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.
That’s A LOT to think about. I hope that you will continue to seek the Lord’s will in this process and to be comfortable and at peace every step of the way.
It sure is a lot, that’s why we’re trying to slow down so that we don’t miss pertinent stuff. Seeking the Lord’s will is in the forefront of our minds and hearts, I pray we don’t lose that.
We are praying for wisdom, discernment, and direct guidance for y’all.
Thank you Allen.
Praying for you guys man. And will commit to continuing to do so.
I don’t doubt it, thanks Michael.
Excited for you that steps are being taken. And, prayer for confidence that those steps are in the right directions. Thanks for sharing and keeping us posted, Ben.
Absolutely Dustin, Thank you. We’ve much to learn still.
My prayers are yours, of course. Something I wanted to ask, however…
You are looking at other nations for possible children to bring into your family. Have you sought out kids right in your hometown or home State?
Just a question, my brother, not an accusation.
No Donald, I totally appreciate you asking. We have looked within our hometown and state, and it might be something we need to reconsider through this process. The thing is, we’ve had several couples tell us of their stories of trying to adopt within Georgia, with little to no success (for whatever reason). Each time these people told us their story, it weighed heavily on our hearts to consider international adoption first. As a couple, Kim and I have learned that if we don’t pay attention to these feelings, or this tension, the road becomes much more difficult.
Like I said though, it may be something we need to consider, we’re in the very beginning stages so we’re still learning.
That sounds typical of how we would handle adoption in America. Nothing against other nations/countries, no, but when the time comes my bride and I will be adopting from here, Connecticut, and I hope it isn’t a bunch of red tape.
CT is my sphere of influence, so CT makes sense to us.
FOR THE RECORD, so there is no confusion:
When Ben explained the problems with adopting in GA from GA, it struck me that of course it would be, since this is America and everything needs to be made more complicated than it should be.
Like everything else that falls under the umbrella of bureaucracy, even our desire to adopt gets stifled.
That’s what I was trying to say. My apologies to Ben for not being clearer!
I read it after a few times, sent you the DM, then read it again and did a facepalm. I understood what you were trying to say, it just took me a minute. lol
Will continue to pray for God’s guidance for you and your family throughout this process.
Thanks Adam, we appreciate you.
Who knew this process was so crazy. Wow!
I’m still praying brother and won’t stop until you have your adoption party and have the new little boy or girl meet “uncle Moe”.
It’s probably more crazy because we don’t entirely know what we’re doing yet.
As far as meeting “Uncle Moe,” it’d have to be done over skype, ’cause… well it makes sense.
just a pebble in the road……still will keep praying. The research will be worth it.
How about Costa Rica?…just saying! I mean we tan nicely, we love RICE, coffee is delicious, we are not too ugly or shabby, peaceful and beautiful country, He/She won’t lose his Costarrican Citizenship or Right! LOL
We will continue to pray for you guys! God is in control, He will lead you step by step!
Honestly haven’t found any of the organizations we’ve looked at who work with Costa Rica :-/
Our family will certainly be praying for you as ya’ll go through this time of exploration. It’s hard to beleive that with so many kids out there that need loving parents the process can take so long and have so many barriers.
Thanks JD. I’m glad it takes this long though, even though it’s frustrating. We haven’t even started the real process yet, but it gives you time to really think, and it also filters out the people who go through it with bad intentions. Too bad it’s not 100% proof though.
Welcome to the emotional roller coaster of adoption! It will change you. And deepen you. And challenge you.
Here’s a big big picture thought you might carry with you throughout this process: your children are already chosen by God for you. All we do is find our way to these beautiful beings, and it all happens in God’s time.
So enjoy this adventure, as you set out to discover this little one God has put on the earth under your care. No matter what you do, no matter how frustrating it gets or how long it takes, you will be matched with YOUR child.
Look forward to meeting you!
You know, Kim insisted we start saying “our child” or “our son” when talking about adopting, it’s going to take some time but I think we’ll start doing that now. It’s so true.
Can’t wait to pick your brain over coffee Keith 🙂
That is a lot to process both intellectually and emotionally (plus a lot of other ways probably). Will be praying for you all.
Thanks Matt, it’s appreciated. As we learn more, processing becomes a little easier.
Praying for you Ben! Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope!
Definitely not giving up or losing hope, just learning. Thanks Sean 🙂