Last week Kim and I shared with you how we would love to begin the adoption process, over here we wanted to give you as much detail as we progress (or regress). I have to tell you, these last few weeks have been most exhilarating since we’ve finally decided that we should move forward.
We have learned a lot so far, but I feel we’re just barely at the tip of the iceberg. To be honest, I feel the weekend couldn’t come soon enough. It will be a good time to relax, and reflect upon everything we’ve learned. It will also be a good time for us to repeat to each other, what we were told by some good friends. I believe just hearing us say it out loud will definitely paint a clearer picture of just how much we’ve understood.
We have had so many questions, and will have a ton more as we move forward in this journey, here are just a few that I wanted to share:
Why should we adopt?
I bet you are probably expecting me to recite a Bible verse or two, or even say something about how as Christians we have all been adopted by God into His family, and we have a duty to care for orphans in distress, and how adoption is the best way to do so…
Although I agree with the above, this one is easy, plain and simple. Kim and I want to grow our family, and we want to parent another child with love that they would not normally have a chance to receive. In doing so, we want to have a balance of boys and girls. Jack said he needs a brother, and we agree. I think there’s a good balance there, right?
I will tell you that this decision did not come quickly, as we have never really been on the same page as far as the “when” we should adopt. Through encouragement from our family, some very close friends, a ton of prayer, insight from some awesome people, and most importantly the stir in our hearts that we need to do something bigger than us, we knew we needed to be Bold. Now is the time.
How the heck are we going to fork out $20-$30,000?
To be honest I have no freakin’ clue and we kinda of dig it. Kim and I have had our share of financial struggles in our 11 years of marriage, and only with God did He bring us out. This just gives Him one more opportunity to show how incredibly awesome He is. Oh yeah, a tweet from Carlos Whittaker the other day may have also been one of those “catalysts” that pushed us over the edge:
As of right now we have not researched all of the grants, or financial fundraising options out there. Once we’re a that point, we plan on sharing exactly how much we have put into this adoption financially, as well as the funds origination.
International, or Domestic?
This one came fairly easy for us since we both already wanted to do international, but because we wanted to be 100% sure we explored and researched both sides. In all of the information we researched it just seemed like there were too many red flags for us to pursue locally. Without getting into too much detail, we’ve both learned in our 11 years of marriage that when something causes tension, we need to pay attention. Domestic adoption definitely caused tension.
What nationality do we want to adopt, and why?
I had the privilege and honor of speaking with Kevin Jones, who is the founder of Wiphan. He and his wife have adopted 2 girls from China, and he provided some great advice. In the order of things, he said we should really think about what we want, and then find an agency that would help us move in that direction. Wait, what?! Choose what we want? That just sounds so selfish! He went on to say that the bigger picture is this: There are so many children out there who are in need of families. This is an area where you should really know what you want and be selfish in the beginning, but also know that you may need to be flexible.
It definitely helps, but we have found that although we may want certain preferences (gender/nationality), with some organizations we didn’t even have those options.
So Kim and I haven’t yet decided which country we want to pursue, but we’re thinking either China or the Philippines. Both of these countries have such an awesome program to adopt children with minor disabilities such as already repaired or repairable cleft pallets, club feat, or minor heart conditions who were rejected by their parents. Also since I have Filipino/Chinese heritage, and since it’s going to be a challenge enough as it is, we believe this common bond could only help.
What organization are we going to choose?
As it stands right now, the organizations we have found that can help us adopt in both countries is Bethany and Holt International. Although there are a few restrictions, Bethany is the only company so far that actually has a relationship with the Philippine government, and who is accepting new applications. Holt works with China and the Philippines, but has an indefinite hold on new Philippine applications.
We have not submitted a formal application as of yet, so if you know of of any other organizations, please share in the comments below.
Can we love a child who is not from our blood?
This child is out there right now, and he is just waiting. He does not know that we have already called him our own, nor does he know that we are praying for our new family member. When he joins the family there will be no question that we will call him our son, and our children will call him brother.
Will Kiersten, Madison and Jackson love him as a brother?
In talking with Kiersten and Madison, (Jackson’s a bit young), they seem to be very excited about this new addition to the family. I know it is definitely going to be an adjustment but we will be preparing our house, and our hearts so that we can make this transition for our new family member as smooth as possible. Right now, we really don’t know how they’re going to be, but we’re not worried.
Will he like the 49ers and Lakers?
ok, maybe both of us don’t wonder that…
Specificity. We ask for specific prayers:
There are so many other questions that we will be asking throughout this entire process, so what is the least we ask of you?
- That Kim and I seek and listen to wise counsel.
- That our to-be son is taken care of well before joining our family.
- That we continue to encourage one another every day, and most importantly that we learn.
I can’t say how much I already appreciate the community that has developed around this blog, and no matter where we are in 3 years, I hope we learn enough to be able to guide others down the road to adoption.
How much greater a testimony to God to trust Him to provide the means? In this way, only He can get the glory for making it happen. I will be praying for your family as you faithfully pursue this calling.
Thank you so much Craig, it means a lot. The trust thing is hard, for sure, but we know He’ll provide.
This is awesome. Thanks for sharing this experience with us. I look forward to seeing pictures and hearing the experience of visiting these countries, of going through the process, and of bringing home a son.
Our prayers are with you as you move through this process.
Thanks JD. This process is going to be fairly long (we’re expecting a little over 24 months) so if you stick around that long I promise the updates will be awesome.
I have so much respect and admiration for you Ben. I tip my hat to you and your family. This is awesome, and you can believe that God will bless this decision.
You can count on my support on this. Anything I can do, count me in.
There is no doubt in my mind that there is a child out there who’s heart is prepared for Ben and company’s love.
When it does happen, for the love of all that is holy… don’t introduce Android to this child. Please! 🙂
I agree and will stand with you on this. There IS a child out there who The Spirit is already preparing for this adoption.
Thanks Moe, and in the short time I’ve known you I believe you 100% in the “count me in.” Thank you.
Annnnnd you had to go to the HNL and bring up Android. HA!
I will be praying for you all. My wife and I have been wanting to adopt internationally, but the $$$$ is always a concern. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Adam, that was one of our BIGGEST hurdles to overcome in our heads, and we still don’t know what we’re going to do but we know God’s plan and way is PERFECT. May our process and documentation on this blog provide inspiration to take the next step.
Thanks Ben…It already has. We have Ben sponsoring a little girl from China through Holt for 2 years now. We have been praying for wisdom and that we should begin the process in God’s timing.
“Kim and I want to grow our family, and we want to parent another child with love that they would not normally have a chance to receive.”
Dude. Sounds EXACTLY like what God our Father is all about.
Thanks for the affirmation Donald 🙂
Ben, you’re right. You very much so have a community who will stand behind you 110%. I will be praying for you and your family as you navigate through this new terrain, and also for your future son. He is going to be adopted into an awesome family.
As I’ve shared in some previous comments, I’m super excited. Adoption is close to my and Jen’s heart as well. We’ve visited agencies, met with folks who have already adopted (a precious girl from China, in fact), and know that our time to “move forward” is coming in the near future.
SO EXCITING. Thanks for letting us take part in your journey, Ben.
Thank you so much Dustin, and thank you for the encouragement. I’m sure we’ll both be learning a ton within the next year or 2. Do you guys have an idea of the specifics you may be leaning towards? International/domestic, Boy/Girl, Nationality?
Since #3 will be here in April, our goal is to probably start the process a year and a half (or so) after that. It may change, but when we went to all the meetings awhile back, we were leaning towards: international, Ethiopia, newborn (or as young as we can) and boy.
Also, not sure if you subscribe already or not, but a blog that’s been helpful for me is: http://www.togetherforadoption.org
Bookmarked, thanks man.
Awesome. Dude, the third will flip your world upside down. Guarantee it!
What’s weird is one of the organizations we talked with (not hope or bethany) tried to push us towards Ethiopia, it was kind of a turnoff :-/ which is why they’re not mentioned above.
Good stuff, real good stuff! You guys are awesome.
Thanks Jo! Btw we bought 30 booklets from that guy last night.
God will make this happen Ben. Dont worry bout a thing. It may get ugly and scary but He will be in it.
It’s taken us a bit, but we believe this 100%. Thanks for your encouragement John.
we will be excitedly waiting to hear the details as they unfold – just think, even before this child was born, God was knitting him together and preparing your family for Him. You all have plenty of love to spread around to all the keikis in your home.
It’s going to be so rad.
Ben, this is so huge. Amazing.
Will be praying for you and the family as you begin this journey.
For raising funds have you considered something like Kickstarter.com?
Bookmarked. We have so much research to do regarding fundraising, it’s craziness. Kickstarter is definitely interesting, I’ll have to read more about it. I do know that I definitely want to go down the road of being able to offer a tax deduction if people decide to give, and I think there are a few organizations out there who help set up an account like that.
NOONS! You and Kim are always inspirational the way you trust Him and focus on keeping your marriage and family strong. God’s blessings on you, my friend! There’s a child out there who is about to win the family lottery!!
LOL Em, thanks for visiting (and commenting), it boosts my self confidence.
“There’s a child out there who is about to win the family lottery!!”
I seriously thinks that’s the coolest thing anybody’s ever said. Thank you 🙂
Thanks for such an honest post. I would love to help in any way. I was adopted at the age of 10 weeks because my biological mother was headed to prison. If I can help shed some light about what I went through and what our family went through I would love to help. Let me know. My family and I will definitely be praying for your and your family!
Thanks Sean, did you write your story on your blog? I would love to read it, or hear it.
I haven’t specifically wrote about it but in reading a lot of other blogs lately and it seems to be an important topic right now I thought I would write about it. I think it would be important to share some of the struggles my family and I went through in hopes of helping someone. Also, I have met my biological mother and could help with that aspect as well. I will be putting something together in the next day or so.
Wow that’s awesome. Let us know when it’s up!
Ben, we have 4 of our own biological children. Every time we started talking about adoption, my wife got pregnant. I don’t know how that happened. We always wanted a large family and when we were told on our 4th this would be the last we were content with it. I have always wanted a large family and so I figured 4 was enough. The other thing I wanted and prayer for when my wife was pregnant was she would have twins as this was another desire of mine and they run on both sides of our family.
God had other plans and in fact answered my prayers through circumstances I could have never imagined.
We adopted our niece, Hope, whom we have had since the day she was born. She would have been placed in the Foster Care system if we hadn’t stood up and taken her. She is almost 4 now and it took me a while to connect with her but one day I just prayed to help me, God changed my heart and after that everything else with the adoption fell into place. My son who is 12 had asked if he could have another brother and we prayed and started Foster Care, we got 1 boy that ended up going back to his family and then got Eli who is now 4. His adoption should be finalized any day.
He and our niece are only 6 months apart, but very much like twins.
6 kids is a lot, but I am incredibly thankful for how God designed our family. I am truly blessed and I pray that God will design your family the way he wants it. Look forward to hearing your updates.
Wow. Do you have your story written somewhere on your blog?
I love how you put it. “Thank for how God designed our family.”
I love that. God’s design = perfect.
I don’t have it up on my new one, but I will post it soon.
Awesome, I look forward to reading.
Love this idea and love all the questions you are asking.
I have made the decision that if I am not married by 30 I will adopt on my own. Call me crazy but I feel like at that point I need a kid in my life to give back to.
I will definitely be following your journey on this and praying
Thanks Kyle, that’s a bold goal and I will pray God’s will be shown in your life.
Allen Madding said that we should get together and talk about the adoption process. Another agency to consider is Lifeline out of Birmingham, AL. They handled both of our China adoptions and we have known many that used Bethany and compared to Lifeline they did not compare to the personal service and detail Lifeline provided.
We have adopted 2 special needs boys from China (3 years ago and 3 months ago) so we can share on the process and give you lots of encouragement of how God provides both resources and strength for the journey.
Feel free to e-mail me or call and let’s plan to get together soon.