After thinking and talking about adopting since before Mikaela was born, in April 2006 we sent in our initial application to Holt International because we both felt like it was finally time. We then had to gather some documents and Lowell & I each had to answer 17 pages worth of questions about everything ranging from our childhood, our marriage, our parents and their marriages, to our parenting, our neighborhood, our mental health and our wills. I, of course, wanted to be thorough and have the option of editing, so I chose to use the computer version and type my answers. Lowell didn't have the need to edit or be as verbose (I mean, detailed!), so he was just going to hand write his. Well, fast forward to July when our computer crashed and imagine who was distressed over losing half of their hard work that for some unimaginable reason they had never bothered to back up properly!
Even though we had attended a couple of classes back in May that got me really motivated to get going on this, I was discouraged and couldn't seem to start over. I realized in October that I was scared. Beginning around the end of 2005 and continuing until a few months ago God had me on a really painful journey. He was allowing a bunch of junk that had accumulated in my heart to all come to the surface at once. It was overwhelming. I struggled with depression and discouragement and it took months for God to remove the lies and replace them with the truth one layer at a time. All the while, I knew the process was worth it and I was extremely grateful for it, but it was hard. So in the middle of that I was not ready to send off 17 pages of personal information to strangers so they could evaluate me. Nor was I ready for a social worker to come inspect my home and interrogate me as to my stability and readiness for adopting and the challenges that come with it.
But thankfully, things are different now. In many ways, I think like a different person now than I did a year ago. And I'm finally ready for the inspections and interrogations. Sure, I'll panic when we actually have an appointment for the interviews. But I'm not scared anymore. So, back a few months ago I printed out the 17 pages of questions (learning from my wise hubby) and decided my answers didn't have to be perfect (or typed) and I got it done! HALLELUJAH!
Frequently Asked Questions and Frequently Given Answers:
Why Thailand? We didn't feel led to pursue a domestic adoption and since Lowell's sister and her family live in Thailand and we have visited them and their church, we feel like we have a connection to the country. So to us it makes sense and feels right. And why not?
Do you know if you'll adopt a boy or girl? No. Thai rules say since we have a boy and girl already we can't specify a preference. In Thailand, the wait to adopt a boy is shorter than a girl because there are more boys to be placed.
How old will the child be? Because Thailand is very cautious about making sure international adoption is the last option for the children, rarely is a child younger than 14 months when the placement occurs. We however are feeling drawn to adopting a child around 2 years old so we will probably request that age. (Yes, we just might be crazy. Or maybe Thai kids don't have terrible 2's.)
How long will it all take? Holt says it could be 6-8 months after we complete our home study and dossier (lots of paperwork) that we are matched with a child. But it varies and could be faster. Then it's another wait of 7-8 months until travelling and taking "placement" of the child. So, we're hoping we will go pick up our child sometime next summer.
Thanks for caring, everyone. I'll be updating this whenever anything happens or whenever I feel like sharing... which, I imagine, you can expect will be fairly often. :)