Thursday, March 22, 2012

Now we wait!

     For the past year we have been jumping through every hoop imaginable in order to complete all the paperwork and training required for our dossier. Short of a full cavity search, I think we have had every test imaginable. Not including the training and home study, we have had to complete or compile multiple sets of fingerprints, FBI background checks, birth certificates, wedding certificate, photos of our home, reference letters, physicals, HIV tests, TB tests, and psychological evaluations.
Friday, September 16, 2011

Progress Report

     Wow! it has been a while since I updated the blog. We have been very busy with all of the paperwork and training required for the home study and the Colombia program at CHSFS. I have to admit that we were often very discouraged while we worked through the training and reading material. It can be overwhelming and there were several times when we just had to take a break from it for a few days. It is very easy to loose the sense of urgency and excitement when it seems that every question is the same only slightly re-worded. Even after we had turned in all of our paperwork, we were asked by CHSFS to do some additional reading and answer questions on the adoption of an older child. Initially we did not give this area of training much thought since we felt that the questions applied to children older than we would be adopting. The two books that we were asked to read were Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft and The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family. We were initially very frustrated to have to do the additional reading. Looking back now we have a much better understanding of the potential issues with adopting a toddler or older child than before. I read Toddler Adoption while Kristi read The Connected Child. The books have really opened our eyes to the emotional and psychological damage that can be done to a child (even an infant) who lacks a consistent caregiver or who has been neglected. I highly recommend the Toddler Adoption book for anyone adopting no matter the age of the child.
     As of this week we have been officially approved for the CHSFS Colombia program! We are now in the process of preparing our I-800A and additional documents for our dossier. It finally feels like we are gaining some momentum and the initial excitement and passion have been rekindled.
     I spoke with the Colombia adoption coordinator at CHSFS yesterday and we have been matched with the Ayudame Casa Privada. This is great news since Ayudame is located in Bogotá. We were hoping for an adoption house in Bogotá since we already have some connections there. Hopefully it will be possible for me to visit Ayudame on one of my visits to Bogotá. From what I can tell, Ayudame is a fairly large private adoption house so maybe that will mean a shorter waiting period.
     We are going to try and update the blog more often but please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as our journey continues.
Friday, February 18, 2011

Let the Fun Begin

     Well through a lot of phone calls, emails, discussion, and prayer, we have made our decision on which agency we are going to use. We have decided to go with Children's Home Society and Family Services. They are based in Saint Paul, MN. There were several great agencies to choose from but CHSFS just seemed right. They are very good about returning phone calls and emails. They have taken the time to answer any questions we have had. This whole process is so overwhelming it really puts us at ease knowing they will be there to guide us through it.
    It was a relief to have that small hurdle out of our way but since they do not have offices in this area we had to find a local agency to do the home study. We called several agencies and got some recommendations from friends. We have decided to go with New Beginnings Adoption and Family Services. They are based in Tupelo, MS and were also very helpful and quick to return phone calls.
     Now the not-so-fun part of filling out mounds of paperwork begins. If you ever thought the paperwork you fill out during a mortgage closing is ridiculous, try adopting. Both agencies have their own applications to fill out. In addition to the applications, we have medical and psych evaluations to complete and all kinds of background checks and child abuse registry paperwork to go through. The amount of information that we have to provide is daunting and leaves me second guessing whether I am healthy enough or competent to be a parent. Just kidding of course but only slightly. I know that it all serves a purpose and that purpose is to protect the children.
     Next week we have our first meeting with the social worker for our home study process. We are definitely nervous about that all though I am sure there is no reason that we should be. We are not really sure what to expect at this point but we are glad to begin the process. We know that the sooner we can get through the home study the sooner we can submit our dossier to the ICBF (the Colombia Family Welfare Institute). Then the wait begins.
     Thanks again to everyone for their continued support and encouragement. We couldn't have imagined how much support we would receive and we thank you for it.
   
Saturday, January 15, 2011

Welcome!

   Welcome to our adoption journey! We have been contemplating adoption for quite a while now. Even before we had our boys we always said that we would adopt if we were unable to have children. Well, the Lord blessed us with two perfect boys that have been such a blessing to us and it was not until several months ago that we began seriously discussing international adoption.
   In 2010, I made a couple of trips to Bogota, Colombia to bring supplies to orphanages and needy children there. It was those trips and the children there that rekindled a desire to do more. Several months passed before I mentioned this to Kristi. I wanted to make sure it was not just a passing phase or guilt from seeing how much we have and how little the children there have. It was no passing phase, as time went by that desire to do more only grew. The cost of adoption was the biggest reason for my reluctance to tell Kristi (the accountant of the family). I finally shared this with her in spite of the fact that I knew there was no way we could afford it. Little did I know she had been having the same desire to adopt. What a relief it was to know that she was also thinking of adoption. We both realized however, that there was no way we could do it without going into debt (something that we have promised ourselves we will not do - thanks Dave Ramsey).
   The lack of money initially stalled our adoption journey but we kept researching the process and thinking of ways to scrape together the cash. We began to realize that we would never start the process if we waited until we had all of the money saved. In December, 2010 we decided just to go for it. We began telling our family and close friends and just leaving the rest up to God.
   The support and encouragement from everyone has been far beyond what either of us could have imagined. The Lord has continued to show us that He will provide if we trust and submit to Him.

Chris

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About US

The Lockharts

We have been blessed with such a wonderful family. We have two boys that are perfect in every way. This blog will serve to chronicle our journey as we go through the process of growing our family through international adoption.

James 1:27

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.