Just because...I thought I would answer a few of the most frequently asked questions we've had about our adoption of the little miss...
1. Where did you adopt her from? Here in the good old US of A. She was born in Utah...we adopted through an agency in Utah that has a fantastic support system for birth moms, so all babies adopted through this agency are born in Utah. If the birth mom doesn't live in Utah the agency will help them move to Utah and find housing, a job, etc. while waiting for the baby to be born, then assist them in returning home after the birth. Selah's birth mom does not live in Utah now.
2. How did you find the agency you used? Did you like them? We actually used a consultant to help us find our agency. Courtney at Faithful Adoption Consultants was ah.maze.ing. Seriously she was a God-send to us in a very uncertain time. I found her through "randomly" reading a blog I never read (but I don't believe in random-ness!!). And now because I read that blog that day, we have Selah home with us. Maybe that will happen with some person who is reading this blog today! That's why I put this out there...that would be amazing.
3. What is Selah's ethnicity? Her birth mom is biracial--African-American and Hispanic. She is just beautiful! Her birth dad is African-American. So "technically" she is 3/4 African-American and 1/4 Hispanic. But funny enough, we've had several people ask us if she's from India. :) We just say she is what she is and she's perfect...and incredibly cute!!
4. Why did you decide to adopt from the U.S. this time? I may get a tad defensive with this question and I don't mean to so please know that's where this answer is coming from. When someone asks me this, what I hear (and this is totally my issue! Probably not implied at all!) is "there are orphans all over the world who need to be adopted, why didn't you adopt one of them?". I answered some of this issue in my "Details, part 1" post so I apologize for repeating myself. We wanted to return to Ethiopia this time but it just didn't "feel" quite right. We believe that to be a leading from the Holy Spirit. Buck and I have always tried to be very open to God's leading through our adoptions and we fully believe that if a door closed in the midst of our processes we weren't going to force that door open by pushing and pushing and kicking it down (sorry for the metaphor!). The doors to our Ethiopian adoption were slowly closing around us. It was sad and frustrating and we don't know if we will adopt from there again...we might...but we don't know. Meanwhile, the doors to a domestic adoption were swinging wide open...as if God was saying "over here...hello! Come over here!" It took some prayer and discernment and TIME, but we figured it out. Bottom line, friends...there is NEED everywhere. Here, in Africa, in China, EVERYWHERE. There is no doubt in our minds that we were meant to be in the life of Selah's birth mom and that Selah was meant to be our daughter. And however that came to be...was in God's hands.
5. How were things with the birth mom? Amazing, incredible, God-present, sad, beautiful, poignant, funny, loving. I feel like I developed a great connection with her right from the beginning. We shared A LOT with one another over the course of the 3 days we stayed in the hospital with her and Selah. We love her and pray for her all the time. She was very sad to have to make this decision, but she is probably the most selfless, sacrificing person I know. Selah is SO blessed to have such a strong and courageous woman as her birth mom. We are blessed to have her in our lives.
6. Will you keep in touch with the birth mom? We have what is called a semi-open adoption so there will be lots of communication but it will be through our agency. We will send letters, pictures and updates to our agency and they will pass those on to Selah's birth mom. She in turn can communicate with us through the agency as well. We believe this to be a healthy, safe, and good way for us, for Selah and for her birth mom to keep in touch as time goes on. We don't ever want Selah OR her birth mom to have unanswered questions about how they are doing! It was easier for her birth mom to make an adoption plan knowing that she would continue to know how the baby was doing.
7. Final question..."so are you done YET?" :) If you know me at all, you know the answer to this question. :) Friends, there is ALWAYS room for another one. Buck claims he's cutting me off after 6...but I say never say never. He tells me that I will have to drive a 15-passenger van. I say who cares, it's just transportation! Can you tell we've had this discussion a time or two? I am SO blessed to be married to a man who loves children as much as I do, and who has a heart for children in need. Don't get me wrong, Selah could very well be the caboose to to our little train...but maybe not. Right now I am completely content and at such peace with our family...even in the midst of the chaos!
If you have any other questions, please ask away. I am mostly an open book and if there's something I don't want to answer I will tell you that as well. One of our hopes is that through our adoptions we can encourage others to pursue their own adoption journeys...if it is on your heart, please pray about it, ask God's direction and TALK to people who have been there. I'm here for you! Have a wonderful weekend,