|Yay for siblings! If you are new to this site, these are our three kids, aged 5, 4, and 6, respectively. |
We are excited to add a fourth! (Picture by Rachael Kulick.)
WHAT: Um, this seems obvious. Unless you missed the title. ADOPTION! Yay!
WHEN: Not soon enough. The process will probably take at least a year from now until we are bringing our child home, maybe longer. There are two different paths with a Chinese adoption:
1) after a family has finished their paperwork they wait to be matched with a newly listed child whose file matches their openness. (This is not a mandatory match: the parents can pray over the file and consult with doctors if desired before making a decision.)
2) at any time during the paperwork process the family can ask to be matched with a child who is on the Waiting Child List. Children on the waiting list are kids who were not matched with families when they were first listed with the adoption agency, either because they have special needs that no families were specifically open to, or because they are older (four years old is considered "old!"), or because they are a boy and the families at that time specifically requested a girl. (Side note: There are SO MANY boys in China who need families!)
It is my personal hope that we would be able to race through our paperwork (ha, ha ...) and as soon as we are done, the child that we are meant to adopt would be newly listed with our agency and we would be matched to them. This hopeful scenario would mean the shortest wait time for everyone. When we were adopting Mei-Mei, we saw her picture on the Waiting Child List, asked to be matched with her, and then we had a year's worth of paperwork and waiting before we could go get her. This time around, if we get all our paperwork done first, then our child has the shortest possible wait after they are listed, although the timing is about the same or a little longer for us. (Clear as mud? All of this is pretty confusing.)
WHERE: China. Our first experience with Bethany Christian Services' China team was stellar, and the Chinese language, culture and food are wound into our hearts and our family life.
WHY: Because children need families. Let me repeat that. Children. Need. Families. This is not about my husband and I wanting more kids. (Although, to be clear, we do!) This is not about a fun cultural experience. (Although we have been enriched by the addition of Chinese culture to our family!) This is about kids, growing up in foster care or an orphanage, never having anyone who is committed to them for forever. Sometimes never having anyone who will tell them: "You have value. You are loved."
That is why we are doing this big, crazy, time-consuming, expensive thing.
HOW MUCH: $31,000. *Gulp* Let me break this down a bit.
Agency fees (Home study, Adoption fees, Post-Placement Reports) $13,950
Foreign Country Program Expenses $2,810
Translation and Document Expenses $3,685
Program Development $1500
Immigration fees $985
Travel and Accommodation in China* $8,575
*This number is the most flexible, as it will be affected by the tourist season, strength of the US dollar, and the specific province in China that we are traveling to.
We will also be giving our child's orphanage a gift of either money or supplies, both as a culturally significant gesture of gratitude, and also to improve the lives of other children in the orphanage. In previous years this was a required part of the adoption fees, adding approximately $6000 to the cost of Chinese adoption. Praise God that the adoption officials in China have made it this much easier for children to be adopted!
HOW CAN YOU HELP:
If you would like to know about our continued prayer needs and financial progress, sign up for our (probably monthly) newsletter by emailing me at email@example.com with "Add Me" or something else self-explanatory in the subject line.
If you would like to contribute directly to Bethany, send a check made out to Bethany Christian Services with "Fenn Family Adoption" in the memo line to this address:
Bethany Christian Services
930 McCallie Avenue
Chattanooga TN 37403
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, send a check made out to Highlands with "Fenn Family Adoption" in the memo line to this address:
Highlands Presbyterian Church
1211 North Main Street
LaFayette GA 30728
If now is not a great time for you to contribute, but you'd like to at some point, keep an eye out for future updates! We will be doing a T-shirt fundraiser in a few months.
Thank you for walking with us on this journey! We're very excited to be on this path and excited that you want to travel with us on it!
|(Picture by Rachael Kulick.)|