Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Grubb Family - Adoption from Poland

It's April! That crazy month where some of us are in the midst of a pollen windstorm and 80 degree weather (hand-raised) and others of you are dealing with SNOW still. (I'll take the pollen).  If you are one of my regular blog readers, I've taken my writing about parenting/motherhood/random stuff over to a Facebook page called Keep High Fiving. If you haven't seen it, I'd love for you to head on over and join our community!

I'm so excited to introduce you to my Rodan + Fields family this month- they are the first family I've supported who are adopting from Poland! I wanted to learn more about the process and hope you can learn something new too!

As always, every family I support receives 20% of my profit from my new and returning customers that month.  So, if you are the least bit interested in learning about what R+F has to offer (skin care for anti-aging, sun damage, breakouts, and sensitive skin)- then let's talk and I can share the options! Send me an email at leslieharris77(at)gmail(dot)com.

Now, I'd like you to hear from Dan and Liz Grubb, a sweet couple I'm honored to support this month!

1. Share a little about your family and what led you to adoption, specifically Poland. 
We've heard the statistic that one in three families talk about adoption, but only 2% act. We knew early on in our relationship that we wanted to be part of the 2%. It has been and will continue to be a lifelong journey. We started out as foster parents, but wanted to be a forever family to a little one. 

As we began to research different countries and processes, the agency and country requirements for Poland stuck out to us. It matched where we were as a couple and as a family at the time. The more we learned about Poland, the more we were attached to its history. The history of Poland is littered with bondage and oppression and now it is experiencing new freedoms. We saw so many connections to the Gospel with previous bondage and oppression and new found freedoms in Christ, we want this to be a story that continues to point to God's glory. 

2. What is the process to adopt from Poland? How did you choose your agency? 
I believe it is relatively standard. We chose the agency based on reputation, relationship with country, relationship with birth families, care for children, faith background, and responsiveness to inquires. We started with agency paperwork and a home study, then completed the dossier, were matched with a little girl and accepted her referral, then we continued with paperwork and wait for court dates. The process can take anywhere from 18 months to 2 years (estimated) and we are 15 month into the process. Once the court date is set, we then travel to Poland for the bonding period and court process. We will be in country for 6-7 weeks. The bonding period is set by the local judge, and is somewhere between 2-3 weeks, then there is a 21 day appeals process after the court date.  Once through that period, we will be able to apply for her visa and finish up anything we need to before bringing her home. 

3. What are you learning in this adoption process? 
That every child deserves a home, that it's easier than I thought, that it's also harder than I thought, that patience and perseverance come from the Lord along with peace and comfort.  I've learned just what an amazing husband, a supportive family, and fantastic friends I have, and that I love a child I've never met more than I could ever imagine. 

4. How will you continue to celebrate and emphasize your child's Polish heritage once they are in your family? 
Well, we're trying to learn Polish, to incorporate some language into the home. We'll probably highlight the cuisine we like on special occasions. We'll celebrate all things Polish on major holidays and our Gotcha Day. And we plan to talk about everything with her as she's ready to hear and questioning. 

5. What are some ways that people who are not going to adopt can still play a role in the life of an adoptive family? 
Prayer is so important and so comforting. Financially, give if you are able and willing. If not, help out with a fundraiser by serving or helping with the planning. Read about how adoptive parenting can be different and support adoptive parents in the beautiful moments and the hard moments. And show all the love you can to the child and the parents themselves! It's such a joyous thing, celebrating every little moment is so important!   

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Nabors Family - South African Adoption

Happy February! I'd love for you to meet the Nabor's family and read about their journey to adopt from South Africa. I've asked Ashley to share a little of their story with you.  If you are considering international adoption their story, as well as some of the previous posts, will introduce you to families adopting across the world.

1. Tell us a little about your family and what led you to adoption, specifically South Africa:
Nick and I have been married almost seven years. We welcomed our first child, Titus, into the world on December 9th of 2014. He is a sweet bundle of energy and we love him so! We live in Statesboro, Georgia and are employed by Cru, (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ). We love working with college students at Georgia Southern and around the world.

I would say our adoption journey has been going on in our hearts for quite some time. We knew from the time we got married that we wanted to adopt some day and that God was calling our family specifically to adopt, we just never imagined we would already be this far in the process.

There are around two million children in South Africa currently, and only about 2,000 adopted each year. While spending a year living in South Africa, the Lord really impressed these children on our hearts. We felt a specific call to adopt internationally, and if possible, from South Africa.  We turned our formal application to our adoption agency at the end of February (2014), and toward the end of March, we got our official approval into our agency's South Africa program! (A fun side note, we found out that I was pregnant with Titus at the same time!)

2. What is the process to adopt from South Africa? How did you choose your agency? 
The process is rather lengthy, (around 2-5 years.) Essentially, the steps for us were an informal and then formal application, an in-depth home study process, training hours and in short, lots and lots of paperwork. The paperwork includes anything from background checks to immigration paperwork, grant applications, submitting documents to be authenticated by the state, etc... To get to the point where our dossier (international packet of paperwork) was officially shipped to South Africa took two whole years. We chose our agency primarily because of the strong partnership they have with South Africa and that they were Christian-based.

3. What are you learning in this adoption process? 
I would say patience, trust, and endurance. The process so far has been hard. There were days when I think we experienced every emotion. There are many discouraging and frustrating moments, and mostly the process is messy, but it is worth it. We have learned what the Lord teaches His children over and over...that He is a good Father, that He is in control and that we can always trust Him, (even when His plans are not what we had in mind.)

4. How will you continue to celebrate and emphasize your child's South African heritage once they are in your family?
It helps that we lived in our future daughter's birth country for a year because we have knowledge of her heritage and culture as well as a myriad of pictures of us in South Africa.  There are pictures from our time spent there displayed throughout our home as well as little things we either bought or were given from friends that we keep around. We hope this will provide opportunities to talk about her heritage as she gets older. We also plan to cook South African foods and have family traditions that revolve around her culture.

5. What are some ways that people who are not going to adopt can still play a role in the life of an adoptive family? 
I think financially supporting is a great way to help, but definitely not the only way. Providing financial help is an encouraging way to play a role because it lets the adoptive family know you are supporting this big change to their family. I would also say that if you know someone in the process, be sure to really engage with them and ask questions. I have enjoyed every conversation I have had with people who made a point to ask me about our process and timetable.

After a family's adoption goes through, you can look for ways to serve that family as they transition. Simply reaching out and asking what would be helpful to them would be a wonderful way to get involved. This might include dropping off dinner one night or offering to babysit other kids in their family so that they can have some one on one time with their newly adopted child. I'm sure the needs would differ from family to family as adoptions are all different.

This month, 20% of my Rodan + Fields profits will be donated to the Nabors family.  If you've got skin concerns- anti-aging, sun damage, eczema/rosacea/psoriasis, or acne and are looking for a new option in skin care...Let's talk- would love to help you invest in your skin while investing in an adoption this month! 

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Nunes Family- Costa Rica Adoption

Happy New Year! Each month, I'm sharing about adoption by highlighting a family in the process. If you are just joining us, scroll back through to meet other families doing international, domestic, and embryo adoption. 

As you read, remember that this is just ONE piece of the adoption triad. Adoptive families, adoptees, and birth families all need to have a voice in this journey. 

I had someone ask me a great question yesterday. If I were to tell my pre-adoptive self one thing. . . what would it be?   

Without hesitation, I know it would be to LISTEN more and to have talked less. 

So, if I can encourage you. . . 
Listen to all the voices involved in adoption. Listen without responding or debating. Put the "welcome home videos" and adoptive family pictures to the side, and instead reach out and learn from those families. Find avenues where you can listen to the voice of the adoptee.  Pray and reflect over what you learn. Be open to the reality and possible outcomes.  Ask hard questions and prepare for honest, raw answers. 

This month, I'm excited to introduce you to the Nunes Family! Ben and Kim are in the process of adopting from Costa Rica. I asked them to share a little bit about their story and journey of adoption.

1. Share a little about your family and what led you to adoption, specifically Costa Rica: 
We have three biological children, ages 15, 12, and 7. About six years ago, we felt a tug on our heart to do for one child which we wanted to do for so many other, adopt. But, we never felt called to a specific country. We served on several Central and South American country mission trips but never felt the connection to any of them that we did with Costa Rica. Kim and I fell in love with the land, the culture, and the people

2. What is the process to adopt from Costa Rica? How did you choose your agency? 
We chose Lifeline Children Services as our adoption agency because of their reputation and staff. We have felt nothing but loved and cared for by each person on their team. We completed our first of the process and are about to wrap up our home study by the end of the week. We hope to complete the rest of the process in six month and then we will wait for a referral.  Most of the available children for adoption in Costa Rica are above the age of seven or are sibling groups of three or more children. 

3. What are you learning in the process? 
Kim has learned that much of her childhood trauma, healing and strength from the Lord has been preparing her for this moment. She knows the struggles will be greatly different and yet somewhat the same. Kim has learned that God will always be bigger than she can imagine and his grace is endless. 

4. How will you continue to celebrate and emphasize your child's heritage once they are in your family? 
It just so happens that our sister-in-law was born and raised in Costa Rica! Although her and her family live in California, we are all very close and look forward to learning about her heritage from her and finding local places in our city to celebrate where they are from. 

5. What are some ways that people who are not going to adopt can still play a role in the life of an adoptive family? 
We would ask that those reading our story would please keep us in their prayers. Prayer for wisdom, patience and faith. We know this the Lord's plan for our family and are confident we'll get there. At times, the amount of money it will require is paralyzing, but we know our God can do it. While we are able to contribute our own money to the adoption, we would love to invite any of you that feel called to support us to do so through our donation site:

This month, I'll be donating 20% of the profit from my Rodan + Field business to the Nunes family adoption.  If you are interested in learning more, leave a comment below or feel free to email me at leslieharris77(at)gmail(dot)com.