Q. What made you decide you want to adopt?
A. Short version - God gradually developed a desire to adopt in my heart, which quickly carried over to Allan with even a greater passion. Long version - read this post.
Q. Why China?
A. Hmm...that's a loaded question too. I was always moved by adoption stories from China. Allan and I both never thought about domestic, we both knew we wanted to adopt internationally (probably for some selfish reasons, we didn't want to face the risk of the birth parents coming back for the child's custody). It always broke my heart when I heard stories of how girls were not valued/wanted in certain parts of the world. This yearning was confirmed when I watched the trailer of It's A Girl documentary film. My husband and I are also big advocates for fighting human trafficking (see A21 Campaign). We wanted to do our small part of rescuing one girl and giving her a home where she's valued and loved.
Q. Why a girl, when you already have two daughters?
A. Pretty much for the reasons we listed above. Ever since we began thinking about adoption, we always had a girl in mind. That's why we were hoping to have at least one boy through birth, but God had other plans, at least for now :)
Q. Why not a newborn baby?
A. International adoption is a long process, both on our end and on the child's end. There are many procedures a baby must go through before he/she becomes eligible for adoption through an American agency. Then, after a child is matched, there's still a 4-6 months wait before the family can travel and officially adopt the child. With all these factors considered, it's rare that you'll be able to adopt a child younger than 12 months (at least from China, not sure about other countries). We requested a child under 2. Our child was 19 months old when we were matched, she will be turning 2 around the time we travel to China. The youngest age I've heard of (in the recent years) is 15 months at the time of travel (again, this is just pertaining to China adoption).
Q. Why are you adopting from a special needs list?
A. Simply put, because the process is much shorter. Currently, the wait to adopt from "healthy child list" in China is over 5 years. Not kidding. We found this out quickly as we began looking into China adoption. However, they also have what's called a "special needs list," and the process to adopt form this list takes much less time (15-18 months). In China, any minor defect/delay is labeled as special needs (i.e. big birthmark, minor developmental delay, etc.). This was why we chose to adopt from special needs list.
Q. How did you choose your adoption agency?
A. We looked through a few different agency websites (requested info from them), asked people who have adopted, compared costs, attended a seminar of one agency, etc. Finally we chose Lifeline because a couple from my college who had just returned from China (adopting their first) raved about them. We also liked that their cost seemed a little lower than the others, they were a Christian agency, and they had special partnerships with orphanages in China. We could not have been more pleased with our choice. There seems to be many other great agencies out there too.
Q. How did you finance your adoption?
A. We were blessed enough with the finances from Allan's home-based business, but I heard of other families affording their adoption through loans, grants, fundraisers, donations, tax credit, employee benefits, etc. They all echo the same truth: "When God places adoption in your heart, He will make it happen financially."
Q. If I want to adopt, what's my first step?
A. Talk to people who have adopted or are going through the process! We learned so much through communicating with other adoptive families. We'd be glad to talk to you more about the process. Also here is a link where you can read about the step-by-step process www.howtoadopt.org.