Have you always wanted to Adopt?
Yes, yes, yes. I have wanted to adopt since I was 4 years old, and Josh has wanted to adopt as well (not quite as long as I have). We knew going into our marriage that we would adopt and want biological kids as well.

Why Ethiopia?
We originally went into the adoption process with China on our mind. After learning that China is on a 6 year waiting list for infants we started looking around. Our adoption agency interviewed us and we found out that Bulgaria and Ethiopia were strong fits based on our criteria. Russia had also just closed the door to all American adoptions. As weeks past, I couldnt get Ethiopia out of my mind. I also spoke with a about 15 other moms that had adopted from Ethiopia. We felt that God layed Ethiopia on our hearts. We went into the adoption process initially not having a thought of Ethiopia, and then started the process in love with the country.

May 2015 Update

-Adopted Local and are in LOVE with our baby girl.
-2nd Local (unexpected) Adoption in Progress, and we couldn’t be more honored and excited.
-Ethiopia- human trafficking has become more an more of an issue. We were forced to move our International Adoption out of Ethiopia due to our agency recommendation. This was heartbreaking however we know even if our hearts hurt, the Lord is fully in control. We are working on our dossier for China. Although Ethiopia did not pan out, it led us to our first daughter who was actually a local adoption. The program referred us to Donna our social worker for our international home study. Donna led us to our daughter through word of mouth that a baby was still waiting for placement in the Tampa Bay are. We couldn’t be more thankful.

How long will it take?
A long time. Once our paperwork is complete, which will be around May 2013, it will be about 2 years.

May 2015 Update
International Adoption- A LONG Time.
Local- very very quick. (our first baby was a 5 Week, yes 5 WEEK turnaround)

Who is your Adoption Agency
After a lot of research and prayer Josh and I chose All God’s Children International (ACGI). We just love them. Their staff is composed of all believers. Our assigned social worker has adopted twice and has one bio child and she is wonderful. AGCI prays over each parent that is waiting to adopt and also the future child. This is what touched our hearts the most. They are also Hague Accredited, which means they are completely ethical during the adoption process in terms of where these children are coming from. Also our final “selling point” was Hannah’s Hope. Hannah’s Hope is the orphanage that ACGI runs in Ethiopia and that is where the children go, once recieved by the government, that are waiting to be placed with their forever families. This orphanage is a loving and nuturing enviornment and is something very unique in comparison to other agencies. THe children are loved and taken great care of while they are waiting.

May 2015 Update
International Adoption Agency- still All God’s Children
Local Adoptions- We never signed with an agency. Both our local adoptions were through and agency BUT it was not an agency we signed up for and waited. We started working with them once we were placed with the baby whose birth mom had specifically chosen to work with the agency.

Your adopting before having “your own?”
First, this child will be “our own,” however I know that when we are asked this, everyone is trying to ask why we are adopting first before having a biological child. We truly believe that adoption is not second best. Josh and I have always wanted to adopt and have biological kids and we decided that adoption first was best for our family, unless the Lord changes our plans, which would be unplanned and unexpected to us! After we bring our first born home from Ethiopia we will begin talking about a bio baby 🙂

May 2015

Yes, this still makes me cringe! And for the record, it is offensive to ask any adoptive parent when they are planning on getting pregnant, despite if they have infertility issues or not. I know I say silly things all the time, so realize I need grace as much as the next person too.

Is adotion expensive?
ummmmmm….YEP! about $30-$40K per child. We are using inheritance we received from Josh’s mom. We have been blessed with this money and wanted to do something with it that we would remember, and we cant think of any other way to better use the money. It is also a great legacy that Josh’s mom contributed to.

Update May 2015
First Local Adoption- $40,000
Second Local Adoption- $28,000
International Adoption- $40,000

I hesitate on being this transparent about costs BUT they are real. After our first baby’s adoption we had used all of the inheritance so we have been buckling down big time. And it is an honor. There is no other cost that I can think of that I would rather spend my money toward. Remember also, that the Baby/Child did not cost this money…the Legal process did. There are many ways for them to be lower, for example, adopting local through the foster care system which we hope to do in the future as well. What I want to make clear is DO NOT let costs hold you back. There are so many ways to raise money and I can assist with ideas and point toward resources. The Lord has made it very clear that we are to take care of Orphans, so if HE has placed adoption on your Heart, He will provide.

Are you doing this to “help” a child?
No way, or not really! Bringing a child to American does not equate to saving the child. Even if a child lives in the middle of nowhere without running water or electricity doesn’t mean they need to be rescued. Josh and I have the desire to be parents to a child that does not have parents. We will be brining them into a Christ centered home which has nothing to do with helping them by westernizing them. If our child knows Christ becasue God uses us as a tool in their life, that would be purly God’s grace in salvation, which is the only true cure for any human, including ourselves.

May 2015 Update
It is such a blessing to be a parent of a bio or adoptive Child. I do get a lot “she is so Lucky to have you as parent.” Well, I am the “LUCKY” one.

Are you worried that the Adopted Child will feel out of place?
Sure. Just as much as I worry that my future bio children may get bad grades. Realize, if you are a Christian, you are adopted too! That’s not to take away from the fact that our child will have a different heritage, but it is to say that merging families is a not foreign concept by any means if you are a born again believer. No one is born into God’s family, yet once a person has made a personal and individual decision to follow Christ, and is born again, then you are HIS.

Adoption as a Believer is a divine, not human, invention. The only way any sinner can enter God’s family is through the process of adoption (Rom. 8:14-16; Gal. 4:4-6). If you’ve been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, then you are an adopted child of God. So when it comes to the topics of physical and spiritual adoption, Christians, of all people, should be the ones who really “get it.” Other people may adopt, but no one else on the face of the planet has reason to celebrate adoption like we do!


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