Thursday, February 26, 2009

Adoption Specialist

We met with our adoption specialist, Susan, for the first time yesterday. This is the woman who will be writing our homestudy that will be sent to Korea. It was a very good meeting! We got some paperwork and questions out of the way, and then we spent the rest of the time answering questions. Basically Susan's job is to learn as much as she can about our family in the 3-4 meetings that we have and then write out a comprehensive review that the Korean adoption agency can look at. It will help them in choosing a specific child for us. Susan did her best to reduce our anxiety about the meeting, assuring us that this isn't the "weeding out" part of the process. We've already been through that, and now is just the learning part of the process. She will learn about us, and we will learn about adoption from Korea.

The questions we were asked this time related to our motivation for adoption, specifically international adoption. And then more specifically "why Korea?" This is the question that is often the most difficult for us to answer concisely. I think (hope!) we did an adequate job of presenting our motivations.

We learned some interesting and probably important things from Susan last night. First, she described for us what our child would most likely be like when we go to pick them up. She told us that Korean foster mothers will in most cases carry the baby everywhere all day long. The babies typically co-sleep (sleep in bed with foster parents). Also, Korean mothers wake an infant up multiple times a night to feed them, as they believe babies should not go an entire night without feeding. There are several implications of all this. First, our child will most likely have low muscle tone when we receive it. We will have to do a lot of lifting and carrying. She said they quickly are able to adjust and build muscle, but the child will most likely prefer being held to playing on the floor. Second, the child will have to either sleep with us or in our room until we are able to wean it away into a crib and its own space. Also, since the babies are fed all night long, they are typically around 25 lbs! So, I guess its time to break out the weights and start preparing my body to be a mom :) All of this was REALLY good information for me as I think I would have been totally unprepared for that. I would expect our child to be at the same developmental stages as an American child of the same age. I am excited to continue learning more!

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's Criminal

Matt came home early yesterday to go with me to the Hendricks County Sheriff's Dept. so we could get local criminal history checks. Apparently the Sheriff's Department is IN the county jail, so that was interesting. We have scheduled our first meeting with our Case Worker who will prepare our homestudy for next week. It will be nice to finally meet someone face-to-face since most of this process has been done over the phone or by email!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More Paperwork

We got another packet of paperwork today. I can't believe how many forms a family has to fill out to adopt! Most of the forms are legal documents. The most interesting of them to me was a form that made us decide what types of possible birth defects we'd consider. That's a difficult thing to do, considering no child is unworthy of a loving family. Its hard to say "no, I won't take that child because it has X defect". But, as the paper stated, we needed to consider what types of defects we as a family could handle. Some for us would be easy, others very hard either emotionally or physically. In the end I feel we made choices that reflect our values and personalities. Its up to God to give us the child that's really meant for us!

Monday, February 16, 2009


Just before Valentine's day I was feeling a lot of stress and anxiety over the whole adoption process. There's just tons of paperwork to fill out: agreements to sign, letters to write, applications to fill out, info to compile... it started to become overwhelming. Part of the problem is that for a long time I was doing all of the legwork, but not really taking the time to process the whole thing. Friday night Matt and I sat down and had a long discussion where I really had the opportunity to unearth all of my frustrations, concerns, and fears. I want to think that I'll be fine - that I won't get caught up in the emotion of the whole process, but I realized that night that its a big deal! Its emotional, its exciting, its scary! We're not just filling out forms to help a child out of a bad place, but we're actually bringing a new life into our family. It should be just as emotional as a pregnancy, if not more, since you have to wait longer and you're totally at the mercy of someone else's judgment about your capability of caring for a child. That time of processing was very healing for me, and I now feel ready to face the mountain of paperwork ahead :)


Thanks for joining us on our journey to adopt! Our adoption story began years ago with a desire in Andrea's heart to adopt some day. It was furthered by having 2 difficult pregnancies. We still wanted to expand our family, but did not want to experience the stress of pregnancy again. The decision was confirmed by a conviction in our hearts to extend our family outside of the standard American experience. This conviction came to us separately while Andrea was visiting India and Matt was staying with our children. We both believe that we are called to know and love the people that God has created all over the world. What a better way to know and love someone than to have them in your very own family?!

We are currently in the very early stages of the homestudy process, and hope to send our paperwork to South Korea for matching late this summer.