Friday, March 14, 2008

Our Adoption Journey


Welcome to our new blog. Here you can follow the Martindale Family adoption journey. As most of you know, we are currently waiting for a baby girl from China. We began the Chinese adoption process in 2006, and based on new numbers and projections from the adoption world, it will be 3-4 more years before we meet her. (That is a whole other subject that I will blog about later.)

Due to this staggering and disappointing news, we feel God leading us in a new direction. After much prayer and consideration, the Martindales have decided to pursue a concurrent adoption (two adoptions at once). We had to receive special permission from our adoption agency and go through additional screening and interviews to do this, and we were approved!! :)

In 2007, Children's Hope International (our adoption agency) was accredited to start an adoption program in Ethiopia, and we feel that this is where God is leading us. Here are some facts about Ethiopia for you to ponder: over 5 million orphans; if children stay in the orphanage, they only live to an average age of 18; adults live to the average age of 40 in the entire country; average income is 100USD per year. As you can see, there is a very large need in this country. Adoptions typically happen very fast once the paperwork is finished - between 3-9 months. However, we are the first family from our agency to attempt a concurrent adoption with Ethiopia and China. We are cautiously optimistic at this point but can't let our hopes get too high. There is a huge risk that we will pay all of our money, finish our paperwork, get our referral, and then the Ethiopian judge turn us down. We are even writing a letter to the Ethiopian government stating why we would want to adopt from two different countries. There is thought amongst the directors at Children's Hope that culturally, the Ethiopians will not understand why we would want to adopt from two different countries. This will be included in our paperwork and will hopefully be sufficient for him/her to understand our stance and why we want to help the wonderful children of Ethiopia.

We have begun the paperchase again, and we are happy to report that we are almost finished! We are waiting for a document from the US government to return to finish our dossier. Our goal is have everything sent to Ethiopia in May. If everything goes smoothly and we are approved, we could have them home by the end of the year. Some of you may say, "Them?" Yes. We have decided that the need is so great that we have requested siblings (a boy and a girl) ages 0-4 years old. They will not separate siblings, so if they are going to be adopted, they have to go to the same family.

We are very excited about this potential new phase of our lives! We covet your prayers and will keep you posted along the way. Thanks to all of you for your prayers and support. It means a lot to have such great friends and family on our side.

Enjoy your weekend!