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Adoption FAQs

2 September 2017

Might be reopening this space because …

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First, I have to say, it’s been less than a week – and we are pretty much no where in the process – and I am overwhelmed at the support and love already.

And while I 100% don’t mind talking about it and answering all the questions (really – I honestly love talking about it ’cause it makes it feel more real), it seems most people have similar sets of questions. And I’ve caught a few people lingering around the peripheral of a conversation to catch answers to questions they didn’t know if they could ask. 🙂 So here’s the skinny …

Q: Wow! Really?

A: Yes really. The paperwork and payment is sent to our friends at Christian Adoption Consultants. It is on like Donkey Kong.

Q: When did you decide to do this?

A: We finally decided a day or two before we sent in paperwork, but that form has been sitting in a pile of paperwork — all filled out — for months. I’ve been emailing with a very gracious woman at CAC since November. We’ve talked about adopting as long as we’ve been married.

Q: How old are you going to adopt?

A: Toddler. We can’t really be more specific than that. Man Cub will be 5 this December, and closer to 6 by the time this process is over, so we kind of want to bridge the age gap if we can.

Q: Boy or girl?

A: We won’t be sure until it’s time to do a home study. The plan was to circle “no preference” on the form and see what happens, but we hit a snag when all parties discovered that the newbie will be sharing a bedroom with the Man Cub. I’m told that, depending on the home study agency, we may have to specifically request a boy, which would probably have been my preference anyway, because of the room-sharing.

Q: Why international?

A: We tried to adopt out of foster care, but our circumstances won’t allow it. Kids younger than 6 or 7 are usually not “legally free” for adoption out of foster care, and I don’t really want to supplant Man Cub’s “big brother” status. We hoped foster a toddler with the intention of adopting if the biological family can’t be reconciled, but then I mentioned bunkbeds and that whole line of inquiry came to a screeching halt.

The foster care agencies don’t really want to license us for foster care with such a small house, ’cause we’re not really much good to the (extra paperwork, impossible in rushed circumstances, etc.) The agencies that help with adoption from the foster care system only have access to kids who are legally free, which means they’re much older.

Besides the foster care system, domestic adoption means infants, and that’s not ideal for us right now.

Q: Is it expensive?

A: It’s ridiculously expensive.

Q: How long will it take?

A: My consultant tells me that if I hustle as much as her, we could bring home a toddler in 12 months.

Q: What country are you adopting from?

A: We’re not sure yet. Our primary concerns are age, quickness, and gender — if the home study agency tells us gender is a concern. Our consultant explained that there are a few countries that (A) have children already available and legally free for adoption, and (B) have not changed their international adoption policies for years.

She explained that they (the consultants) know the ins and outs of those systems very well, because they’ve been working with them for years. They’re looking at all of our info, and they’ll identify a short list of countries we could adopt from, with “quick” turnaround times. China is on the list, but that’s all we know for now.

Q: Are you going to raise money/do fundraisers/set up a GoFundMe?

A: Yes to the raising money. I may start selling off anything that’s not nailed down soon. I’m hatching plans to put Husband’s artistic talents to work (overtime) for a couple of art shows. (Thinking about a Therst/Kid Therst joint show too.)

We’re not setting up any kind of crowd-sourcing thing. At least not for now. I have mixed feelings about it. Actually, I don’t have mixed feelings about it. I actually feel totally fine about it, but I’ve read a few things by adopted kids who are now all grown up and they had weird feelings about it. We’re praying through that one.

It turns out there are also lots of grants available, so I’ll be applying to all of them.

Q: Can I do anything to help?

A: Pray. Pray for favor with all the agencies and smooth sailing with all the paperwork. Pray that our son, wherever he is, is in good hands, that he stays healthy, that God is with him.

There will probably be room for hands-on help when we come to fundraisers, if you’re in the area.

If you really want to help us cover expenses, you can send money via PayPal to NiewskiNewbie@gmail.com.

Q: How’s Man Cub?

A: Super excited and already appalled at the amount of paperwork involved.

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On Why I Am Quitting in 2015

29 December 2014

I’m turning off my social web for 2015.

I’m not excited about it.

I find Twitter useful for discovering good content. Facebook is sometimes entertaining. (Although it’s also infuriating so, of all of it, I am looking forward to a break from Facebook.) I really enjoy the pretty pictures and the mommy community on Instagram. I like this space — Spits And Wiggles — for the outlet it provides. I am a fan of social media. I enjoy it.

But for some weeks, my soul has been arid. There have been oases, in God’s great mercy, but in general it’s been dim.

Photo Cred: Antonio Perez Rio

Photo Cred: Antonio Perez Rio

I know that the desert is where spiritual growth happens. I know that everyone goes through those seasons. But I was starting to feel like something needed to change. Like I couldn’t keep begging God to take me to a new place, and not start walking.

So one day, as I sat reading about John the Baptist — for no particular reason — a still, small voice seemed to say exactly what I didn’t want to hear.

“You’re building your own kingdom.”

I knew exactly what that meant, because that’s how He speaks. At least to me. He speaks simply, but He opens eyes when He speaks. (“Did not our hearts burn within us … ?”)  Read more…

Free Spoken Word Video: “Scandal In Bethlehem”

15 December 2014

Jeff

I’m cross-blogging ’cause I really want to share this with everybody.

The whole story and the video is over on The Esther Project.

Short version: I wrote a spoken word piece for our church’s Christmas Eve service a few years ago, and it went decently well. I woke up about a month ago determined to make a video out of it, so I could offer it for free to those small local churches with no media budget.

It turned out to be much harder than I thought it would be, and I learned a whole lot in the process, but that’s another time.

Hop over to the other blog and check it out, and please forward it on to any church staffer you know who might find it useful. I know it’s a little late in the game for a lot of churches, but I also know there are those smaller congregations who don’t have solid plans yet. (I talked to one last week.)