Saturday, October 16, 2010

Welcome!

Hi everyone! I'm excited to be writing my first post for our new blog. If you're here it's because you know that we have officially committed to adopt a little girl from Eastern Europe, however I can't say from which country until we're home with her. We're calling her Dana for now because that's the name Reece's Rainbow gave her to protect her identity. We do know her real name (but, again, I can't say...sorry!), but we haven't decided if we are going to keep it, use it as her middle name, or call her something entirely different. Besides her name, we also know that she was born June 20, 2007, which makes her almost 3.5 years old. This means that our kids will all be about 2 years apart...born 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009! Unfortunately, we won't get much additonal information on her until we are actually in her country to adopt her. That's just the way it works there. This is truly a HUGE leap of faith. We have just recently started the process but we are hoping to be able to travel in April 2011 and bring her HOME!!

The decision to adopt is something we have been talking about and considering for a loooong time. We've discussed it on and off for several years, but last fall I began seriously researching international adoption. My heart felt lead to this particular country in Eastern Europe and so I focused on learning all that I could about how the process works there. I read blogs, blogs, and more blogs of families who had been there and done that. In addition, I read up on everything from common issues in post-institutionalized children to where to eat while in the country adopting. I thought I had a game plan. Then last spring I came across some information that changed everything. Up to this point, I knew that orphanage life was not easy (to put it mildly). I knew the depressing statistics on what happened to these children after they aged out of their orphanage. I knew these kids needed families to have any chance in life. What I didn't know about (or should I say, what I never thought about) was the orphans with special needs. In the country we are adopting from, special needs orphans are truly forgotten children and once I learned about them I couldn't keep them off my mind. I kept seeing the verse from Proverbs over and over again: Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act (Proverbs 24:12). My eyes had definitely been opened and I now knew. I couldn't claim ignorance anymore so I begin to give serious consideration to what I thought we should do. I knew we could pray for these kids, advocate for them, maybe even sponsor them, but I wasn't sure about adoption. Would we be able to handle a child with a special medical need? I don't know how it is in other countries (I suspect it's similar), but in the country we are adopting from there are many medical conditions that here in the United States are manageable, treatable, or even curable that get a child labeled "special needs" and sentenced to a life with no future. For a lot of these kids, it's a literal death sentence. So the research began again (How did people survive before the Internet?). Ultimately, after much prayer and discussion, we decided that we could parent one of these kids. Our sweet Dana does have a medical condition that will require attention but it is nothing that will prevent her from living a long and happy life. She's a completely normal little girl and we are absolutely thrilled that she will be joining our family.

So, we begin our journey, which so far seems pretty surreal to me. After all the research, discussion, and decision-making, it's finally our turn! All I can say is BRING ON THE PINK!!!!!
 


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