Thursday, October 20, 2005

Knowing the birth mother is now carrying our child

While I’m waiting I can't help but think of the birth mother and knowing that we will be starting the adoption in 2 months and that it takes, lets say 16 months from now to complete if our daughter is 11 months when we get her then:

9 months pregnancy
+ 11, if she’s 11 months old when we get her
= 20 months
-16 months it will take from now to complete the adoption
=4 months pregnant.

This is the kind of stuff you come up with while waiting. The birth mother now knows she is with out a doubt pregnant. If it’s her first pregnancy she might be just praying it’s a boy and abandon the baby after she finds out that it’s a girl. Wether that’s from pressure from her husband, in-laws, government or both I do not know. Maybe she got pregnant by mistake a second time and is hiding the pregnancy from the authorities hoping to have the baby and take it to the orphanage where she has seen westerners come and take the babies home to America with them. All the while knowing that she is committing a "crime". Some people will know she is pregnant and turn a blind eye. I have read stories of mothers and babies that weren’t so lucky. I hope she is able to leave what is referred to as a finding add. This is left by the mother, with the abandoned child and gives info like when the baby was born. If you are lucky the orphanage will give this to you when you are there to pick up the child.
So I don’t think of the birth mothers as a thoughtless or selfish, but as a women trapped in a situation beyond their control that will give the baby growing inside her a chance at life the only way she knows how. I will thank of her and our daughter often in the coming months.

We know we want to but when can we?

We had to look at the logistics of a China adoption, find out what is involved money wise and the time line it takes from start to finish. Here is what we have learned. Income, you most make $10,000 per person in the household so with 3 in our family already we need to make $40,000 to be eligible to adopt. On the age requirement couples 30 to 44 may apply to adopt a child 3 to 12 months old typically the children are not younger than 7 months. If you fall in the 12 and younger category and request a child young as possible the average age is 10 months. Couples If your 45 to 50 it's 12 months to 3 years ,Couples 51 to 55 it's 4 years and older, singles can adopt to they are required to make a base of $20,000 plus $10,000 per family member so if they live by them selves $30,000.
Well on the money side we found with the China adoption it is between $15,000 and $20,000 when you figure in all the expenses and airfare hotels ect.
All but $3,000 of that is for fees and services in the US and China. There is a $3,000 "donation" you must pay to the orphanage that your child comes from that is to help improve the conditions at the orphanage and support the children left behind. Not all orphanages participate in the international adoption, but for the ones that do the orphanages benefit from the donations. In some cases you can not tell the difference from an orphanage in China and a western day care. Like everything in life there are exceptions and I'm sure some are better than others.
The time line, if you have Chinese heritage, is speeded up. For every one else it's looking like a minimum of 12 months, and there is no maximum, from the time you start your paper work till you receive your referal, then it's approx. 45 days till you travel to Chine to get your child. Well with my wife in full time school and being off work for a while I knew that we would have to wait until she graduates from school in December of 2005 before we started our paper work. In the mean time I have been finding out all I can about the process of adopting from China, learning about China and it's people, and learning to speak Mandarin. So for now it's just nice to know that we have a start date in mind.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

How we came to the decision of adopting from China.

Up until November of last year we thought that our son Brandon was going to be an only child. It was at that time that I started getting leg pain that was so sever that I could not stand. Come to find out I had a ruptured disc in my back that needed to be repaired by surgery. Because of
the kind of work that I do that involves a lot of lifting pushing and pulling I was going to be off work for awhile. I don't think that there is ever a good time to have back surgery but I had no choice because if I couldn't stand I couldn't work. My wife Lori was in her second year of fulltime RN school and only worked off and on at the hospital when she could find the time in between school . My loving wife took on more time at work, and thanks to family and friends and a loan from the bank! We knew that we would make it through this difficult time in our lives and come out stronger as a couple on the other side.What we didn't expect was the life changing decision that was to come.
It was late November, I had already had surgery and was recouping at home watching some TV to pass the time when a reporter named Lisa Ling for National Geographic Explorer came on the Oprah Winfrey show to tell about a documentary that she had filmed entilted "The lost daughters of China". She showed a little bit of the film and told how thousands and thousands of baby girls were being abandoned just because they were girls. China has a strict one child policy, and because the boys carry on the family name, stay with the family, and work the farms boys are preferred to the extent that when some of the women give birth to a perfectly healthy girl they abandon her to try again for a boy.
This was one of the saddest things I have ever heard and I knew I needed to get more information about the situation involving the Baby girls in China. So I ordered the DVD from National Geographic, which is a great video buy the way, and started to do research on the internet. It was hard for me to understand that there was a baby girl that was abandoned simply because she was born a girl and all that we had to do was go get her and she could be a part of are family forever. Ok, I have learned that it is not that easy, but at the same time it is that easy. There was just going to be some work on our part in between the decision to adopt and going to bring our daughter home.
Lori and I knew we had plenty of room in our family for another child but had to decided if we wanted to start all over raising another child. What I mean is our son is now 14 and with him at that age Lori's and my life is pretty easy. Brandon is a great kid and we are still very protective of him but on a different level now that he is older. We can hop in the car and come and go as we please. We no longer have to worry about day care, car seats, strollers, diapers, potty traing, having to miss work because he has a little fever and they cant keep him at day care which is understandable. I think you can see what I mean. Well with all that figured into the picture, with the issues that may come up from an international adoption, we realized that there is still a lot of joy that comes along with the huge responsiblity of raising a child. We are going to become a family of four.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

This is the story of the adoption of our daughter Norah.

Welcome to are blog as you can tell we have already picked a name for our daughter. I have created this blog so that are family and friends can keep up with the latest news about are adoption, and to show any one interested in adopting from how the China adoption process works.