I've received so many encouraging words since announcing our big news on Monday! Thanks so much to all of you! I've also been asked a lot of questions. I'd like to answer some of them today, and please feel free to ask more!
Q: How long until we get our new baby?
A: The average wait time for adoption from Ethiopia right now is 18-24 months. This is why we are already starting the process, even though Korban is so young.
Q: How much does an adoption from Ethiopia cost, and how do we plan to pay for it?
A: Including travel costs, legal fees, home study fee, and whole lot of other paperwork and application fees, the total cost will be in the $30,000 range. There is a substantial tax rebate, though. I don't remember exactly how much it is and I can't find it again, but something around $12,000, I think.
As of now, we have a little bit of savings and a healthy dose of faith. :) We will be setting aside what we can and any extra income as it comes in. There are a lot of organizations that provide grants for adoption, and we plan to utilize those resources. We will also be taking donations and may do a few fundraisers as time goes by.
I will be pouring all of my income from this blog and cloth diaper sales into our adoption fund, as well. I will try to write a post at a later date about how you can help support this blog. I will likely be putting a "donate" button up soon.
Q: What age and gender are we looking for?
A: We have applied for either a girl or a boy age 0-2 years old. We'd like to adopt within birth order and not get a child older than Izzy or Korban.
We've also submitted that we would be willing to accept a sibling group if two siblings become available that are in the 0-2 year old age range. This is unlikely, but we're open to it.
Q: Can we choose whether we'll get a healthy child or one with special needs?
A: Ethiopia seems to be a good country to work with when it comes to honesty in adoption. There is a program called the "waiting children" program for families willing to adopt a child with a special need. These special needs can be anything from a minor birth defect to AIDS infection. Older children are also a part of this list because they are less likely to be adopted. Once we are approved, we will be able to look at the waiting children list and seek the Lord's guidance on what child he has for us. We are open to the Lord's guidance in welcoming a child from this list into our family.
Q: Will we have to go to Ethiopia to get the baby?
A: Yes, there are two trips required. The first will be both Dennis and I, and it lasts about a week. The second lasts about a week also, but only one of us is required to go. I would prefer if we could both go on both trips, but that would be considerably more expensive. We'll see.
Q: Are we prepared to have a child with a different skin color than ours?
A: Well, truthfully, we live in the South and our nation has a sad history when it comes to racism. We can probably never be prepared for some of the things our little one will have to face growing up. We do recognize that there will be challenges to face and we may deal with some less than tactful strangers at times.
Fortunately, Dennis and I both have families that are supportive of us in this journey, which will make a world of difference. Also, there are many resources for families who are adopting a child of another race.
The fact that my younger sister is adopted from China helps, too :) The honest truth is that she is just simply my sister, adopted or caucasian not, it makes no difference. I don't look at her and see a chinese girl, I look at her and see my sister, Mattie, that's all. I know our son or daughter will be the same.
I love answering the questions, so keep 'em coming! I hope writing about our journey will encourage some of you to consider adoption for your family!