Well, I've decided to make it official. In case you somehow have not heard, our family has officially begun the adoption process! For several months we have talked about starting, and for various reasons, just didn't. But for more than a year we have had it in our hearts to adopt a deaf child. We have sent in our application to Christian Adoption Services (CAS) for their Philippines program, with a request to the ICAB (Philippines government office) for a particular two-and-a-half year old boy named James. Here's the story on how this all came to be:
As I said, for months we have talked on and off about starting the process, and during that time I researched multiple adoption agencies and countries. (Adopting a young deaf child in the US just isn't really a big possibility for a number of reasons.) China was out because of their strict financial requirements. Bulgaria was at the top of my list for a while, with Ethiopia a close second. A month or two ago we had a missionary at church to the DR Congo. So I looked into that country, and even though it wouldn't work for us, I discovered the Philippines. I called that agency in regard to their program, told the lady what we were looking for, and she said, "Funny you should mention a deaf child, because we have a new little boy on our list who is deaf. But he has an older brother..." And she continued to tell me about them, even though I was fairly sure siblings were out. But I now had a new country and agency on my short list. A few weeks later I was searching around and found an orphanage for deaf kids in Liberia and an agency that worked with it. Gave them a call and found out the Liberian government had stopped all international adoptions two years ago with no change in sight. Shortly after that I was checking out that agency's website again, when I found that they also work with the Philippines. So I called and asked about their program, and when I told the lady what we were looking for, she answered with, "Funny you should mention a deaf child, because I just saw a little boy who is deaf on a shared list (another agency's list)..." and she proceeded to tell me about him and asked if I would like to see his profile. Now just to clarify, this was not the same boy as agency number one. But one of my big delays in choosing a country was that I would decide and we would go through the process and not find any deaf children in that country. Silly, I know, but still...two agencies, two different deaf boys...seemed like confirmation to me. Jason also felt confident with that decision, so long story short, we got James's profile and medical info, and after a few weeks decided to pursue him.
Now what? Now we fill out mountains of paperwork, we wait, and we pray. Oh, and we fundraise. As you can probably imagine, it's a rather expensive thing to adopt a child. But we are already seeing God's hand of provision and we fully believe that he will provide all we need. In the meantime, I'm sure you'll be hearing about different things we're doing to raise money. And here's the first: since we are adopting a deaf child, and I am the only member of our family and friends who is (semi!) fluent in sign language, except for Jessica and Heather, I have decided to make my own ASL teaching video and sell it to all of you who want/need to learn to communicate with our newest addition. It won't be anything fancy, but it will get the job done! Please let me know if you would like to buy one!
But most importantly, we need your prayers!!! Prayers for speed of paperwork and other time consuming things, prayers for James while he waits in foster care, prayers for our family as adoption is a wonderful but stressful process. And please pray for all the children who are waiting for families. As you do, I pray the Lord will open wide your heart to a child who needs your love.