After rescheduling because of the event being overbooked, we made it to our first meeting with Bethany. We were running about 20 minutes late due to the lack of attention on this one particular, but life changing event we have decided to pursue.
Yes. It was all my fault we were late.
What the heck is wrong with me? I’ll chalk it up to be completely blown away from the events that took place this past weekend. Yeah, that’s it.
So we finally made it to Liberty Hill Church, which happened to be almost an hour away from our home. This really was just an orientation that went over all of the aspects of Bethany Christian Services which we could read online, but it was nice to see their demeanor when asking about specific countries. A couple of weeks ago when we originally planned on going to the orientation we believed we should try to adopt a child with the same ethnicity as I (Filipino), thinking that he might resemble one of our children. What’s funny is, if you remember this story about how a guy who came up to me at the gas pump at Kroger and started speaking Spanish, I think that may have been one of the 2,454 clues that maybe we should think about a south american country as well. Plus, if you actually look at me, you would probably want to start off by saying “Hola, como estas?” while I look at you funny even though I could probably hold a broken conversation, and respond with “Lo siento, no hablo espanol.”
I think the most we got out of the meeting, was this strong sense to not limit our choices to China and the Philippines. This served as more of a confirmation of some of the tension we had both been feeling the couple of weeks prior to the meeting. Along with that, Kim took away that if you are somebody who needs to be in control of everything, this will be a tougher road ahead. Her big vice.
My point is, as stereotypical as this may seem, both Kim and I do look Hispanic, and with one of the ideas of deciding to try and choose a child that closely resembles us combined with the tension on our hearts, it just seemed that expanding the possibility of adopting a boy from a South American country made sense. So we put in our preliminary application for Colombia with Bethany, and received it back with a big “You can only adopt a child 5 years or older.” This would mean the boy would be out of birth order. So what did we do?
We put in a (free) preliminary application with Every single country we could within Bethany, so we could get as much information as possible.
We were approved for all but 2 of the countries due to them not accepting applications or being full. Here’s the response we got:
- China: 4.5 year wait, unless we consider adopting a child with special needs
- Hong Kong: Must be open to moderate to severe special needs
- South Korea: Must be open to waiting children only.
- Taiwan: Same as Hong Kong and South Korea
- South Africa: Newer program, we should be aware that S.A. has the highest FAS in the world.
- Ethiopia: Lots of stuff going on here, really too much to type. Possible contagious diseases, parasites, and/or HIV positive.
- Haiti: Closed, not accepting applications
- Bulgaria: Most children 4 years and older, 2+ years before referral. Newer program, lots of unknowns.
- Lithuania: Closed, full through 2011.
- Russia: Children 0-2 years, either gender. Potential FAS as well.
- Colombia: 3+ children only allowed to adopt child 5+ years.
- Philippines: 2+ year wait before referral, can’t specify gender, need to be open to mild special needs.
After getting this back, all I could think is wow, we have so much to learn! I think we’ve explored everything within Bethany for now, so it’s time to take a step back.
…Take a few steps back.
We need to explore other organizations and learn as much as we can because I’m thinking we’re going about this out of order and possibly skipping crucial steps. There is so much information out there, almost too much. It can be a little overwhelming, so we have to take it step by step. I definitely don’t want to miss anything.
Again, Kim and I are asking for prayer. Specifically for clarity and wisdom to find the right organization, to follow the appropriate steps, and to continue focus our hearts on our future family member, to love and accept without judging.
To love unconditionally.