Tuesday, May 25, 2010

girl + a dream + God = adopting baby Sofía

Hello! I have started this blog in response to many people wanting to know what's going on with my adoption journey. Lame-O that I didn't think to start it sooner, so I will try to remember all of the really cool things that have happened along the way! And, the picture is a Nepali baby-just to give you an idea of how beautiful the Nepalese people are! O.K. so here it goes...

Adoption is always something that I have thought about and have been open to pursuing in my life. Way before Angelina Jolie made it "hip" to adopt internationally, one of my best friend's step sister adopted a baby girl from China. Her story was amazing, heartwarming and made a huge impact on me. I remembering thinking at that time that I would love to adopt internationally. I've always wanted to be a mom and I didn't care which avenue I would take to get there. That was about 10 years ago....so, last year I started researching everything I could find out about both domestic and international adoption.

One of the first questions people ask me (besides, 'where is Nepal?') is, "Why not adopt domestically?" I'd like to say that I think all forms of adoption are amazing. Each has its' own advantages and disadvantages. For me, domestic adoption had more disadvantages in regards to my situation. Being a single woman, my chances of a birth mother choosing me over a married couple was slim. That meant that I would experience a longer wait time for referral and less chance of getting an infant. I really want to adopt as young as possible, so that was my main criteria in determing from where I would adopt. So, that led me to Nepal! Nepal is one of very few countries that allow single woman to adopt healthy infants.

Another question people ask me is, "How are you going to do it being single? You have 3 dogs!" As sad as it is, I'm not sure if people are aware how many single parents there are who do this every single day. I have seen several of my friends first hand deal with single parenthood and because of this experience, I am entering this eyes wide open. I struggled with this concept for awhile, wondering if it was responsible to adopt as a single parent. I spent many hours in prayer over this and continually I heard God ask me, "Is it responsible to leave them on the street? Is it responsible to leave them in the orphanage?" Any life a baby will have with me will be a million times better than a life in an orphanage. So, I said "yes" to the dream I felt God put into my heart and started on the road to adoption. I officially sent my application into the agency I chose at the end of February, 2010. Their link is at the bottom of the page- check them out! They formally accepted me as a client right around the big 4-0 birthday- BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!

So, the last two months I have competed in the Great Paper Chase and I won! I can't believe how quickly I was able to get everything together, copied, double notarized, 4 viles of blood taken, (I am free and clear of all communicable diseases! Some I don't even know what they are!), FBI clearance, child abuse clearance, 15 hours of training, letters of reference (thank you! you know who you are:), HOME STUDY!! that's a thesis all in of itself, employment verification letters, autobiography, tons of photos of me and my house, plus a gazillion more papers. Too bad the post office isn't an airline because the miles I logged there would have gotten me a free ticket to Kathmandu! Seriously, everyone that I've come into contact with needing one thing or another from them has been extremely helpful and encouraging. Sofía is going to have a lot of field trips to take when she gets here! Everyone asks me to please bring her by so they can see all of the chaos paid off!

As of today, my agency has received my completed home study and will submit it to the USCIS. They will contact me so I can give ANOTHER set of fingerprints and process my petition for Sofía to be a US citizen when we arrive back to the states. This is a major piece of paper!! La Vida wants to send my dossier the 3rd week of June so if anyone is praying or wondering what they can pray for- please pray that the immigration paperwork will be processed without any glitches (I've heard stories of people's fingerprints being rejected) and that I would receive the I-171H form before the 3rd week of June. La Vida has until July 1st to send the dossier for me to be considered this year before the July 15th cutoff. They can't send the dossier without that precious piece of paper so any prayers would be welcomed!

I just realized that I didn't answer any questions about timelines or how Nepal's process works. Once my dossier gets sent over, the Ministry of Women and Children will process all of the papers. Then, it gets sent to the family matching committee. These are the people who decide which babies go to which families based on criteria outlined in their dossiers. I have requested a girl age 6 months to 30 months. This was the youngest age group I could choose. After I receive a referral and get "THE CALL," I will have 15 days to have her medical info checked out by a physician. Once I formally accept the referral, they will start working on processing the paperwork in Nepal. The adoption will be finalized in Nepal. They are estimating that after the formal acceptance of a referral, I should receive travel permission 6-8 weeks later. They estimate that I will be in Nepal for a 2-3 week duration, finalizing all of the paper work. Now, with all of that said, there are two very important things to remember: 1) I have no idea how long I will have to wait between submittal of my dossier and receiving a referral and 2) Nepal is a third world country and we are dealing with a 3rd world government so any of these time projections could change. I just keep praying that God will give me patience and I'm trying to take it one day at a time...can't you just hear schneider now! No seriously, when I first started this whole process, one of the verses I felt God speak to me was Romans 8:25

"But if we look forward to something we don't yet have, we must wait patiently and

I felt like God was telling me that I will be waiting, but- I can do that confidently. There is no doubt in my mind that it's God's will for that little baby to be my daughter.

I do have a ton of cool stories of how things have worked out. I'm going to try and post some of them as this keeps going.

Thanks for reading this and for all of the support and encouragement I've received so far. You have no idea how much that means to me!