Yes, China. A sweet baby girl on the other side of the world, we are praying is our daughter.
Time kind of stood still for us as we put things on hold as my mom's health declined. Then it took some time for me to come out of the fog and for God to make a way. With anything, we want to rush things or see things happen now - but with God's plans you have to just learn to roll with the punches.
I also think it takes time in our hearts and minds to fully understand exactly what He is asking us to do. Like, you want to me do?! Go where?
I'm going to do this sort as a Q&A to help answer some questions we've gotten from others:
So, why adoption?
For us, it is a calling. It is a personal choice between us and the Lord above. Something we felt He has put upon our hearts. Many years ago, I attended a ladies group where we read "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. I was a new mom and honestly adoption was far from my mind. I came home and mentioned adoption to AB, kind of just in passing. I didn't put much thought into because honestly I didn't think he would go for it. It wasn't something we had ever even discussed. To my surprise, AB didn't flinch when he said "yeah, let's adopt a girl from China." We kind of left our conversation at that, thinking we would have another baby before going forward with adoption.
So the short answer: We feel God has called us to add to our family through adoption. And I haven't gotten pregnant in the last five years and so we feel now is the time! Plus, Brady is more than ready to have a sibling!
Why not just have another kid? Or do IVF?
Well, because God has other plans. I never imagined not having another baby. I just assumed like most of my family, you do things in x,y,z order. I mean you graduate, get married, have kids (few years apart), and you live happily ever after. Am I right? Wrong, again. I have learned that the life I have pictured in my head, is totally NOT the life God has planned for me. God knew exactly what was to come after I had Brady and I'm so thankful that I didn't have a baby in the mix of my mom's sickness. Also, I didn't think much about having a baby while my mom was sick the last two years. Now looking back, I know God was using that time to prepare my heart for adoption.
Yes, we could do IVF instead of pursuing adoption, but we don't feel that's for us. It's not even something we've ever really even discussed. We have discussed and looked into private domestic adoption and foster to adopt. For whatever reason, we still feel drawn to international adoption, specifically China.
How long will the process take?
Our hope is to be done SOON with the home study portion. After that is completed we will work on completing our dossier. Once our dossier is to China (DTC) and we are logged in over there, our agency can start the matching process. The matching process could take anywhere from 6-9 months. Once we are matched, we'll get ready for travel. Our hope is to travel to China late spring, early summer of 2018.
Isn't it expensive? Why not just adopt here?
Yes. Very much so. To the tune of a car actually. We're expecting to pay anywhere from $30-35,000 (this includes travel, including Brady). Considering we feel like it's our child, we can't just walk away because it is costly. To us, following Jesus means costing us everything if that's what He ask of us. We did consider adopting domestically through the welfare system in Texas. After much consideration, conversations, and meetings we didn't feel that was for us. Private adoptions here in the states are also very expensive with a lot of parameters we didn't feel fit our family needs. We still haven't ruled out expanding our family that way in the future, but for now international adoption is where we are and we're excited to see how God works through what really seems impossible.
We are anxious, excited, scared, and over the moon that we will be adding to our family soon! Adoption is definitely a trying process, but we know God is ever so faithful and we are trusting Him to bring us through difficult process. We ask for your prayers more than anything as we wrestle through the massive amount of paperwork, fundraising, and preparing our heart for what is to come. My prayer and hope is that God redeems so much of the devastation in my life through this process and adoption.
Speaking of fundraising, I have been working on a project for nearly FIVE years. Okay, the last 4 years it was simply a vision God gave me. It's taken me that long to submit to this or maybe He needed that time to lay the groundwork. Either way, I have set up an Etsy shop called DryBonesLiving where I will sell handcrafted monsters. Each monster has been pieced together by me and there will never be one like another. All unique and different, flawed just a little - just the way Christ made us. I'll slowly be adding monsters to the shop as times goes on, but I'd love for you to share & follow me on Instagram @drybonesliving - the name Dry Bones is based on Ezekiel 37, where God can breathe new life into us, creating us anew and renewed. That's how I view adoption. These babies are given a new life, a new hope, and are so loved. No matter what imperfections they might have or where they've come from or the hard places they've seen, Christ hopes to redeem them- bringing dry bones to life. Sitting them in a new land, with new hope and giving them a forever family. Just as He as adopted us into His Sonship. The money from each monster sold will go directly into our adoption fund.
We're excited to share this journey and we covet your prayers during this time! Feel free to ask us any other questions you might have. :)