Adoption has been on our hearts for a very long time. Jasmine’s family was made through adoption, with her seven adopted siblings and her two adopted nephews. We talked about our desire to adopt during our very first date, and it was always something we knew we would do. Now, the time has come! This year we both turned 25, which is the requirement for adopting internationally. It is with great excitement that we are starting our adoption journey!
Already we’ve had lots of questions, and we’d like to answer some of them!
Why are you adopting?
We believe that adoption is a beautiful way to make a family. We believe strongly in caring for the orphans of the world. As Christian’s we believe God calls each and every one of us to be part of caring for orphans. That certainly doesn’t mean everyone should adopt, there are lots of ways to care for orphans. However, we know God is calling us to live this out through adoption. More than that, we want another child, and adoption is a beautiful way to do that! Over and over we have felt God telling us this is what He has planned for us, and we are so excited!
Who are you adopting?
When we first began talking about adopting we both knew we wanted to adopt a child with special needs, a child who would be less likely to be chosen by other families. We both have a background with disabilities, and it’s our main work here in Thailand. We have known many good friends with Down Syndrome who have been a huge blessing to us, and through various factors we have felt God telling us that our new child is a girl with Down Syndrome. In fact, we have been pre-matched with an almost two year old girl with Down Syndrome. We can’t share very much about her yet, but we can tell you she’s a cutie!
Where are you adopting from?
We have spent much of this year researching our options. We even applied to adopt in Thailand last year, but did not meet their requirements at the time. As we waited to meet their requirements we really felt that God was not calling us to adopt in Thailand at this time. (It could still be part of our future tho, and we’re open to God’s leading!)
The country that kept coming up was Serbia. We met all their criteria and they met all of ours. The only agency that is licensed to work in Serbia also happens to have a program just for kids with Down Syndrome, and they have a lot of experience working with expats living overseas! Plus, they have a great reputation and we feel confident in their integrity. Serbia also recently joined the Hague Treaty and has done everything in their power to ensure that their adoption program is above and beyond as far as ethics go. This was another big factor in why we chose Serbia.
How long will it take?
That is the age old question with adoption, and it’s really hard to tell. We will be doing our home study in November and gathering our dossier to submit in December. After that it could be anywhere from 6-12 months.
How much will it cost?
That is another good question. International adoption is expensive, and adopting while living overseas is even more expensive! We have already paid $5,625 for our agency service fee. (We are using Hopscotch Adoptions.) We’ve already paid $200 for classes our agency requires and have been working our way through the seven required classes each evening after the kids are in bed. We will be paying $2,000 for our home study in November. We still have about $10,000-15,000 left to cover the country fee, US Immigration fees, travel costs, and costs for having things notarized, certified, and to add an apostille to each docusment. It seems like a large amount of money, but we are committed to doing whatever it takes to bring our daughter home. This summer we were able to save half of the agency service fee, and we sold our truck to raise the other half. We’ve been saving from our monthly donations and setting aside any and all spare money for this. After our home study is complete we will be applying for grants and starting some fund raising projects. If you feel led to be part of the finances of bringing our girl home, please let us know!
Finally, thank you for all of your love and support so far! We’ve been gradually sharing our plans with friends and family and have been very blessed by the outpouring of love and support. It means a lot!
Jasmine, Joey, Ilyria, Cordelia and the newest Tell