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!