Here are the answers to some of the questions that we have been asked about our adoption process!
1.) What made you want to adopt? God really planted this in my heart about 8 years ago. Although even as a young lady I think I always had adoption in my heart. I really believe in my heart of hearts that God chose us for adoption. I have always had a huge heart for orphaned children. Terry and I have been married for 15 years and we have two beautiful biological children. My pregnacies were very hard so they both are total miracles! Through the years I would bring up adoption to him, but he was not quite ready. I knew if it was meant to be God would work on his heart and he did in a very big way. The day he told me he was ready to adopt will be a day I will always remember. We really prayed about where we would turn to next, so then we felt God really leading us to Holt International. We felt really positive about the History of Holt and the many generations they have been successfully placing children who otherwise would have been orphaned. We first felt lead to the Korea program, but this program was at a stand still, as Korea was making some changes to their program. Not wanting to "wait" any more time we decided to go through the China program with Holt. We were in the China program waiting for a baby for one very long year! We began just seeing the waiting list getting longer and longer and our frustration grew. We see now that God used this time as a Detour to find Gracie in Korea. We decided to look again at the Korea program. At this time things were going smoothly with this program and it was open again. We prayed and felt right away that this is the route we were to take to find our baby. Not knowing if we would have a boy or girl this time was different, but we knew God was ultimatly in control. He would bring the right baby to our family...and HE SURE DID!
2.) Why International vs. Domestic? We just felt strongly that our baby was in Korea! That is the honest truth. Domestic for us just was not the answer and we did not feel led in any way to go in that direction.
3.)How do you plan to keep Grace's Korean Culture a part of her life? I think that Grace's culture has now become a part of our lives. We love the Korean Culture and have had so much fun finding out more and more about everything. We will do everything we can to have this beautiful culture a part of our lives. We love to cook Korean and eat with chop sticks, listen to Korean music, dress up in Korean clothing, We will plan parties with friends/family and cook Korean, and I just bought her , her first little Korean doll, It is so adorable. The first thing she did was poked her eyes and smiled . She hugged and kissed the baby. :-) We will be celebrating Grace's first birthday in August and we will keep all the Korean 1st birthday traditions for her on this special day. I am currently trying to connect with other families near us that also have children from Korea that Grace can grow up knowing. I would like to plan a picnick in the area to start building those friendships and traditions now. I would like her to know little girls or boys who have the similar story as she does. When Grace is 8-10 years old we plan on taking her to South Korea, we really look forward to this.
4.) Does Escorting take longer than us traveling to Korea? Our choice was to have an escort. But if it was going to take longer, we were ready to hop on a plain right away to go get her. Every minute having to wait for our baby was so very hard. We were assured it does not go quicker for us to travel, and usually is faster to get an escort. We are very glad we chose this option because when she arrived we were well rested and ready to help our sweet little baby through all the adjustments she would be going through.
5. What is the cost for Korea Program? Korea seems to be one of the most expensive countries to adopt from right now. Although right now everyone who adopts internaionally can also file for the adoption tax credit which helps some. Every penny counts! Our US government is trying to complety get rid of this benifit by 2012. With enough people speeking out , we hope this will not happen. To learn more about all the programs and the costs for countries I encourage you to check out www.holtinternational.org they will list all the countries and fees.