Today our prayers (and yours) were answered!! Today we felt complete peace and excitement about taking our next step after choosing our agency and country.
Drum roll please..................
We have decided to pursue our adoption of a child with CL/CP through CHINA using Lifeline Children's Services (click to check out their website). They are an incredible, Christian-based organization known for their humanitarian work and excellence in adoption. They have have responded quickly to our inquiries and spent over 30 minutes with me yesterday on the phone. The main office is in Birmingham, AL, but they have 9 other locations around the US. The closest one to us is Louisville, KY. The people at Lifeline fully believe they are fulfilling God's teaching to help orphans, and that means so much to us! Watch this video for more information about Lifeline:
While we did not expect to end up finding our sweet one in China, God surprised us by showing us so many reasons why it is the best fit for our family. First, the China program is Hague Accredited. This is important to us in order to ensure the children are protected. Second, the highest number of orphans born with CL/CP are adopted from China. With strict guidelines and taxes associated with multiple births, in addition to poverty, sweet babies with CL/CP are often abandoned in China. For those who do not know, it is illegal to "give your child up" for adoption in China; therefore, abandoning a child is oftentimes the only practical option families have in China - I know, it's totally heartbreaking. Third, through Lifeline, from application to bringing our child home, it should only take 12-15 months. Special needs children in China can be adopted at a very young age, which is ideal in many ways medically, environmentally, and linguistically.
Watch this video for an example of a Chinese Orphanage. It will bring you HOPE (because the kids and employees look so happy, and they are doing some awesome therapy and play exercises) and break your HEART simultaneously(because there are just so many children who have NO parents): http://vimeo.com/27008457 (Password: maoming)
There is so much for us to learn and so much I want to share with you, but I am exhausted. We spent the past 3 hours filling our the eight page application. Someone told me that completing the paperwork involved in the adoption process is similar to eating an elephant - you have to do it one bite at a time. I am already beginning to understand how true that is! Nevertheless, we are encouraged, excited, and ready to fill out more paperwork tomorrow.
Thank you again for your prayers and excitement as we embark on this journey. Who knows...maybe God will surprise you with a journey to adopt, too, or maybe if your heart is already open to adoption, you will begin doing your own research! I promise to support you along the way!