Friday, August 31, 2012

Adoption FAQ

Why are you adopting from the Democratic Republic of Congo? (and not China again)

The Lord has put a burning passion in our hearts to minister to others through adoption. We have been praying since Alyssia came home last September for clarity and wisdom as to if and when we should adopt again.

We do not currently qualify for China's adoption program, although it is possible that we could have gotten a waiver. Still, the Lord seemed (over and over again) to be directing our hearts to Africa. Brent and I began praying that we could either take a missions trip or adopt a child from Africa. We began researching websites and blogs, talking to missionary friends or adoptive parents, and learning all we could about the various countries and immense needs.

Last May, while at the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit in California, we spoke with a man who mentioned a church ministry that partnered with an orphanage in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He explained a little about the ministry and gave us the name. That night, in our hotel room in CA, we looked up the website and were first introduced to Compassion for Congo.

What adoption agency are you using?

We are not working with an adoption agency. Compassion for Congo (C4C) is a church ministry that networks with a national pastor in DRC who runs an orphanage from his home.The pastor and his wife (along with other staff) care for the children. (As you might imagine with a third-world country like Congo, the orphanage is in a very rural, primitive area.)

This is an independant adoption. While we did hire a Homestudy Agency, there will be no placing agency. Instead, we will work directly with C4C and the orphanage in DRC. The pastor at the orphanage will handle all of the legal paperwork on the DRC end for us.

Isn't adoption really expensive?

(Or, are you guys really wealthy?) :)

Yes. And no. Yes, adoption can be very expensive, and NO we are not wealthy. But our God is! We don't have the expenses for this adoption "figured out", but God has proven Himself over and over again, so we step out in faith. He will provide when He is leading.

Because this is an independant adoption, the expected fees are much lower....we anticipate a total of about $15,000. We do expect to need to use "alternative means" to get our little one(s) home, and that's okay. Their ransom is worth every penny!

How does this independant adoption work?

There are several steps involved. First, we complete a Home Study (our SW estimated it would be completed by the end of October). Next, we will apply for our immigration approval (US government allowing us to bring the child into the country). DRC is not a Hague country, so we only need an I600 this time. (for those of you current on adoption lingo, lol!)

Once we have an approved Home Study and I600, the orphanage will show us the files on any children we desire to view. We will be allowed to choose, and I don't know if this will be easy or extrememly hard. (I'm sure we'll want them all.....) We feel the most comfortable with an infant boy, but we've been told young siblings and/or twins are often available, and we're very open to that as well. Our Home Study will approve us for two children but only time will tell whether or not that is part of God's plan. :)

After we've been matched with our child, the national pastor will begin the paperwork process in DRC. Estimated time until travel is between 3 and 5 months. It is quite possible for us to have our new little one in our arms by early spring of 2013!

How will you work travel arrangements?

We've put alot of thought and prayer while considering our travel plans. I will remain home with the children while Brent travels to DRC to pick up our baby and finalize the adoption paperwork. Nathaniel (7) will be Daddy's travel buddy, providing he can earn/raise the needed funds for his plane ticket. He has started praying and working already and we're excited to watch his faith grow as God provides the money for his ticket. There is already five whole dollars in the "Congo money" envelope. :)

Isn't your house small?

Yes, by many standards, it is small. (and when the youngest three are fussing or crying at the same time, it feels exceptionally tiny! :)) In comparison to the majority of the world's population, however, we are living in a mansion. We would certainly love a larger home, but for now, this is where God has us, and we're going to bloom where we're planted (or maybe it should be grow where we're planted?)....

We usually co-sleep or at least share our room with our babies/toddlers, so we expect our newest little one will be in our room for quite some time. He can join his rough-and-tumble brothers when Mommy and Daddy have gotten our fill of snuggles. :)

Is this a Special Needs adoption?

Not officially. But we are open to various special needs, so it could end up that way.

Is it possible to be truly excited about children numbers 8 or 9???

Yes, yes, yes---and did I say YES! :)

The entire family spends most of our free time dreaming of Africa and our new little guy. When we only had Eliana, and I was pregnant with Nathaniel, I remember thinking, "How will I ever love a child as much as I love Eliana?" Of course, you all know that I fell as deeply in love with my second child as I did with my first. :) And the love just keeps growing!

I love being a Mommy. I love the chaos, the sweetness, the crying, the laughing, the disciplining, and the nurturing.....I am living my life's dream, and YES, I am just as excited about adopting a son from Africa as I was when I found out I was pregnant with my first baby. Each child is a gift from God, and every child needs the love of a family.

Like I've shared before, the paperwork part of the adoption is like the morning-sickness part of a pregnancy. It's not fun, nobody really hopes to go through it, but when you know that each day brings you one day closer to your child, it's worth every aching finger (or vomit in the toilet!).

Yes, we are truly excited about our adoption. :)

**I'm sure this doesn't anwer all of your questions, so feel free to comment on this post and I'll be happy to answer them! With all the scrutiny a family goes through to be approved to adopt, I feel like my life is an open book anyway. :)  Which reminds me, I probably need to revisit some of the questions from the Game Time post ......hmmm.....


  1. Are there other countries in which you can do an independent adoption? say can you do an independent adoption in China?

    and the difference in an independent adoption vs. agency adoption (obviously the cost since you aren't paying a middle man) are what?

    excited for you! neat that this time you might end up with an infant too!

  2. My husband and I would like more information about adopting from DRC through the in-country contacts you are planning to use. Please email me at Thanks in advance! -Erin

  3. (It is not possible to do an independent adoption from China. A big difference in an independent adoption is that the burden/responsibility rests solely on you to be sure the child meets the US requirements/definition of an orphan. An attorney who specializes in immigration/adoption law can help to review and solidify your case, but that is also an additional expense to consider. The US will never "pre-approve" a least in I-600 having an attorney who knows what makes a case strong is a huge benefit. It is possible that the child you adopt is cleared to be adopted by the country of origin, but is still refused a US visa because he/she does not meet the US definition.)

    That being said, CONGRATULATIONS to you! What an exciting time! If you need a recommendation for an attorney or would like to chat about independent adoptions just let me know! I'd love to email with you! We completed one 9 months ago!

  4. Hi Selina,

    A dear friend of mine referred me to you and your Congolese adoption. I was sharing with her our feeling that we were being lead to Congo. I visited Compassion for Congo, but was left with more questions as I was hoping to see how to go about an adoption through them. I have a few questions. I know you are a very busy momma. I am as well, but have hopes to either speak with you or email with a few questions. I'm not a casual inquirer, but very serious about the possibility of working with this organization.

    Was your total fee estimate including your travel and accommodations as well?

    Thanks ever so much for an help you can give me with questions here. Thanks. God Bless.

  5. Hi! My husband and I are looking into adopting for Congo and I stumbled upon your blog while researching independent adoptions. I noticed you stopped using C4C...was this because you weren't happy with the organization or because of person reasons? If you could email me I'd really appreciate it! vthomas (at) me (dot) com

  6. I love being a Mommy. I love the chaos, the sweetness, the crying, the laughing, the disciplining, and the nurturing.....
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  7. Once we have an approved Home Study and I600, the orphanage will show us the files on any children we desire to view. We will be allowed to choose, and I don't know if this will be easy or extrememly hard.
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I welcome any and all comments as long as they are Christ-honoring. Please let me know what you think!