A few questions I've been asked lately:
"When will you go 'public' with this adoption?"
We are thinking May. We're obviously excited about it, but it's going to be a very long road. Our main concern with the telling everyone is for Madigan's sake. She is going to be a big sister! This is something that she asks for at least twice a week- so she's going to be floored! But right now, it would be very hard for her to wrap her head around. We're still cautiously working out the right things to tell her. I want to read some books and educate myself on how to talk to a child about adoption. I'm not the kind to sugar coat stuff- and she's not the kind of kid to ease up on a tough question. She's going to hear the truth about it, and we want her to know it's OK to ask questions- any questions. We feel that besides our family and close friends, she deserves to be one of the first people to know about it. However... You can't expect a 3 year old to keep a secret. So we need to be sensitive about telling her- and knowing that she'll likely tell the first 300 people she comes into contact with after that. So we are asking that our family not discuss the adoption in front of her. We are hoping that by May we'll have the majority of our paperwork in order and be ready to share our journey with the community.
"How did you choose Ethiopia?"
There's not really a simple answer there. We researched several countries, and when we had our top three choices we looked into agencies that have programs there. After speaking with workers at a couple agencies about their programs we realized that Ethiopia is fairly stable, it's a safe country, and we feel that we could learn a lot about the culture of that country and incorporate it in our daily life once the child is home. I know before we really 'chose' a country I said a lot of prayers asking God to guide me and help me see which country He wanted us to choose. I'm not really sure when it hit me, but I realized one day that God has a heart for every orphan. HE wasn't going to choose for us but He will surely guide our hearts along the way.
"Do you get any say in the age or sex of the child?"
Yes. When we filled out our contract we were allowed to specify our desires. It's very humbling to put down on paper what your wishes are for a child. We weren't given that opportunity when we got pregnant four years ago. As my too-big-for-her-britches daughter says "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit." However we did have desires- and so we really took time to reflect on what we were wanting and why. We requested a male infant 12 months or younger without major medical problems.
We are excited about the opportunity to raise a boy... a son. It still seems surreal to say that, actually. It probably will for a while!
At any time along this journey, feel free to post questions in the comments section. I am always an open book, but I'm not sure what everyone wants to know at this point? Feel free to leave comments too- we really do appreciate all the support we can get along the way!