Translate Blog

Thursday, April 21, 2011

So what's all involved...

Details of the Journey
Many people have asked about our adoption:  Where, when, how and how much? The “Why” was already answered in our first post.   Let me try to answer the other questions… the best of my knowledge.  This is all new to us too.  I will first answer to “How Much?” and then I will briefly explain the adoption process to adopt from Ukraine.
“How much?”  The cost of international adoption isn’t cheap.  To adopt one child from Ukraine it can cost from $24-28,000, to adopt two, $26-31,000.  This covers all the fees in Colorado, US immigrations, travel, our facilitator fee in Ukraine, and all the legal and extra fees for the process in Ukraine.  When you think of buying a new car, this isn’t much more.  And it is rescuing two children who deserve a family to love and protect them.  I haven’t had a new car since we got ripped off at the Hyundai dealership 22 years ago.   We bought it when we had our first baby, and she has brought so much enrichment to our lives, and that car is probably crushed at the bottom of a junk yard somewhere.  It actually started to turn to junk before it was paid off.  I definitely prefer adopting two children who will not devalue in 5 years.  ;)   But still, $26-31K is a lot of money.  We feel that were God guides us He will provide for us.  He is a God of plenty.  We know He is calling people from near and far to be part of this miracle.  Our dear friend has started a fundraiser thru Facebook and this blog.  There is a button on this blog to donate towards our adoption on this blog or I have put our PO Box address under our information if you would like to partner with us financially.  We also are applying for grants and interest free loans.  
The Process
First, we need to do all our requirements for the State of Colorado.  This includes a Home Study with a Social Worker.  This home study has been quite involved: interviews for Chris and I and our 3 children still living at home, FBI fingerprints, medical exams, references, 24 hours of training, proof of income, plus many other documents that must be notarized.   Then we send our home study to the state with an application for approval.  
Second, we work on our immigration (USCIS) requirements.  This process isn’t as involved on the paper work side, but it is time consuming with regards to waiting for our application and biometric fingerprints to be approved from the government.  This approves our children to become US citizens and to travel back with us. We are in this waiting period right now.
While we are waiting for USCIS approval we are working on the next step, completing the requirements Ukraine has for us in order to adopt, this is called a Dossier.  It is a packet of documents about us, like marriage license, passport photos, our petition to adopt, home study approval letter, etc.  All of these documents have been notarized and then they have been taken down to Denver to be Apostilled.  This means they check to accuracy and that the notary and document is current and legitimate.  This package gets sent to our hired facilitator in Ukraine who takes it to the SDA (The Ukrainian ministry the handles adoptions).  They then read over our Dossier and give us an appointment date.  It is at this point that we will know when we are traveling.  
Where?  You all know that we are planning on Ukraine, but where in Ukraine?  We don’t know this yet.    We are going to Ukraine on what is called a “blind adoption”.  This means we don’t know the children yet.  We will have sent off our guidelines of what we desire for ages and health for the children.  We are requesting a sibling pair, ages 6-10, but will consider up to 12 years old.  When we get to our appointment, they will have selected some children and show us pictures of them w/ a very brief history.  We select them from the picture and then we travel to where there orphanage is located.  This is when we know where we are traveling, usually the day before we hop on a train to go to their town to meet them.
When? Well, everything is based on the timing from one approval date to the next.  We are hoping this process is narrowing down and that we will be traveling in June or July.  But there have been some rumors that Ukraine is changing the branch of government that will be handling their adoptions.  And this might come with some delays.  L  God is in control and His timing is best!  Once we do have our appointment date with the adoption agency in Ukraine, we will purchase a ticket to arrive there a couple days before the appointment. 
How?  I’ve briefly explained the how.  There is so much more to the how in Ukraine.  We will be blogging the how and also reaching out to you all for prayer and support.  I’ve followed a few families who have been through this process, and no two stories are the same.  The whole process seems to take about 4-8 weeks in Ukraine.   Everyone’s stories all require patience, flexibility, strong prayer support and faith in our God, who is the God of miracles. Please follow us on our blog! We NEED your prayers!!!!  Monique

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pressing In

Many of you know that Monique and I have had  a lot of difficulties since deciding to adopt.  There is no question that when you make a decision in anything that makes an advance in Gods Kingdom then you are asking for resistance from the enemy.  The closser we get to our goal it seems the tougher it has been.  So I have often said we are under attack and I know without a doubt that we have had attacks but yesterday I began to realize that maybe not all of them have been.  Like so many marriages we have had difficulties and challenges but we press though them and try to make advances but for us there have been buttons or areas of our relationship that are often sensitive and can easily erupt into "Fights".  It has been those areas that we have been constantly hammered at in the last 6 to 8 months.  What I forgot until yesterday was that I had been asking God to strengthen our marriage and relationship so that when we have these new children our marriage is not a hinderance to the process.  I had one of those duh moments as I began to realise that God has been probably pressing those sensitive areas so that we would work on them.  It has made us realize we need to focus on our communication skills so we signed up for a 4 week communication class.  I find God very funny at times the way He gets us to move forward in areas of our lifes.  Let me encourage any of you that have areas that seem to be weakness to stop running from it but to press in until you get a victory.  I will say honestly it AINT fun but so worth it.  Would love your prayers as I learn to communicate better.  Chris

Monday, April 4, 2011

Why Ukraine? Why not....

​So why adopt from Ukraine?  Ukraine is a country roughly the size of Texas.  A former Soviet Nation who is struggling to create a successful, working economy.  There is over 100,000 orphans in its borders.  Usually at the age of 16 years old they "age out" of the orphanage and are required to live on their own. They haven't been taught much about life skills. Simple life skills to survive like grocery shopping, cooking, applying for a job, renting an apartment, etc.  Obviously, they have a lot going against them and they end up desperate for food and shelter, thus making them victims to hopelessness, predators, and criminal behavior.    Take a moment to remember what you were doing and thinking at 16, and then think about trying to make it on your own completely, with no family. Add to that, the common prejudices the country has towards orphans.  Sobering isn't it?  
 ​This still doesn't completely answer the question "Why Ukraine?". In reality there are many other counties with similar and worse situations.  Honestly, it's the country God first opened our eyes to and revealed to us that it's the Christian's responsibility the help the orphans in our world. (James 1:27)  We are blessed to be in a community with a strong support group of families who are and have adopted from Ukraine, and they are an amazing resource and support to us.  There will also be a network of children with similar back grounds for our children to interact with.
​Our personal faith and humanitarian views definitely play into our desire to adopt.  The scriptures clearly state that...take care of the poor, immigrants, widows, and the fatherless.   Our Lord tells us that this is pure religion.  Do we have to adopt because of that scripture? Clearly no. He calls us all to fulfill this command but this the looks different for each of us. Monique and I feel that this is the path God is calling us to take. Do we feel qualified? Yes and no. Yes, we have raised 4 wonderful children who continue to live and excel at life. But do we feel qualified to raise orphaned children?  Frankly no,  they all come abandoned, broken and hurt and so many come filled with lives of abuse.  Some come full of fear and a lack of love that only a parent, family and God can bring. Can I relate on some levels? Absolutely.  Do I know how to deal with what they come with?  Not fully.  I do know that we are confident we are called to this journey!  Someone very wisely stated:  God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called. Also, where we are weak He is strong. We have been adopted into His family and He teaches us daily how to love. He will do the same for these young children whom He loves and cares for so deeply.