It’s been a while since I have updated the blog, but Brent and I have accomplished what we feel like has been a lot. We have done hours (and hours and hours) of education including reading a book, doing some extensive online courses, and taking tests. Honestly, we weren’t looking forward to the education but learned a ton! We did not know how differently we would need to parent our adopted child versus our biological children. We also learned about issues that many internationally adopted children have beyond mere developmental delays. At times we felt a little intimidated. What if our child has some extreme needs? Then we remember that we are following the Lord’s call in our lives, and this is completely in His hands.
In addition to the abundance of education requirements, we have begun our medical clearances. I had my physical done this past week, Brent has his this upcoming week, and we will jointly see a psychiatrist. Evidently, having a psychiatrist say that we are okay to parent is a BIG deal in Colombia. It is even a bigger deal than our health, lab results, and home study.
We also knocked out our third home study. The home study process has been so fun since our social worker is such a delight. We only have one more home study – which should be soon – before we go onto our next step. This next step involves compiling our I-800A (US Immigration paperwork) and dossier, which will be sent to Colombia!
Several folks have asked questions about whether we already know which child we will be adopting. The answer is no. There are a few ways to adopt from Colombia. There is a Waiting Children’s list that we have access to, and a Shared List that we also have been able to peruse. Essentially, the Central Authority in Colombia (similar to our DHR) has lists of children that they advocate for as a priority because they are much older, have severe special needs, or are sibling groups. The current lists have such precious children, children that need love and a family just as much as any other child. However, they have severe needs that we do not feel we can handle or adequately parent at this time, especially considering we have two small kiddos already.
The other method is to be matched by the Central Authority. We filled out a form stating the age range(s) we are willing to take and what medical needs we think we can handle. Trust me, filling out this form wasn’t easy. We felt guilty not checking every special need, but our social worker and Lifeline worker helped us realize that we must be honest. We want to be the best parents we can be, and must consider so many aspects of our current lives, as well as whether a child with certain special needs could thrive with us. For example, we have stairs and all the children’s bedrooms upstairs. It would be unfair to this child to never be able to navigate the stairs due to a medical condition, when his siblings have no trouble doing so… you get the point. Unless another Waiting Children list comes out and the Lord leads us to a certain child (or children), we likely will wait for the Central Authority to match us.
So, that’s where we are right now! We are beyond thankful for all the words of encouragement, prayers, and thoughts. Lilly Grace prays for her “brudder in Colombia” every night, and we look forward to Alex soon being able to understand a little more about her “brudder.”