When shown a picture of our kids, the most frequent question is:
1. Which ones are yours?
The answer: all of them. We are adopting all 4.
2. Are they siblings?
Yes... Keller, our puppy, is happy to give up her place as an only child. She is also ready for some swim buddies!
3. What happened to Hungary? Meaning our original plan to adopt from Hungary.
We were actively pursuing an adoption from Hungary when we decided to adopt these 4 from Poland. We saw their picture and made the switch. We didn't feel any pressure from our agency to swap. In fact, they made sure we knew our stuff and talked to lots of people before committing to adopting these kiddos. I'm going to have to trade in my #1 Hungarian Mom shirt, for a Polish Mom shirt.
4. How old are they?
10 (almost 11), 9, 5 and 3.
5. What are their names?
Here is where we are pleading the 5th. We do know their Polish names, however we may change at least one of them, and we will probably give the kids some say in it, so it actually won't be settled until we meet them in-country. We don't want to spread their names one way and then try to change them later.
6. What happened to their parents?
Again, we know this information and are choosing to keep it quiet.
7. Do they speak English?
No. The two oldest may have had "English" in school, but we are guessing it isn't conversational.
8. How will you know what they want if they don't speak English?
How do you know what an infant or toddler needs before they speak? We will figure it out. Kids learn fast.
9. Are you going to learn Polish?
No. We may try to learn some phrases to help us during our time in Poland. Phrases like, "Do you need to go to the bathroom?" and "Yes, Your Honor", may be helpful.
10. Are you crazy? Have you lost your minds?
Not at all. This is a calling on our lives and family by God and he is leading our path. He has proven faithful through the entire process. All of our heart's desires are met in this sibling group. They are our children. I think the best thing we have going for us, is that we don't think we are crazy.
11. Do you know what you are getting in to?
We feel really prepared by our agency and through reading lots of good books. We have a gracious God that will keep us through the hard times and love us even when we screw up as parents. We are ready for them to come home. Our current favorite books are shown below
For any parent considering adoption: The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis and David Cross is a MUST!
The Whole-Brain Child is an amazing book for ANY parent.
Parenting the Hurt Child is a good addendum to The Connected Child. Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control is a good brain book for parents with children with severe behaviors. This book is short but informative.
12. Are they in school?
13. When can you go get them?
Who knows... Our current timeline is looking like Christmas. We will have to stay in Poland for 4-5 weeks when we go.
14. Will they start school when they get here?
15. What are you doing about work?
Our current plan is for me to stay home at first. If they need more time, I'll stay home longer. Their needs are priority.
16. What do you need?
Firstly, prayer. We have lots of paperwork that needs transferred back and forth several times between 2 governments. We have done all we can do, and now we wait. We also need prayer that our hearts will be prepared for parenting and their hearts will be prepared for America and family.
Once we get a referral, we will need a bigger vehicle. We would love to have 8 seats. The Honda Odyssey is in first place with the Nissan 12 passenger a close second.
For the kids, currently we have 1 tub of girl's clothes, 1 set of bunk beds, 1 pair of boy's shoes, 2 bags of clothes for the boys and 47 books.
17. How can we pray?
This is my favorite question. Our greatest needs now are:
- Our I-800 immigration paperwork will come (They have up to 90 days. We are on day 25.)
- Our children's hearts will be prepared for all the change.
- Our children will want a family and to come to America.
- Future Dad and I will be prepared as parents.
- Grace for the moment, now and for the next 15 years.
Thank you for loving us and our kids!