WILL HER NAME BE MERCY? (& OTHER FAQs) September 19 2014, 0 Comments
Over the last several days, I've gotten A LOT of questions about my adoption process! I thought I'd take the time to publicly answer a few of them here...
WHAT LEAD YOU TO ADOPT (NOW)?
If you haven't read my first blog post, you can click here to read it now. It answers this question in broader terms. But for those who want more detail about how I decided to take the plunge, here you go...
As I began feeling a deep calling in my heart to adopt, I decided to start researching to see if international adoption was even a possibility for me (as a single woman). After discovering that it was indeed a viable option, I began to read "Adopting on Your Own"...a book written by a single adoptive mom. It's purpose is to make readers think hard (and pray even harder) about this life-changing decision. It really forced me to come to terms with the joys and challenges of becoming a mom.
When I finished that book, and the desire was still strong, I boarded a plane to visit my mom and dad. I wanted to talk to them about this decision face-to-face. I have amazing parents and, for me, their approval was the last personal hurdle towards pursuing my dream of adoption. The conversation with my parents was long and deep. We covered everything...insurance coverage, finances, childcare options, personal goals and desires, etc. In the end, they both supported my decision wholeheartedly. I felt affirmed and overjoyed! As soon as I got home I began to contact adoption agencies and...the rest is history.
DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE A SINGLE MOM?
Although, I do believe that it's best for every child to have a mom and a dad, isn't it better for an orphan to at least have a one parent who loves them beyond measure? I know that I can provide a safe, happy, healthy home for a child who would otherwise be raised in institutional care. So, even though I do still pray that a godly man will come into my life one day, I also know that this is the right path for me.
HAVE YOU BEEN MATCHED WITH A CHILD YET?
No, not yet. I just completed my final Home Study meeting. Once the Home Study is officially "approved", I will complete a LOT MORE governmental paperwork (in order to file something called a dossier). Once ALL the paperwork is filed and sent to South Africa, I will wait 6-18 months for a referral (to be matched with my child).
DO YOU KNOW THE GENDER? WHAT AGE WILL HE/SHE BE?
During the final Home Study meeting, I communicated my age and gender preferences to my social worker. Those preferences will be officially approved, or it will be determined that they need to be altered, in the next week or so. International Adoption requires a lot of flexibility! I should know something definitive in the next couple of weeks.
WILL HER NAME BE MERCY?
Maybe. If I have a daughter, I might name her Mercy. I haven't decided yet :) For now, I'm just using MERCY as a placeholder until I know more.
WHAT'S YOUR TIMELINE?
I'm hoping to file all the paperwork (dossier) by the end of this year. Then, it's anyone's guess! Could be June, could be December. Could be the following June. Sigh.
WHAT AGENCY ARE YOU USING?
Bethany Christian Services
WHERE'S ALL THE 'CHASING MERCY' MONEY GOING?
As most of you have probably heard, international adoption is quite expensive. Including travel, agency fees, USA government fees and South African government fees, the cost can reach upwards of $35,000. I better keep roasting coffee, right?! I will also apply for grants and do some additional fund raisers in the coming year. This process is definitely faith-building!
WHAT WILL YOU DO IF YOU DON'T MAKE ENOUGH MONEY?
Other than saving every penny I can, there are also some low APR loans available especially for the purpose of adoption. However, that would be my last resort. I would love to have some money in my savings account (and no loan to pay off) when he/she arrives, if possible.
WHAT WILL YOU DO IF YOU MAKE "TOO MUCH" MONEY?
This would be an awesome problem to have! If I make more than I need, there are a few additional expenses I would put the money toward. One of those expenses is an extremely thorough medical assessment by a very specialized International Adoption Clinic at Children's Hospital in Oakland, CA.
This assessment would include a pre-adoption & post-adoption evaluation of his/her general health, social & physical development, and nutritional needs. The clinic also offers a recommended treatment plan for future care. This whole "package" costs about $2000 and would be an invaluable resource!
WHY SOUTH AFRICA?
There are a lot of reasons. Since traveling to Malawi, Africa nearly two decades ago, I knew I wanted to adopt from that beautiful continent. There is a great need in sub-saharan Africa, so that factored in to my decision. But mostly, I fell in love with the rich culture! South Africa has such a tragic, yet brilliantly resilient history. Some of the biggest heroes of our earthly existence have come out of South Africa: Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. I hope that my child will feel extremely proud and honored to be South African! I look forward to learning more about their culture, food, music, art...
WILL YOU HAVE TO TRAVEL TO SOUTH AFRICA?
Yes! A month or two after I receive a referral (i.e. I'm matched with my child), I will travel to South Africa in order to complete the necessary legal steps to bring him/her home! I will be there for a few weeks. I cannot wait for that time to come!!
I hope this gives you all a little more insight into my journey and what my next steps are. I feel so blessed to have so many supportive friends and family during this time! As always, if you'd like to purchase coffee from CHASING MERCY, click here. I just launched a Pay-As-You-Go Subscription option for those who would like to subscribe, but without upfront costs. Every order counts!
"And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, LOVE MERCY & walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8