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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Why in the world are we adopting and other FAQs!

WHY are we adopting? The easiest way to answer this is by a Frequently Asked Questions format...
Questions we have often been asked:

"So, you are adopting, does that mean you're infertile?"
Hmm, that's rather private but sure, we'll answer it! No, we are actually not infertile! We used to be, I (Jamie) used to have PCOS, stemming from my celiac disease but once we discovered I was allergic to wheat gluten, I eat gluten-free and we are now, as far as we can tell, 100% fertile. Here's the part that seems so hard for some people to accept, we are actually CHOOSING to adopt an orphan who needs a family RATHER than trying to conceive. We absolutely, positively believe adoption is really not the right choice for everyone, but we absolutely believe it's a great choice for us and we want to! This was a dream for us. I remember EXACTLY where we were 10 years ago, while we were dating, walking past our college in Chicago, and first expressed to each other that even if we could have our own children biologically, we'd also like to adopt as well.

"But WHY adopt?"
There are 143 MILLION orphans in the world today-- that's 143 million reasons "why" for us. Every DAY 15,000 new children become orphaned. We absolutely cannot help all of them, I know. But we started to search our hearts and realize we could help ONE. Maybe just one. And instead of WHY, we started to ask, "Why not?"

"Why NOW though?" I have many answers to this, and interesting ways God made it clear that He wanted us to pursue this now.  I will leave it at, we felt, "There's no time like the present", and with huge, scary decisions, sometimes it's, "Now or never!"

"Why did you choose international adoption when there's also 500,000 children in the U. S. foster care system?"
Well, many reasons. We love and support foster families and foster-adoption but really didn't feel it was the right fit for us at least at this time for many reasons. I had a discussion with the DYFS officer in our area and we truly are limited by Cara's age. They strongly advise against putting a significantly older/ larger child from the foster system in a family with young children for many reasons and in NJ at least, a birth mom gets the legal chance of getting custody back until around the age of 8, so over 92% of the children available for us to legally adopt would be much older than Cara.

"Why did you choose "China: Special Needs Program"?"
Again, many reasons. Most of you know about their One Child Policy, they have had for decades which has created a major humanitarian crisis. The gendercide is staggering. Because of the cultural preference for boys, when a pregnant mother learns her baby is a girl, many millions of girls in China are aborted just for being a girl and never get a chance at life. About 60% of the children being born in China are boys. Most families have only one child, so an entire generation of sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. are missing. An enormous crisis is already underway, as the each elderly person now only has one person each to care for them as they age, instead of several.
As for children who ARE actually born, if they have ANY "special need" for medical care at all, even a missing or extra toe, they are unfortunately often abandoned at birth, because there is no healthcare assistance in China, as well as the social stigma against a visual deformity of any kind. My heart goes out to Xiatong's mother. She saw her severe ear deformities and may not have even realized that she was deaf. Katie Grace Xiatong was estimated to be born on New Years Day 2010, and her mom waited until March 9, 2013, when she was 2 months old, and it was warmer out, to wrap her in a red quilt, with a bottle and a bag of powdered formula, and leave her right outside a busy village, where she hoped she'd be found quickly. Abandoning a child is a criminal offense in China and there are no "Safe Haven" laws as we have here, as far as I understand. Katie's birth mom cared about her, I believe, and perhaps she knew she couldn't afford to help her medically. I am UNBELIEVABLY thankful that she chose LIFE for her, and that she gave US the gift of a wonderful daughter to love!
As for special need orphans in China, their future is very bleak. At the age of 13, they are no longer legally eligible for adoption. At the age of about 15, most orphans are turned out of the orphanages and since all their documents indicate that they are orphans (AND because of their special need), they are usually discriminated against getting a job. Their futures are heartbreaking unless they are adopted. Our Katie was available for adoption for over five months and no one was interested in adopting her but us because of her special need of deafness and ear deformities. The older they get , the less likely they will get a family.

"Isn't this going to be hard on your family and marriage?" Yes. We are not naive. We realistically realize, having watched many friends adopt children with special needs, that this WILL BE the most challenging thing we have ever done. But Doug and I have never made one decision in our lives based on what is or isn't "easy". We've often chosen the road less traveled and we have never regretted it. We do not think of ourselves as extraordinary people but as ordinary people who are strengthened and blessed by an extraordinary God. We believe that "what the Lord calls you to do, He WILL equip you to do", or as a friend mentioned, "God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called". Our ministry here in NJ is a testimony of His goodness and grace to us. We want our daughter Caraline Faith to learn from Mommy and Daddy this principle: that things aren't always easy that are worth fighting for: AND we believe with all our hearts that Katie Grace is worth it!

"WHY is the adoption process from China $35,000?!?!? Who are you paying all that money to? Is anyone making a profit? "
:) Ah, the favorite question we get asked. Well, I'll say this, the whole process is non-profit. The majority of the adoption fees are on the state and U.S. side of the adoption, not China. There is SO much paperwork, legal fees, forms, red tape, applications, education, translation involved it's mind-boggling. BELIEVE me. I'd be more than happy to show you the dollar for dollar breakdown. The $35,000 also includes: our travel expenses, our airfare to China for Doug and I (Cara is staying with my parents in TX for two weeks ), a translator and guide, court fees, document fees, I could go on and on. No one is stuffing their pockets at all. Chinese adoption is a well-oiled machine, but it is an expensive process because of all the paperwork. 

and: "How on earth are you affording this as a pastor of a small church?
ALOT of hard work AND a leap of faith!
Friends of ours, also pastors, the Despres family, adopted a sweet girl in 2011 from China and they took a leap of faith. They saved and fundraised and we all saw God provide. That was HUGE for us, we saw that God's plan does not exceed His supply. When we made the decision to pursue adoption instead of conception in July 2012, I (Jamie), decided to become a nanny in our home. I babysat a four year old boy, Joey, for a year, full-time, and it was a journey of faith in itself. That job funded the first $12,000 of our adoption and was a tremendous blessing. We love our Joey, he is like a big brother to Cara, and he started pre-K this week. I start nannying a little baby girl in our home in a couple weeks, as we continue to save.
As for the other $23,000 left in adoption fees!?!? Well, we are PLEASED to announce that we received a $2000 direct grant, from Lifesong for Orphans, a couple weeks ago as well as a $4000 matching grant, meaning they will match dollar for dollar up to $4000, what we fundraise through our family and friends. If you would like to contribute, we have been given a fundraising deadline for that matching grant of October 21st. 

We know people fundraise for all sorts of worthy causes: anti- animal cruelty, environmental causes, humanitarian efforts, mission trips to orphanages. We are thinking of this as our trip to an orphanage, only we are BRINGING one child home, to live in our home, eat at our table, be welcomed in our community, be tucked in every night, be held when she's crying, and be loved unconditionally as OUR DAUGHTER. She is 100% worthy and will be just as much a Becker as our Caraline Faith is. We feel the Lord adopted us as His children and He deeply loves every child, no matter his or her social status, skin color, or disabilities. 

We are stepping out in faith to fundraise the second half of our adoption fees and 
if you would like to help us bring Katie home: please know all gifts are TAX- DEDUCTIBLE and 100% goes towards bringing our sweetie home. 
You are invited to ...

Give by Check
Please make checks payable to Lifesong for Orphans.
In the memo please note your gift preference with
Family Account Number: #4016 and Family Name: Becker, so it would read: "Acct # 4016, Becker Family"
Please mail checks to:
Lifesong for Orphans PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744

Lifesong has been blessed with a partner that underwrites all US administrative and fund-raising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the need...helping orphans.


Give Online
1. Go to
2. Select Give to an Adoptive Family
3. Complete online form and fill in Family Account Number: #4016 & Family Name Fields: Becker Family
*Please note that PayPal will charge an administrative fee (2.9% + $.30 USD per transaction). Your donation will be decreased by the amount of this fee. 

Note from LifeSong: 

Individual donations $250 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax- deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $250 will gladly be sent upon request.
Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. 

------ We ABSOLUTELY cannot thank you enough for your love and support! Please pray for us and our Katie as it's still about a 7 to 8 month process of more paperwork and red tape until we have her in our arms forever!!! The wait is EXCRUCIATING!!! THANK YOU for your beautiful love and support!

Thank you for reading! 

1 comment:

  1. Love this Jam! Thanks for all of your hard work in putting this together and answering questions that are so deeply personal. Thanks for letting us all participate in this journey (in a small way) with you. Love you guys and LOVE Katie already!!!