Thursday, October 1, 2009
Jennie Young with Besufekad, adopted from Ethiopia through Adoption Ministries of YWAM
I have noticed that sometimes when we ask God what He wants for us -- option A or option B -- He likes to respond with something along the lines of "Neither -- let's go for option C." Isn't that just like Him.
Over the past six months we have been asking God which adoption path he wants us to take -- birthmother or foster-to-adopt. Finally, after lots of prayer and discussion, we have our answer:
In addition to handling domestic adoptions, the agency we have been working with (Adoption Ministries of YWAM) also operates several orphanages in Ethiopia, out of which they arrange international adoptions. We heard about the option to adopt from Ethiopia at our first orientation meeting with our agency, but until a few weeks ago we had not given it any consideration. For one thing, it is A LOT more expensive and a bit more intense in terms of paperwork. But over the course of the last few weeks we have begun to pray seriously about it and now believe that it is the direction God is leading us. In anticipation of some of the questions you may have about this, here is a little Ballast Ethiopian Adoption FAQ:
How long will it take? The agency estimates 9-12 months from the time you begin your application to the time you bring home your child. They told us that this is a rather high estimate - it could be faster if we do our part quickly. Keep in mind that there is NO wait time to get a referral (in adoption-speak this means that there are currently children who would be a good match for our family ready and waiting to be adopted). The 9-12 months is basically just how long it usually takes to do all the paperwork.
How old will the child be? We are asking for a child younger than 18 months. Our agency believes they will be able to pair us up with a child that age right away.
Will you go to Ethiopia to pick up your child? Yes. One of the advantages of adopting from Ethiopia is that, due to the way their government handles adoption, families only need to spend about 5-7 days in the country to complete the adoption. We will probably stay longer though, so that we have an opportunity to travel to our child's birthplace and see the orphanage where he or she lived.
How can we support you? I'm so glad you asked!! First of all, we'd love your continued prayers as we move through this process. Please pray not only for us and the process, but also for our child. He or she is probably either in utero or already born today, and we would love nothing more than to cover him or her in prayer. Later on down the road we may post about other ways to support us, particularly as we plan for the financial aspect of the adoption. We recognize that when a child joins a family, no matter how it happens, this child becomes part of a larger community. We are not adopting alone -- our extended families, our neighborhood, our friends, and our church are all adopting this child too. And we absolutely could not do it without you. Thank you!