Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 1 in Serbia

Today we met with the ministry, the group from the social center where our child is from and our child's foster mother. We basically went over the basics of what the next few weeks will be like. Our child's foster mother is super sweet, you can tell how much she loves our child. She has a sweet soft voice, and has really helped our child become a fighter.

We got a lot more information on our child, which can't be shared yet, but things are looking good. We get to meet our child tomorrow, we are very excited. Although Eric may have to shave, since we were told today that our child is leery of men with beards. We are going to try the first day with the beard, just because we sent pictures for our child to look at, and Eric had a beard in the pictures. If it doesn't go well, then Eric will be shaving, and then he will look like a bald 16 year old! He looks so young when he shaves.

Anyway, we get to meet our child tomorrow, so we are super excited for that. We'll be staying just outside of Nis for about a week. Maybe longer, we just will see how things go.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The real adventure begins.

We have arrived to the Vienna airport. It's been a long ride so far, but we are so close now, just one more flight to go. We've had very little time to do updates until now, and now we are just too tired to do much. The plane was hot and cramped. The cramped part wasn't too bad, it was the heat that was terrible. It was like camping in July with out the Mosquitos. Right now we are laying on some couch type things, it's quiet here, kinda nice to be someplace peaceful for a moment. Eric is getting a little nap in. I think that since he's finally expressing his emotions, he's a little tired, that and we've been awake for a long time. I guess that's the good thing about working rotating shifts though, you learn how to function on little to no sleep. All I know is on the way home I'm wearing a skirt to get airflow, or we are getting a business class ticket for the long flight. Here's my sleeping beauty. I'm too tired to get a better picture sorry!

Friday, November 22, 2013

The time has come.

Take a deep breath, let it out slowly. We are leaving tomorrow so meet our child for the very first time. (Eric still wants to keep it a secret, so it's killing me that I can't shout to the world if we have a son or a daughter)
First comes the plane ride, the long plane ride to half way around the world. Then the adventure begins. My heart is bursting with joy. Even Eric, who rarely shows emotion, finally admitted he was excited. He even told me to send the pictures we got of our child to him, so he could have them on his phone. 

After 6 long years I can say I'm a mother, and without the weird looks. (I've been a mother for a little while, but that child didn't make it into this world) 

I can't wait. I'm so scatter brained with excitement that I can barely function. 

We have finally made it. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Less than a week!

In less than a week, we will be boarding a plane and traveling 1/2 way around the world to meet a little child. A little child, who we know very little about, in the grand scheme of things. A child, who will not understand when us when we speak, at least until someone teaches us a few Serbian words, and we teach that child a few English words. In a little more than a week 3 lives will change forever. Well, a few more than 3 lives, but ours will be more drastic. 

What are we feeling? Excitement, joy, anxiety, fear, gratitude, humility, a plethora of emotions. There is so much going through our minds, I don't think I could ever convey it properly.

Will we love this child on sight? I hope so, but in reality it will probably take time for us to love each other. We feel like we love our child now, and we do and will when we finally meet him or her, but we need time to bond, that precious time that we lost, by not being biologically connected. Right now, our love is abstract and faraway, 1/2 way around the world.

It's still hard to imagine that in a few short days, we will become parents of a beautiful little 2 year old child. In a way, our child is still abstract. Right now our child, though very much a real child, is just words in an e-mail. We haven't seen a picture, we've just seen the beautiful words used to describe him or her. No, the words were not poetically put together, they were "matter of fact", but because they "are our child" they are beautiful words.

So, what's left to do? Pack, arrange our time off from work, BUY PLANE TICKETS, dig out our passports, make arrangements to exchange our monies, buy dog food, set up a skype account, I have a few appointments I have to set up yet... There is a lot left to do in a short amount of time, BUT, it WILL all get done, by the grace of God.

In short, we can't wait, even though we are nervous, because we want to be the absolute best parents we can be, we just can't wait. The waiting and the anticipation is killing us. :-)

Monday, November 11, 2013


Adoption is an emotional process. Try as we may, sometimes those of us who are adopting, can't keep our emmotions in check when we are speaking with people. Our entire lives are in a mircroscope for the duration of the process. I LOVE to talk about our adoption, I could do it all day long. I've wanted to write this post for a while. When you are adopting you get asked "why?" a lot! Sometimes it's innocent, sometimes its malicious, sometimes it's asked out of ignorance. Sometimes you feel like explaining it and sometimes you don't, mostly because you've already answered the same question about five thousand times.

So, here are my reasons:

Why are we adopting?

1. My husband and I are adopting, because God called us to do so.

2. My grandmother was an orphan, so adoption was always part of my plan. I know I have mentioned it earlier, but it really is a big part of why I was always open to adoption.

3. There are millions of orphans all over the world, Eric and I are very fortunate to have a good stable home, with stable jobs. Why not open our hearts and our homes to a child who needs a home that we can provide.

4. Fertility. I've known for a while that I am not a very fertile person. We have done everything we feel we could within our moral code, and still have not gotten pregnant. This ties in with number 1. I really feel that if we are going to have a biological child, it will be after adopting. I think God knows that it would have been harder for my husband to decide to adopt, after being able to have a biological child. He worries about money and being a good father. I think God wants us to adopt first. I will add here, that I DO NOT expect to get pregnant after adopting. We fully intend and expect that we will be adopting a second child once we as a family are all settled, and our son or daughter (not sharing the sex of our child until we are traveling) is adjusted.

5. Why not?

Why are we adopting a child with special needs?

I've been asked this question many times. I've even been asked in rather rude terms like "Why wouldn't you want a normal child?" Sometimes I've been able to answer this question with grace and love, and sometimes, the mama bear claws have come out.

1. We didn't chose this child. God lead us to adopting, because he had us picked out for a very special child. If that child has extra needs, then who are we to say no to God? I TRULY BELIEVE God is 100% behind this adoption. I truely believe that God arranged everything. Sure, technically you can say that Eric and I "made" choices, but that choice was to follow God to our child.

2. Why not? If I got pregnant it could be with a child with special needs. Is it a little scary? Sure. It's a big committment to adopt a child with special needs, especially as a first time parent. BUT children with special needs, need a home just as  much as the "normal" kids.

3. What is normal? I don't believe in normal. It's a swear word in my family. I don't feel like I should discriminate against an innocent child, based on his or her abilities.

Why are we adopting internationally? Or Why aren't we adopting from the states? 

This is a very common question asked in a variety of ways. I have actually had gotten into arguments about it. EVERYONE seems to have an opinion on which form of adoption we should have chosen.

We chose to adopt internationally because that's where we were led.
1. Foster adoption in the United states is a totally different process than what people think. It's a very long process and very involved with Social Services. We don't have anything to hide, but we also didn't feel like having a government agency that involved in our lives. We actually started out a few years ago looking into foster adoption, we even knew which boy we wanted to persue. He was perfect for our family. When we called to find out about him, and to see what we needed to do to adopt him, we were turned away. The person we spoke to, told us that if we wanted to adopting a waiting child we had to be open to teenagers. The boy was 10 at the time, he is now 12 and still waiting. I pray for him often. Obviously I know now that the person gave us the wrong information, but it stung just the same.

2.We decided though we wanted a young child, we didn't need to go through the baby stage. We would love to, but we didn't need to. We didn't want to wait and wait and wait some more for a baby. It works for some families, not for ours.

3. Foster care, it's not ideal, but it's still better than an orphange. Many people do no understand how terrible an orphange can be. Sure there are some that are pretty good, but it's no the same as having one on one care in a family setting.

More specifically, why are we adopting from Serbia?

1. Late at night I was researching Ukraine and ended up on a blog about Serbia. After researching it, and speaking to others who have adopted from Serbia, it seemed very clear that God wanted us to adopt from Serbia. It's been a wonderful experience so far. We also like that Serbia really cares about what happens to the children. They are trying to make things better for the children, and are also very protective of the children's information.

2. I didn't want to work with an agency. We've checked out several agencies over the years and never really found one that we liked. I don't like the philosophies agencies have about adoption, and I didn't want want to lie about how I felt. Eric was more indifferent than I was, but I think he feels the same way I do now. I also don't understand why agencies charge so much for what they do. Oh they will tell you it's for providing "services", and that works for some families. It doesn't work for me. I want to know why, when I do it by myself it costs $13,500 TOTAL and with an agency it costs $27,000 or more and I still have to come up with travel money. (These costs vary from country to country, but there is an agency that says Serbian adoptions cost $27,000 so that's what I used as an example.)

I think that's all the big "why's" for now. We get asked a ton of strange questions, I know that most of them are innocent, but I do intend on writing down some of them in the future. Some are actually really funny.