Embassy Appointment, Investigation (month 9-?)
Labor (21 hours) - Travel (30+ hours)
Delivery - Gottcha Day!
Released from Hospital (1-2 days later) - Exit Letter (10-14 days later)
Drive home (15 min.) - Fly home (30+ hours)
Total time:
Pregnancy roughly 9 months - DRC Adoption 12-15 months

Right now we are "baby growing" phase.  We are (hopefully) starting court this week.  Court can take a month or two.  After that we will get a judgement that basically says that Congo approves us to adopt these specific children.  Then there is a mandatory 30 day waiting period for anyone to appeal the courts decision.  After 30 days we will receive Certificate of Non-Appeal or "CONA" meaning no one disputes the adoption. Then we will receive the Act of Adoption (AoA) which states that we are the legal parents of our girls!

(If I'm off on something please feel free to correct it in the comments section)

Also- Yes, I was in labor for 21 hours.   

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Adoption Sucks

Adoption sucks.

I understand how that may sound strange coming from an adoptive Mom, but seriously, it really does suck.

What sucks about it?

The fact that there is even a need for it in the first place.
That our soon-to-be daughters lost their first family.
That there isn't a system in place in their birth country for them to be adopted by a family there.
That they will grow up over 6,000 miles from their closest blood relative.
That they live in poverty- real poverty.
That we've missed the first three years of their lives.
That one day our daughters will ask me questions that begin with "How..." and "Why..." and I will only be able to answer with "I don't know."

I used to think adoption sucked for two reasons:

It costs so much.
It takes so long.

Why does it cost so much?

We pay for the orphanage to provide for our children while they are there.
We pay to have a social worker tell the US government that we are fit parents.
We pay to prove to the US government that we can afford to become a family of five.
We pay for people to gather, translate, and file paperwork for us.
We pay for lawyers to fight our case in court.
We pay for doctors to make sure our kids are healthy.
We pay for people to investigate and validate that what we are being told is the truth.
We pay to travel across the ocean to be united with them.

Why does it take so long?

It takes so long because there is a lot of paperwork to gather.
It takes so long because there is a lot of money to raise.
It takes so long because there are language and cultural barriers.
It takes so long because there are many government agencies involved.
It takes so long because it needs to be done ethically.
It takes so long so our kids can mentally and emotionally prepare to be plucked from everything familiar. 
It takes so long for love, trust, and comfort to grow.

The fact is that adoption is messy.  There is nothing simple about it. An adoption journey begins with a great tragedy. Parents die, can't provide, have addictions, are abusive, made bad choices; and that tragedy propels the children in a different direction than intended.  Children are supposed to stay with their birth families, to think anything less is naive.  

If Adam and I were to pass away and Reagan were adopted by another family would it be okay for her new parents to say "It's like God planned Reagan for our family all along!"   


The fact that ANY child needs a new family breaks Gods heart. That is not what he intended. 

We can rest in the fact that we know that adoption is close to God's heart.  After all, God WILLINGLY gave up his own son to be adopted by an earthly father over 2,000 years ago so that we may be adopted into Gods family!  How crazy is that?! What an awesome God that he would love us so much that he would pay anything and wait as long as it takes to adopt us as his own.  

I can say with certainty that God makes all things work for our good; and more importantly-for HIS GLORY.  

Anything I can do to emulate God- is good. 
Anything I can do that gets me out of my comfort zone- is good. 
Completing something that there is no way I can complete on my own with out God's intervention- is good. Learning to fully rely on God to meet our need- is good. 
Letting go of control- is good.

I'm not going to lie.  Adoption is hard. The cost is high and the wait is long.

But, do you know what's harder?

Living years without a mother or father is hard.
Sleeping on a concrete floor is hard.
Eating one meal a day is hard.
Living in a two room building with 30 other people is hard.
Watching friends die from a bug bite is hard.
Being an orphan is hard. 

That's what really sucks.  

Friday, May 24, 2013

Let me explain.

So, it's been a little while since I've posted here. Okay, it's been almost 6 months. What have we been up to you ask? Let me tell you...

We have completed our home study, filed our I600a, and sent our dossier to Congo.  What does that all mean?  Basically, we've been doing paperwork. Lots and lots of paperwork.

Oh yeah, one other thing...WE ACCEPTED A REFERRAL OF 3 YEAR OLD TWINS!  They are sisters and are about 4 1/2 months older than Reagan.  They are healthy and adorable and we can't wait for them to come home.  "We" (our Congo lawyer) will be in court starting next week to legally adopt them! Court can take a few months, and after that we have to wait 30 days for anyone to appeal the decision, but then they will legally be our daughters.

So after that happens we'll just hop on a plane and go pick them up :)  If only it were that easy.

After they are legally our daughters we have to wait on paperwork, and file some more paperwork, then wait on government people to do government things, then wait some more, but eventually in the "near" future we will be able to go get them (then wait in Congo for more paperwork) and then come home where we will have to readopt them.

Got it? Does that all make sense?

I didn't think so.