1. Infinite Patience: it can take as little as four months but as much as a year or so (longer if complications occur) to bring a child home. It depends on so many factors that it is impossible to gauge a time frame. But isn't a child worth the wait?
2. A Lifetime Commitment : Older children come home with many problems. They are damaged and hurting and it takes a great deal of time for them to heal but again, isn't it worth the time and effort? I know my daughter was and is. You cannot adopt these children expecting gratitude from them. You need to be the adult who leads them to healing. You cannot give up on them. Ever.
3. A Loving Heart : And by love, I mean the action word. You need to have enough love to put someone else first. You need enough love to say goodbye to your former life and welcome a whole new type of life in -- one of sacrifice and some suffering. (Sorry, need to be honest here.) You need to be willing to make this child your life's work, the work of your heart. You need to be willing to let go of expectations, and just allow that child to move at his or her pace in healing. It can take a lifetime.
Of course there are other practical requirements -- You need to be healthy, you need to make enough money to qualify, but that's fairly easy. I only made $30,000 a year when I adopted Nastia. You don't need to be married (I'm single) You do not need to own a home (I don't.) You do not need to be rich (I'm not.) You do not need to even have a college degree. ( I do, but not everyone who adopts does!)
If you want to adopt, and you meet the above criteria, you should adopt. Plain and simple. Too many people let either the financial concerns or the fear of the paperwork get in the way. It's hard, I won't lie. It took me five years to save the money to adopt Nastia. Five years. Filling out the paperwork was one of the most difficult things I've ever done in my life (I'd rather climb Mt Everest, to be honest) Having ADD made it very difficult to get through all the documents, but I did it. Slowly and painstakingly. You can, too.
Don't let age be a deterrent either! In Russia you can adopt well into your fifties, as long as you are no more than 45 years older than the child you are adopting. Meaning, I can still adopt children ages 5 and up . But Latvia has no upper age limit! My friend Jama is adopting a 14 year old right now, and she is 61! ( Hope you don't mind my sharing, Jama!)
Here's the thing -- I truly believe that there is nothing more urgent and important in this world that finding homes for orphaned children. These are real flesh and blood children we are talking about. I met them, held their hands, wiped their tears, and listened to their desperate pleas for families. I met hundreds of them in Russia, and yet there are millions more throughout the world.
Lives matters. Souls matter. Christmas presents, houses, ipads and ipods, vacations, jewelry, fancy clothing, spa visits, -- Do NOT matter!
Can't adopt? Why not give to someone's adoption fund? I plan on committing a monthly donation to adoption funds once I get D home. Why not commit to raising a specific amount for a family that wants to adopt but needs a little leg up financially?
Here are some of the kids waiting at Orphanage #5. They are even 'advertised' on the new orphanage website. They are waiting, waiting so very long to have someone to love them enough to climb that mountain for them.
|C, outgoing and curious|
|V - kind, generous and thoughtful.|
|D and A ( not related, just in same photo)|
|R, a firecracker, and lots of fun!|