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On Pregnancy During Adoption

17 October 2017

I am not pregnant.

For the first time in almost 10 years I can honestly say that I don’t want to be pregnant.

I know that everyone who makes comments or prays prayers or shares dreams, etc., about pregnancy loves us and 100% means well. I know.

But the idea of getting pregnant, in this season, is nothing but stressful for me.

Yes, everyone knows one of those stories. So-and-so tried and tried to get pregnant, gave up, started the adoption process, bam – pregnant. I’ve heard those stories too. Everyone knows someone who had some friend …

But where those stories ended with happy, kind-of-twins situations, they were involved in domestic adoptions. And that cannot be our story.  Read more…


Adoption Update: Health Insurance, Agencies, and Involuntary Muscle Spasms

3 October 2017

I just want another big-headed, wobbly little to love and kiss on, but I can already see that I’m getting so much more than that. (And I don’t mean the involuntary muscle spasms, although I’m getting those too.) By the time this process is over I’m going to be a picture of peace and faith. There’s no way I’ll survive it otherwise.

The Adoption Agency Choice

We spent a couple evenings reviewing my spreadsheet (pbffft – one of them. I have spreadsheets Husband doesn’t even know about yet.) and looking over websites and praying. Lots of praying. And we both felt like we were being pointed to America World Adoption (despite us both thinking that’s a terrible name for an international adoption agency).

I have to mention All God’s Children too, though, as an incredibly tight runner up.

I think we would have had a great experience with either agency, really, but it just came down to that gentle nudge we both felt in prayer. But really – if you’re thinking about international adoption, check out AGC (and ask for Kate). Even if you’re not thinking about adoption, but want to do something else to help orphans, in Jesus’ name, check out AGC. They 100% advocate for orphans all over the world through more than just adoption.

And the same is true of America World. We’re really happy to work with them, and Madelyn has been such a huge help over the past several weeks. It was a tough call, so we unloaded it on God and tried to just be obedient.

The Agency Application (This Was Supposed to Be the Easy Part)

I gathered my info and my references and we filled out the online application. The automatic email reply told us to expect a response in two to four business days.

I expected it to be close to two, because I’m an idiot, and because I’ve been talking to Madelyn for weeks. Via email and on the phone. She’s super sweet and helpful, and we’ve already been through the whole net worth thing, so the application process seemed like a bit of a formality.

Even our third-party consultant just said, “Let me know when you get your official acceptance email!”

Done deal, right?  Read more…

Adoption Phase 1: Difficult Choices and Burning Frustrations

21 September 2017

There are so many words in my heart about this process, and I don’t know how to arrange them.

adoption compass

Which, in itself, is a fairly unfamiliar and extremely disorienting sensation.

I’ve stared into a glowing screen on several occasions this week to try to process, but every time I end up walking away the same – or worse – as I came. This whirlwind will not settle for a second so I can stamp it out in letters and spaces.

But before I try again, an update.

Step 1: Choose a Country and an Agency

It’s almost embarrassing to think we’re still, technically, on Step 1, but here we are. We’re two weeks deep and it’s already more complicated than I’d hoped or imagined.

adoption map

Apparently, the normal process is to choose a country from which to adopt, and then find an agency that has a good program in that country. It seems a lot of people come to this process with a heart for a particular nation, but we have not. We couldn’t care less where he’s from or what he looks like.

So we’re doing “country” and “agency” kind of together. Our consultant recommended China, because we have a few requests/requirements (toddler, we have to be able to specify gender since he’ll be sharing a room with Man Cub), and because we’d like as fast a process as possible. I realize that sounds ridiculous, but emphasis on “as possible.” Because we just started, but my heart has already been waiting and hoping for almost three years.

China Looked Perfect, Until …

Everyone who looked at our short list of needs said, “China.”

adoption china.

  • The adoption process is well established and has not changed for a long time. Agencies know how to get it done, and China has the operation running smoothly.
  • China allows adoptive parents to specify a gender. Many countries do not.
  • About 75% of children who need adopting from China are boys.

All good in the hood … and then we got to a question in one of the pre-applications about net worth. Most countries specify a required income level (generally $10k per person in the house, including the to-be-adopted child), and the need for a positive net worth. China sets a much higher bar for the net worth requirement.

Cue spreadsheet.

Because, on the surface, assets minus liabilities is pretty straight-forward, but of course it’s not. The last week has been dedicated to net worth worksheets and hounding our poor insurance agent and emailing three different consultants and agency representatives (and my mommy) for second and third opinions.

And, under the surface, the questions and the accusations.

You should have given less and saved more all these years. Your savings account it pitiful and look where it’s gotten you.

You are literally not worth a China adoption that – in every other way – is perfect for your family.

All-in-all, pretty weak, honestly, but no less persistent.

Three spreadsheets, two phone calls, and countless emails later, we did it. We are worthy (enough).

Next Steps: Choose an Agency, Plan an Art Show

I have another spreadsheet for this task too. I’m not kidding.

I’ve been talking to five agencies, and most have been super helpful and sweet and empathetic. I like all of them, but tonight we have family time set aside to look over info together and pray, and make a choice.

  1. Then we officially apply to the agency.
  2. Once we’re accepted by an agency, we can start applying for grants.
  3. And we start preparing for a home study.

We’ll also start planning a Therst + Kid Therst art show fundraiser. Stay tuned for the art event of the year. 😉

“How Can I Help?”

Pray. Requests:

  • China really is the right program.
  • We choose the right agency.
  • Our application is accepted.
  • We get supernatural wisdom, energy, and inspiration to pull off a great fundraiser.

And we’re probably not going to do the crowdfunding thing, but we do have a PayPal account set up for donations – because several people asked. You can send gifts, if you want, to NiewskiNewbie [at] gmail [dot] com.