I have been blessed with amazing siblings, both blood and in-laws. Bebe has no idea how much love he/she is going to get from the Aunts and Uncles on both sides of the family. Pretty sure there will be some spoiling going on, not to mention the teasing and “not-parent approved” habits that will be taught 🙂 That’s ok though, I’m an Aunt myself and that’s half the fun!
My sis-in-law Lindsay and Alex (Nick’s brother) have been huge supporters of our adoption and always full of questions, which I love! Several weeks ago, Lindsay and I were talking about the blog and she started asking questions about things I hadn’t even thought people might want to know. So, I asked her if she would want to write down questions for Nick and I to answer, kind of like an interview. She graciously accepted and did an amazing job. It took longer than I thought for us to answer the questions because I wanted to be real and honest with the readers. I dug deep and a couple of the answers might be a little surprising for you to learn, but here goes nothing! I present, guest blogger and my wonderful SIL: Lindsay Wolfe.
When Beka asked if I would be willing to come up with questions for her and Nick to answer about the adoption, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Anyone who has spent any amount of time around this couple knows how special they are. These are two beautiful hearts that are truly after the Lord, and more in love with each other through every challenge and season of life that they face together. In every trial and victory they faithfully praise Jesus and always point to him in everything they do. They exude joy and love, and are the first to give encouragement when you are struggling. They offer up their own time and money to help family, friends, and even strangers who become their friends. Instead of thinking about what they might have to give up, Nick and Beka are privileged, excited even, at the opportunity to help a brother or sister in Christ and you are never a burden to them.
If you can’t already tell, I love these two people to pieces. I know I was ecstatic when we learned about the adoption last year, but I also was filled with questions. I have never been close to anyone who has adopted before, let alone international adoption. I was so excited when Beka started this blog which allows us all to be a bigger part of their story, but I still had so many questions that were more personal to them. I have had had the chance to talk to Beka about a lot of these already, and it really helped me to understand more about what they have gone through (and are going through) emotionally during the process.
So, I sat down and made a list of some of the big questions I have had for them regarding the adoption. Hopefully this will give you a better understanding of not only all that they have gone through behind the scenes, but also how to better love on and pray for them. So without further ado, let’s jump into the questions!
L:Why did you choose international adoption, and would you ever consider domestic?
N&B:I (Beka) thought we would actually do domestic adoption the first time around since the international route
sounded so daunting. However, Nick had felt a pull towards international for a long time so I trusted his leading and I’m extremely thankful I did. We are definitely open to more adoptions after we bring Bebe home and would be open to either domestic or international.
L:How did you decide on All God’s Children(AGCI) for your agency, and would you recommend them to anyone who is interested in adoption?
B & N: When we first started looking into agencies, the only thing we really knew was that we wanted a Christian based agency with a good reputation and a strong relationship with the adoption country. We looked into a couple of local agencies but didn’t feel like they were a fit for us.
After I spoke with a friend who had adopted two children, she recommended AGCI. We have been extremely pleased with the staff and the way the program is set up. Since they are located in the state of Washington, one would think
communication would be difficult. Thankfully, that has not been the case at all! The staff are always available for questions
or concerns by phone or email and are very prompt to get back to us if needed. I am so thankful for AGCI and
we would highly recommend them to anyone.
L:What made you choose to adopt from Bulgaria?
B & N: When the Lord lead us to adoption, we didn’t feel like He was putting a certain country on our hearts so
we really went into this part of the journey completely dependent on the Lord and what He would provide.
When we started looking at the different countries that were open for adoption we realized that we didn’t
qualify for all of them so that helped narrow the search. We also desired a country that had younger children available as we really wanted a child between 0-3 years old. When the AGCI staff suggested Bulgaria and started telling us about the stability of the country and the history of the country itself, we soon fell in love with it. Even thought we never felt led to a particular country at the beginning of this journey but we are more certain every day that Bulgaria is now it!
L:At this point, what would you say to encourage other prospective adoptive families?
N&B: Two things: Adoption is not our culture’s normal way to grow a family. They say, “It’s too expensive” or “it’s too much work”.
If you are even the slightest bit interested, don’t just take what the culture says and be defeated before you even start looking into adoption. Go to adoptive families and ask questions! Believe me, they love talking about their story! I learned (and am learning) so much from the families I knew and was able to overcome some big fears just by being educated.
I have yet to meet an adoptive family who said the long process, paper work, and expenses were NOT worth it and
I will be excited when Nick and I can testify to that!
The second thing I would say is don’t treat this decision lightly. Pray, pray,pray! You need to be willing to be uncomfortable with the fact that God might be asking you to do something that is against the “norm”. He asked Nick and I to do that a little over a year ago and I’m here to say it has NOT been easy. But really, folks, what in life is easy breezy when you are a follower of Christ? And that’s ok! All I know is that when the Lord asked us to take this leap of faith and we obeyed, the peace and courage that comes from that surpasses every bit of fear that came in the beginning.
PS if you are thinking about adopting, PLEASE contact me! I would love to talk your ear off and hear your heart
on my favorite subject 🙂
L:What has been the happiest and most rewarding part of this journey so far?
N&B: Realizing that we get to bring a little heart home to live with us and that we would have never met them if
we hadn’t taken the first step to start the adventure to find them. This is huge. They are changing our lives
by being our first child and we get to change their lives by showing them Christ’s love in the form of a family.
My heart gets full just thinking about it. Having the opportunity to be obedient to the command to take care of the
orphans in the form of adoption and raising them as our child. WOW, right??
L:What has been or is, if anything, the hardest part about this journey?
N&B: I’m not going to lie, there have been many hard things about the journey this far. And many more to come, I’m sure.
I have two things that come to mind. The first is trusting the Lord with every single step. From the moment
we sent in the initial application to the case worker digging for every detail of our life during the home study, trusting
God in every little moment was hard. Hard but wonderful because from obedience comes spiritual growth,joy, and peace.
The other hard part has been knowing I will never know details about our child’s life in their first couple
years of being alive. My heart hurts when I think about the horrible things he/she might go through and I
can’t do a single thing about it. Most moms get to see their baby’s first smile, first step, and protect them from bad people
or events. The reality is that Nick and I won’t be able to do this for our baby and sometimes I get heartbroken
over it. I pray daily for him/her and trust that the Lord is/will keep them in protection until we are given
that amazing responsibility.
L:Do you ever have doubt or fears about whether or not you should adopt, and if so how do you handle it?
N&B: I definitely did in the first 8 months during the paperwork war and home study. It was so overwhelming
and since it was just me and Nick (with the agency helping to guide us) I had many freak out moments.
There was lots of prayer involved and staying in the Word to keep encouraged. From day one, Nick has been
absolutely certain this is what we are supposed to do. His strong leadership in this area has kept
me going during said freak outs 🙂
L:What has been the most surprising thing you and Nick have learned about yourselves through this journey?
Nick: This is a tough question, and I don’t have a very good answer, to be honest. If I absolutely had to pick one thing,
I would say that I can be surprisingly chill about the whole adoption process. The Lord has time and time again proven himself to be faithful and it gives me so much peace to trust in Him to provide every last need during this adoption process and thereafter. I truly believe He has called us to adopt and therefore I believe He will provide every last need. If there ever is a moment of doubt I think of Psalm 18, and it reminds me that He is our rock, our fortress, our strength, our salvation, our deliverer, and so much more. It reminds me that He is ultimately in control and that His will, will be done. No matter what, the Lord is good and He is faithful and all the glory is given to Him.
Beka: Wow, what haven’t I learned about myself? This may sound lame but something that sticks out when I think about
the last year is how emotional I have been. I’m typically pretty low on the emotional scale and can keep myself together. I’ve always heard when you get pregnant you’ll have crazy emotions to deal with but I never thought that would happen
during adoption. I have gone from high in the sky happy down to the depths of the sea crying over a missed document. WHEW, it’s been a ride so far. I think most of it stems from the anxiety over the unknown, length of the process, and walking through most of the process alone. So, if you see me tear up over the sight of a momma bird and her chick, just pat me on the back and walk away. 🙂
L:Do you feel like it has brought you closer together or been more of a strain on your relationship?
N&B: There have been moments of strain up until this point but also so much happiness (and so much more to come!).
A lot of the strain might come from the fact that we are preparing for our child who is on the other side of the world and
who we might not meet for another year to two years. As my(Beka) mom says, “You are having one of the longest
pregnancies ever!”. 🙂 That would put strain on any marriage, don’t you think? But ultimately I (Nick) would say that it has brought us much closer together and especially much closer to the Lord. It has caused us to spend more time together praying and in the Word and reminds us constantly that the Lord really is the foundation on which we should always stand.
L:Have you and Nick always had a heart for orphans?
N&B: Nick absolutely has. My heart took a little while to catch up but now that it has, my heart is to not only bring our Bebe home but also watch other couples do the same. We are actually praying about some future ministries that we would either like to help with or maybe even start. God has huge plans to use the knowledge that we have gained and will gain to help others, I just know it!
L:They say “it takes a village”. Do you feel like you have a good support system? Have you ever felt alone or discouraged through this process?
N&B: We have THE BEST support system. Our parents and siblings have been our cheerleaders from the moment we announced our adoption. We are also blessed to have a great church family,friends,and extended family who have prayed for us this last year.
I would be lying if I said I’ve never felt alone during this process. We know a couple of families who have already adopted but none who are in the same stage of the process. Adoption is so completely different from the typical pregnancy that the majority of our friends are going through/gone through so it is difficult to find connection when it comes to that. I will say that when people ask questions and are genuinely curious about the adoption process, it makes it feel even more real and we get more excited! So, keep asking questions, we don’t mind at all!
L:If you could go back to the beginning when you decided to adopt and give yourself one piece of advice, what would that be?
N&B: We would have started the process earlier! I was stubborn and allowed my fear and pride to rule my heart instead of trusting the Lord and my husband when the subject of adoption was brought up. I would also tell myself to pray more and not rely on my own wisdom and understanding, which in the end just stressed me out 🙂
To our precious Bebe: