Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Your Questions Answered!!

Posted by Jennifer at 2:02 PM
Thanks to those of you who asked questions on my last post - sorry it took me awhile to get around to posting the answers!!  I'm not really even sure why it's taken me so long, I guess I've just been lazy!! :)  Things are moving along here, we are so thankful that we're in a position now where we don't have to fundraise!  We got the list of paperwork we need for our court dossier, and it's really simple. We're getting our fingerprints done today for our state police clearances (should take about a week to get the back), get chest x-rays done,  and the only other thing we're waiting on is a letter from our insurance!  Then we'll gather it all up, and go get some more apostilles and send it to our agency!  Our goal is to have everything on it's way back to Russia by August 15th.  Once that's done, we'll just be focused on getting the house ready for the girls!!  Wow!!!  

Now the answers to your questions!!  

Crystal asked -  Do you come into this with any personal adoption/fostering background, or any special needs experience? Or is this all new to you? You may have already answered this somewhere else, but I'm curious. :-)

 We don't have any background in foster care or previous adoptions - beyond knowing a few other families who have adopted internationally or through foster care. We both have always known that we would adopt though - both Brandon and I have a passion for caring for others, and that we've been commanded to care for the least of these, which includes orphans.  I have some experience with working with children with special needs as a teacher.  We realize we are in a unique position adopting two girls with down syndrome, but we truly feel like it's what we are meant to do.  When we decided to go forward with adopting, we prayed that God would lead us, He showed us where the need was, and we have followed His lead throughout this entire journey!  

Jenny asked - Ooh, I have a question, it's probably silly but I'll ask anyway, lol...Was there a reason why you chose two adopt two girls instead of boys, or maybe a boy and a girl? I was just wondering...
Also what are the exact ages of the girls right now? And how did you come to choosing these two particular girls over other children?

And lastly, why does that particular region require three trips? Or is it just two trips?

I think you guys are going to be the most awesome parents, I am really excited for your girls to come home :)

 Good questions, Jenny! :)  When we started this process, we were open to either boys or girls, however given the set up of our house, and my husband's need of an office at home (he works from home a couple of days a week) - we knew we would probably be having the children share a bedroom.  That might not be a permanent set up, but at least initially they will be sharing a bedroom.  So, that meant either 2 boys or 2 girls logically.   This kind of speaks to how we chose these two particular girls as well - Brandon saw Emily's picture and fell in love.  Her little chubby cheeks, and tiny little tongue peeking out - and he was a goner. :)  He couldn't believe she hadn't been scooped up already, she was so stinkin' adorable! So, we inquired about her. We knew we wanted to adopt two children at once if we could, and the region the girls are in, is one that allows for two unrelated children to be adopted together, so that narrowed our "search" for a second child as well. We had actually inquired about a little girl named "Maribel" on Reece's Rainbow, at the same time, but another family committed to her just before we inquired.  But there was something about Abigail's picture that was haunting me.  I just couldn't believe that no one had come for her yet, no one had even inquired.  So I sent our agency an e-mail about her, and we found out that yes the two girls would be eligible to be adopted together!  I really feel like God lead our decisions, because really, I would bring home 100 orphans if I could! :)  Neither one of us could understand why no one had come for these two girls already, but that was just the confirmation that God has planned for them to be our daughters all along!!

The girls are 6 and almost 19 months. Abigail actually just turned 6 yesterday! :)   Emily's birthday is January. 

Almost all regions in Russia require three trips now. That law went into effect January 1, 2012.  There is a mandatory 30 day waiting period following the court trip, before we can legally take the girls into custody.  A few regions have waived this wait, and we inquired as to whether we should ask for it to be waived, but were told it would be extremely unlikely, since both girls are healthy.  Usually if the 30 day wait is waived, it's because a child needs immediate medical attention.  

Thanks for your support, Jenny! We really appreciate it! :) 

Elle Bee - My question is totally off-topic! It has to do with the title of your blog--it has always made me wonder!! Do love eating lobsters? Or lobster-themed stuff? Or both! :o)

 Ha ha! I'm surprised I don't get asked this question more often! (although I was on the phone with our social worker just a couple of days ago, and she asked me the same thing!!)  Lobsters are my favorite animal.  It started a number of years ago, at summer camp - when a random lobster decoration ended up in the cabin I was a counselor in. The adjective of the week become "lobster-tastic" - and well, it all went down hill from there!! :)  I don't eat lobsters, in fact I dream of going to Red Lobster and setting them all free.  Or at least taking one home as a pet.  But I do love lobster-themed stuff. Our bathroom is decorated in lobsters.  

Jocelyn asked - What are your educational plans for the girls once they're home?  Homeschool, public school, something else? 
Oooh another good question!!  I am a teacher, and so I have put a lot of thought into this, and we don't have a final decision yet!! :)  Emily will qualify for services through early intervention, but Abigail's services will be provided by the school district.  However, we don't want to put her in school immediately.  She's small, and doesn't speak English - and we really just need time to be able to bond as a family, before we send her off to school!  SO, for the first year (at least), I will homeschool, and it will be set up somewhat like a preschool setting, as we get settled and bonded, we will look at adding in some private therapies and/or preschool type classes, before we make a decision for the following year.  We will really just have to wait and see, and make decisions based on what we feel is best for each girl. We might end up doing a combination of homeschool and public school. (for the services they'll be able to offer)  No final decisions have been made for the future, but we know for the first year, we will spend as much time as a family as we can, so we will be homeschooling Abigail for sure! :)

Kristen W. asked - What do your families and friends think about your adoption? Have you experienced any pushback or negative comments from any acquaintances?  And have you made firm decisions on full names for the girls or are you still working that out?  :)  

Our families and friends have been extremely supportive of our adoption!  I realize how blessed we are to have such amazing friends and family!  There have been lots of questions (which of course we're happy to feel free to keep asking away!!) especially when we first made the decision to adopt. But we know that our girls will be coming home to an amazing family and group of friends who love them already.  We have not received any negative comments from acquaintances, a few folks were shocked/surprised when we told them, and like I said there have been a lot of questions - but overall everyone has been very supportive.  
We do have names for the girls...but you'll just have to wait until after court to find them out! :)  

Becky asked - ooo, I'm with Kristen - when do we get to hear some full names?

We'll announce their full names when we become legally their parents! :) 

Crystal asked - How much longer until you go back?

We are really hoping we'll be back in mid-late September for court, and be able to bring the girls home in October.  Obviously that's out of our control - but this is our goal - and we are hopeful it will happen!  

Anonymous asked - how old is Emilie?

She is 18 months almost 19 months. :)

Thanks for all your questions!!  I enjoyed getting know what was on your minds! :) Any one else have any questions??



Joanna said...

I was wondering if the girls will get to meet each other before you bring them home? Just wondering if it would be easier on them to know that there will be a sibling right away or not!

Angela on August 1, 2012 at 3:05 PM said...

Love this post. I have a question, are you guys learning any Russian to be able to talk to the girls right away?

Anonymous said...

When will the girls meet eachother? Or have they already? Do they at least know about eachother?

Jenny on August 2, 2012 at 10:00 AM said...

Such a great post, loved this!

The Idaho Neumanns on August 2, 2012 at 1:30 PM said...

I cannot wait to see those babies in your arms for good. Thanks for the Q and A. Your story warms my heart every day thinking of how great your life is going to be and how blessed those two little girls are. May God keep you all safe while His plans are carried out.


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