Adoption 101 - Newsletter Article

Well, things seem to be progressing very nicely in Bulgaria.  Without me there to push things along.  Imagine that. On Monday, our court documents were finalized.  Our lawyers then took those documents to the next-step-in-the-process locations.  N.'s passport has been applied for, his birth certificate is being rewritten (to contain Chance and I's names!) and the process of receiving a visa has begun.  Many of these things are being expedited, but N.'s homecoming timeframe has still not been established.  Our agency has promised to give us a 1-2 week notice before he will land in Chicago.  (This is a good thing, considering my parents are currently in Florida and will need a day or two to get back here!)

While we are waiting for N.'s arrival though, I thought it might be a great time to help educate our friends and family on adoption.

These next series of posts will be entitled "Adoption 101."

Now, I cannot offer college credit, but I can offer insight, knowledge, and resources (ok, so actually, most of this is from other people's experiences.  We're not quite at the point of being able to offer information.  We can't even seem to get our kid into our country in a timely manner!!!)

You may be interested in adoption in the future.  You might know someone who has adopted.  Or you might just be nosey about what the crazy Newinghams are up to... well, Adoption 101 is for you!

 

In a real college classroom, our first session would typically be an hour of going over the syllabus and my expectations for the coming semester.  Considering this whole thing is a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-skinny-jeans thing, there'll be no syllabus.  There'll be no expectations...

Jumping right in:

Here is an article that I wrote (and then my husband tweaked to make it look like he wrote it. Jerk.) that was recently printed in our church's newsletter.  We attempted to inform our church family about N.'s arrival while giving them our requests and expectations.  We weren't sure how this article would be received (we didn't want to come across as bossy), but SO many members have thanked us for answering their unspoken questions.

Without further ado, here's the article (ghost-written by me):

 

As many of you know, Ginger and I have recently been named as the legal parents of an active, Bulgarian five-year old boy named "N." (rhymes with Osco)! It’s been a long journey, but N. will be home in a month or so! Praise God! We are so thankful for such a supportive church family who has embraced our adoption with love and prayers.
If we were bringing home a baby, we would anticipate that you, as a church family, would know how to respond, but because N. is five years old, from a different culture, and delayed (physically, cognitively, emotionally and verbally) we'd like to provide you with ideas for interacting with this new member of our church family:
-
Be reserved.
Introduce yourself and give N. a high-five! Because we are all going to be strangers to N., we are suggesting the exchange of handshakes and high-fives (rather than hugs) until he becomes more comfortable with everyone. The Bulgarian culture is not an extremely affectionate one and we don’t want to scare him.
-
Be patient.
EVERYTHING here will be new for N.  We believe that life may be a little overwhelming for a while (for N. and his parents!)  Be patient though.  Hopefully he'll adjust quickly.
-
Be cautious.
When we visited N. in August, he would regularly swat at our glasses and escape through the orphanage windows!  He has never really been disciplined correctly and because of this, one should be careful. Also, we’ve noticed that N. has no fear, so we'd love for everyone to help us watch out for him!
-
Be prayerful.
N. is going to have many new things to become familiar with, and as new parents, so are we.  We'd love for your continued prayers through this transition (and really until he turns 18!).
Thank you again for being such a supportive body of believers.  We believe that God has called us to assist Him in being a Father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5) and to take care of His orphans (James 1:27).  By continuing to pray for and support our family, you are partnering in this ministry.  Thank you!
-
-
Check back tomorrow for more Adoption 101.
Class dismissed!

Adoption 101 - 10 Things Not to Say to Adoptive Parents

Things I've learned...