Friday, March 1, 2013

20 Months, 20 Questions

Since we have "announced" our adoption plans, we have received lots of LOVE, along with a lot of questions. As people ask us questions, I write them down. So in honor of today marking 20 months of waiting, here are our 20 most asked questions, Answered.

1. Why are you Adopting?
Mark and I have always talked about adoption. Before we even got married, we talked about what our desire for our family would be, and adoption was always part of what we envisioned for our family unit.We had no idea when or how we would pursue adoption, but really felt strongly that it was part of God's plan for our family.We feel that the Lord has laid the plight of the orphan on our hearts, with a personal,clear, directive to us, The Lamb Family,to extend a family to one that needs a family. This desire to adopt was God-given to the both of us about ten years here we are..

2. Why Ethiopia?
We both feel that adoption is a much needed and beautiful thing internationally and domestically.There are children everywhere (near and far) that need loving families. For us, Africa has always been on our hearts. We feel drawn to it, can't explain it other than just that. When we first started the process, we thought we would adopt from Rwanda. I talked with a few families who had adopted from Rwanda and did some research. The day I sat down to fill out the pre-application, I received a call from someone whom I had called earlier to talk about her Rwandan adoptions; she then informed me that it looked like Rwanda might close for a time, and the very next day, it did. We then set our sights on the other African country that most agencies adopt from, Ethiopia. Since we made the Ethiopian decision ( about 2 and a half years ago), I wanted to learn all I could about this country and culture. I immediately started reading about it's history and it's people,as I read and read and read and prayed and prayed and prayed, my heart began to fall in love with this country, a country so rich in culture, a country so resilient, a country where our daughter might already live.

3. "Why are you adopting internationally when there are so many children in the United States that need forever families,?" This is a great question.It is also one of the most asked questions. There are children,everywhere, that are in need of families,so many of whom live in this country. We know people that have adopted from both, domestically and internationally.Amazing to watch these adoption journeys. For us, the answer is actually really simple.. We felt the Lord leading us to adopt from Africa. That's it. We felt a legitimate stirring in our spirit for a child from Africa.We felt it in our soul.So,we decided to adopt internationally, specifically Ethiopia. I think domestic adoption is wonderful. I think international adoption is wonderful. I think adoption is wonderful.

4. What agency are you using?

5. Is Adoption Expensive?

6. Are you Fundraising?
Yes. We are just about to start.I don't really like the term "fundraising" in re: to this. We are viewing it as a partnership. We have had people share with us that they would like to be a part of our adoption, be a part of bringing parents to a little girl, be a part of bringing a little girl to a family. I have had people tell me that they themselves could never adopt, but would like to be a part of the adoption process for someone else. This brings tears to my eyes and humbles me greatly. People are beautiful.

7. Do you know the gender of your child?
Female. We chose this.

8.What age will you be adopting?

We are open to a female child, ranging in age from 0-3 1/2 years. So, really, she can be anywhere within this age frame.

9. So, you don't even know who your child is, yet?

Nope. We have been waiting 20 months for something called a "referral." Once we receive our referral,that means we have been matched with a child. Our referral will contain a picture of our child and information. Everyone in a 3 mile radius will probably know we have received our referral by the shouts of joy that will emit from our townhouse.

10. Are your extended families supportive of your decision to adopt?
Yes. All of them. Or..if they aren't, they have kept that information to themselves:)
We have been seriously so blessed by every one's reaction and support. I am so grateful. Our future daughter even receives Christmas presents each Christmas, and she might not even be born yet. That is support, ladies and gentlemen. We are blessed.

11. "Are you worried about Ryann adjusting to a sibling after being an only child for so very long?"

I never thought Ryann would go almost 6 years without a sibling. When we started the adoption process, Ryann was three. Back then, the wait times, were completely different, and I was blissfully ignorant. I thought,year tops, from start to finish.Oh boy, I was so very wrong.
I have talked to Ryann openly about adoption from age 3 until now. She prays for her sister in "Eepeeoepia" every day.
This wait has been hard on Ryann.Every single day, she says she cannot wait to have someone to play with all the time. This breaks my heart.
Although it is hard on Ryann, it is good (as most hard things are, right?). She is hopefully learning from this, from watching us. Oh, I hope so.
With each month that passes in our wait, Ryann grows a little bit older...while growing older, she has more understanding about what adoption means, why it is important, etc.
So, yes, being a worrier by nature, I do worry about how Miss only child Ryann will adjust to having a sibling this late in the game...but then I see a craft from Kindergarten, titled "What you you thankful for?"

...And I realize she is going to be okay.

12. "Do you have a lot of fears concerning your daughter's background, etc?"
Loaded question. I hear it a lot. We don't know what the future holds, like I don't know what her past held.I do know that I pray for her a lot. I pray that she is loved. I pray for her family. I pray for her caregivers. I grieve for her, for what she has experienced, or what she will experience. I don't know what she will be like, what will be her story. What will lead her to be an orphan. What "scars" she will have. I do know we are all scarred. I do know that the Lord knows all.I do know that the Lord writes our story. I know the Lord heals and helps the scarred. I do know that it is ultimately HIS timing. Lots of unknows, but this much I do know.

13. How in the world are you going to know how to do her hair?

Ha! I loved this question, because I love hair care and products and would ask this too. My answer comes in the form of the woman who cuts Ryann's hair...she happens to be Ethiopian. (Hallelujah).Our next door neighbors also happen to be Ethiopian.
I am sure we will ask her a lot of questions and there are all sorts of tutorials on youtube, etc.

14. Do you have a name picked out?

We have no idea what her name will be,if we will use it as her first name, or as her middle name, etc. We are definitely open to keeping her Ethiopian name as her first name. We also have an American name picked out, mainly because when I pray, I want to pray for her by name.
So, yes we have picked an American name (which we are going to be annoying and not share publicly;) ) and yes, we are open to using her Ethiopian name as her first time and circumstances will tell...

15. You have been waiting forever. Why is the wait so long when there are so many children that need parents?

Most asked question. I am not going to answer that here, however. In place of an answer, I will ask you to pray for all those waiting. It is hard to wait, and sometimes can be a really lonely place.

16. Will you actually go to Ethiopia to pick up your daughter?
Yes. We will go to Ethiopia twice, for court, and then to take her home.

17. Because of the long wait, have you had to do paperwork all over again?
Certain parts of it, Yes. Due to expiration dates coming and going. I fretted so much over paperwork at the beginning. Now, I just do it. It is what it is.

18. So you, just want 2 kids, then? Why didn't you wait to have all your biological kids first, and then adopt the last one?
I have been asked this, which is pretty personal, but I never mind answering it.  My answer is that we have no idea what the future holds. We are just concentrating on the child we do have, and the child we are trying to bring home. We felt a strong calling to adopt, so we started the process. We didn't feel a "wait" to adopt. We felt the Lord telling us to adopt now. So we are...

19. How are you REALLY doing with the wait?
Some days are really hard, but most days are okay. Really. We are currently doing fine with the wait. This has not always been the case.I am learning so much about myself and my Lord. We live in such an immediate gratification culture, we want what we want when we want it. I definitely would have fallen into this camp at the beginning and middle of this process. I was so upset, so angry, so very sad when the slow down started. I didn't understand. I love nice little boxes where I can compartmentalize my life. I like things that fit. The  9-13 month wait fit in my "life boxes" (that was the wait time when we started this) I didn't understand how my supposed wait of 9-13 months could change to triple that, possibly. Now, that sounds messy. That doesn't fit.
In my selfish, upset, "woe is me" attitude, the Lord met me. Truly. I felt whispers of peace, I felt whispers of affirmation,  I felt glory in the wait. I was reminded of how many times the Lord waits on me. I was severely humbled. I began to realize how messy I truly am.
We are so far from perfect, I don't always exude this peaceful attitude by any means...just ask Mark, or really anyone in my life.
I know that we might never see "reason" behind this long wait. We might never understand. But, I am truly thankful for it...What it has done to me and my "boxes."
My prayer for the remainder of this wait is the lyric from "It is well"
"Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, It is well, with my soul."
No matter what happens with all this, or how long it takes, I pray that this is my attitude.

20.  How can we support your family during this time of waiting?
Pray for us.
Pray for Ryann.
Pray for our future daughter.
Pray for future us as we learn how to parent this blessing. I am under no delusions whatsoever that it will be easy by any means. I am actually pretty terrified. I know it is going to be a hard, long road. Please start praying now.
 We are waiting with great anticipation. We are waiting with hope. Pray that we will continue to wait in peace.

* If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask