Monday, September 21, 2015

Our Adoption FAQ's

Hey everyone - long time, no see, eh?  We are so thrilled to be traveling to China in 5 short weeks to pick up the kids!  What a blessing this journey has been!!!  In the mean time, there are a few questions we get asked all of the time so I wanted to write the answers out for all of you who wanted to ask but weren't 100% comfortable asking.

1. Does XinLi have Down Syndrome(DS)?

Yes, she does!

2. Why did you decide to adopt a child with DS?

It wasn't one single thing but a journey of several years.  I have always had a feeling that I would have a child with down syndrome. I had done some volunteer work at my school with special need kids as well as having an extended family member with DS and I think that played a part in that feeling.  I knew that many DS kids were abandoned or given up all over the world including here in the US but I had read and researched a little to know that this was a tragedy because DS kids and adults can live full, happy lives.  More recently I had met other adoptive families who were so blessed by adopting DS kids and who were willing to act as a mentor on our journey.  And finally, we hosted XinLi and loved her and knew she was ours.

3. Did you decide to adopt XinLi after you hosted her?

We planned on making the final decision on whether Xin was right for our family after hosting but because of the way the timeline worked out we had to decide before she came.  We knew when we picked her up that she was going to be ours but unfortunately we couldn't share that information publicly until we got to a certain point in the adoption process.

4. Does she have a "mild case" of down syndrome?

Down Syndrome affects each child differently just like each typical child develops differently . Each child has their strengths and weaknesses in different areas.  XinLi isn't down syndrome just like I am not green eyes.  It is an aspect of how her brain processes information but she has a personality and gifts and talents beyond that.  If you really want to open your mind up about down syndrome, watch this video!

Karen Gafffney's amazing TEDx talk on down syndrome.

5. How does hosting an orphan work?

From my agency's site:
Hosting allows older orphans from China, Latvia, and Ukraine, generally school age, to live with American families for 4-5 weeks over the winter or summer. Hosting helps these children learn everyday social skills, receive an introduction to American culture, English, and experience the meaning of a family. Without hosting many of these orphans will age out and never experience the life changing love that a family provides.

6. If I host a child do I have to adopt them?

No, many families host children so they can advocate for them and teach them about what the world is like outside the orphanage walls.  If you are interested in truly changing a child's life forever through hosting - click here! PLEASE DO!

7.  Are you nervous about having 3 more children for a total of 9?


8. Are you changing their names?

Yes. with both of our daughters we kept their Chinese name as their middle name and gave them an American first name.  We love both of their names and feel this gives them some flexibility for the future.

Di Hui will be Daniel Di Hui
Xin Li with be Eve Xin Li
Yu Hui will be Jude Yu Hui

9. Do they speak English?

No, they don't.  Our last adoption of two girls who were 6 and nearly 10 showed us how quickly they pick it up.  The girls could communicate fairly well at a month home and were fluent by six months!

10. How do I find out more about international adoption?

I thought you'd never ask!  We love our agency and have been so blessed to be working with them.  You can get tons of question answered at their website but if you have more specific questions you can message me anytime - I love answering questions about it!