Saturday, July 10, 2010

FAQ's: Adoption Edition

The adoption is truckin' along and we're getting closer and closer to bringing Emerson home, and I thought I would take a few minutes to answer some FAQs that I've been hearing quite a bit. I LOVE talking about our adoption process, and it never bothers me to share our journey with others and answer the same questions over and over :)

Q: So when is she going to be here?

A: We are expecting to bring Emerson home sometime in late September or October. Lots of little steps have to be taken before she is legally ours, and legally an American citizen. If everything goes smoothly, we should have our travel approval around the end of August, and will plan to travel 3-6 weeks after that. Our travel dates are ultimately determined by appointments with Chinese officials, and we may not know our exact travel dates until 2-3 weeks before we actually go.

Q: Oh, so you have to travel to China?

A: Yes, Brandon and I will take an approximately 2 week trip to China to get Emerson. She will join us about 3 or 4 days into the trip, and will travel with us home.

Q: Two weeks?? Um, don't you have other kids? Kids with school and preschool and diapers? What are you doing with Dane, Aidan, and Harper during that time?

A: Um, we haven't figured out all the details yet. The short answer is some friends from church who love us very much will probably be tag-teaming kid duty while we're gone. We've told Dane and Aidan that they will probably get to have lots of slumber parties with their buddies. Dane will be in school, so them going to stay with family out of town is not really an option, and both sets of grandparents have to work. Have I mentioned how much I love my church family? I'm not going to worry too much about the childcare details until we get our travel dates nailed down.

Q: How on earth are you paying for an international adoption? I thought those were super expensive. Did you have to sell a kidney?

A: Well, just one kidney. ;) I'll have specific stories of how God has provided for our family to tell later. Lots and lots of extra work shifts, a couple of generous and unexpected gifts, and a hefty tax return are just some of the ways we have paid for the adoption fees so far. We applied for several grants through non-profit organizations who assist people with adoption expenses, but were declined. We have about $10,000 still to pay for our international flights and in-China travel expenses, and I'm very excited to see how God will work all that out for us. If our family can afford adoption, anyone can.

Q: So, Emerson doesn't speak English. How's that going to work out?

A: Needless to say, Brandon and I are expecting some very frustrating weeks at first. As far as we know, Emerson doesn't speak or comprehend any English at all. It may be much like communicating with a baby, except she is a three year old, who is more like a two year old developmentally. We expect her to pick up English quickly, but expect it to take a full year for her to "catch up" all the way. Based on the information we have been given, she has some pretty significant speech and language delays, not unusual given that she has been institutionalized for three years and has a (partially repaired) cleft palate. She will be starting speech therapy as soon as we get her home, and will initially be under the medical care of physicians who specialized in treating internationally adopted children.

Q: So what are you doing now, adoption-wise?

A: Brandon and I will very soon be applying for our Visas to travel to China. Visas are required for anyone entering China.

Q: What do the kids think about all of this?

A: They are pretty excited about getting a new sister. We pray for Emerson with the boys when we say their bedtime prayers, and they love to look at the picture that we have of her. They know that she does not speak English, and they are excited about "helping her learn about stuff." We are working hard to make this whole experience a positive one for all of our children, but expect there to be a rocky period of transition when we get home.

Thanks for praying for us, and supporting us as we continue our journey. Brandon and I are so blessed to have such a strong network of support in our friends and family!


Janna, Brennan, Lyndlee and Gavin said...

i just smiled and smiled reading this! praying for you guys. i love how you said "if we can adopt, anyone can" because that is what we feel too. we didn't have the money to adopt our children but God provided it all in so many ways! praying for you guys and love following along your journey!

The Driskells said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing. I would be one of those people asking these same questions b/c I know nothing about this process! : )