We have gotten A LOT of different questions in relation to our adoption process, so I thought I'd do a blog post on a few of them. First MY question...Is there a such thing as a stupid question? Answer...No, but there is a such thing as an insensitive question! Think before you speak people! :)
1) "Why are you adopting?"
Many reasons!! It has always been on my heart to adopt and I just knew I would one day. I prayed that I'd marry someone who felt the same way. Well I did, obviously! Caleb happens to have been blessed with two adopted siblings. He already knew how adoption is, in fact, a gift from God and it is just another way to add to your family. One thing I have always known is that blood does NOT equal family. Period. This world is not perfect and unfortunately there are WAY TO MANY kids that need homes...an estimated 130-160 MILLION children (Number varies depending on which source you pull from) that do not have a forever family. MILLIONS!! Not to mention, there is also a strong biblical basis for adoption as well. These are 2 of my favorite, of many, versus pertaining to adoption:
"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families." Psalm 68: 5
"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18
2) "Can you not have you OWN kids?" Or another sly way of asking that is "Is Hannah YOURS?"
So one pet peeve of mine is that people seriously ask those questions that way! As if Hannah wasn't mine if she had been adopted?? And most people just assume that, since we are adopting, we are infertile or have issues in that department? Yes I am fully aware this is the case in many families and that is what led them to their decision to adopt, however Is it really any of your business either way? Just saying.
3) So the next question is usually: "So you don't want to have anymore of your OWN?"
Sigh. This question hurts my heart. James is mine, just as Hannah is mine. In fact they are really aren't mine...You see they really belong to God. James is a gift from God, just as God has gifted us with Hannah :) Just the route in which they were given to us is different. I usually just go along with it, because I know they don't usually mean malice, but I get this question ALOT and it drives me crazy.
As we began researching adoption, we decided we wanted to go International. After naming out countries, in which we fit their country criteria, Caleb perked up at Russia. He said that was where our son is. So after much more prayer and consideration, yep he was right, we were going to Russia! We truly feel that God led us to our choice. No other country 'felt right'. Russia felt 100% right. Also, the staggering statistics of Russian orphans are just heartbreaking. As I stated in a previous post:
-There are more than 750,000 orphans are living in Russian institutions (about 2,000 of them).
-Among another estimated 2 million to 4 million homeless orphans living on the streets.
-The annual number of children left without parental care has more than doubled over the last 10 years despite falling birth rates.
-Some 10,000 young people graduate from the state-run orphanages every year.
-And at least 40% of these graduates eventually end up in prisons or in prostitution while one in ten will commit suicide, not to mention the 40% that become addicted to drugs/alcohol.
-And then this statistic I read on another Russian adoption blog...13 out of every 100 children adopted by Russians are eventually returned to the orphanage. (so sad!!!)
4)"Why not adopt here in the states?" Or "Aren't there plenty of children that need homes HERE?"
First, what I REALLY want to say is "Oh really? How many have/are you adopting here in the States?" However, I do not. ;) I educate them according to how much I feel the need to. The decision to adopt domestically vs. international is a very personal one. The fact is that, with private adoption, we could be waiting years and never be picked by a birth mom, not to mention the uneasiness of being picked then the birth mom changing her mind. The state foster system, or through CPS, just didn't feel right to us. I know many people who have had a successful experience and are called to adopted domestically and that's great!!! But it's just not for us, right now. And when it comes down to it, it is wherever God is leading you. We would have followed Him to the end of the earth if that's where He led us. We were called to Russia. That is where are son it at.
5)"How much does/did he cost?"
We are not buying our child. That is, in fact, illegal!! However, there are fees to be paid for services in the adoption process, along with travel expenses. Did you know there are fees to be paid for services in the child birthing process?? Shocking! I know how much I paid my doctor and hospital fees for Hannah's pregnancy and birth. Fees to the doctor, lab work, hospital room, epidural/anesthesia, didn't have a c-section, but there are additional fees there, the nursery, etc... Thank goodness I had insurance so the costs were lessened by that (and we still had a sizable fee to pay out of pocket), but adopting is NO different. You will not get a straight answer from me about this, unless you are actually interested in adopting. Curiosity is not a proper reason to ask someone about their finances. Common courtesy people. :) Money should NEVER be an issue with whether or not to adopt. There are so many resources out there to help ease the financial aspect of adoption. Grants, adoption tax refunds, employer reimbursement, fundraising, saving, loans. Someone wise once said to me something along the lines of this: (Not her exact quote exactly, b/c I'm bad about remembering exact wording :) ) That people nowadays will go purchase a 20, 30, 40K car and finance it for 5-6 years without batting an eye, how about taking out a loan for that amount for that time period to help cover costs related to adoption?? 20 years from now, what is going to matter? A shiny new car or the life of a child?
6) Who/where is his real mother? Standing right in front of you ;) Oh you mean his birth mother?.....
7) What's his story? That's for him to tell, not me.
8) Not to mention the fact that you tell someone you are adopting and ALL the negative comments come out of the woodwork, such as, "You know I hear all the kids from Russia are messed up" Um, ok what research have you done? "All adoptive kids have issues you know"....Ooooh that's right and all bio children are perfect? Ok move on now...
9)Will he speak Russian? Um he's a year old ;)
10) We get told all the time how lucky James is, WE are the lucky ones and blessed to get to have him in our lives!!
11) Are you going to tell him he's adopted? (after showing a picture of him to this person) Seriously?!? LOL the judge actually asked us this "Do you think he looks like you?" ;) 20 more days and I'll post a pick for you to decide!
So those are a few of the frequently asked questions, or comments, we get from people. I am actually (usually) very nice when I answer their questions, b/c I really do think people just do not know the true facts about adoption and I try to make it into a learning opportunity. You just never know who's life you may touch, although sometimes it's really hard to keep smiling.
On that note: 17 MORE DAYS!!!!!!!!!