So, y’all, I have had one of the most frustrating “technology” weeks of my 7 year blogging career. My Mac laptop died, and I lost everything on my hard drive. And we have no internet at home because of the construction of our garage, so I couldn’t use my desktop. I have basically been technology-paralyzed for a week and had important projects due that I couldn’t get uploaded and shared. Super. Frustrating. Week. I have had to remind myself many times that these are first world problems and things could definitely be worse. It’s all about perspective. I keep hearing my mom whisper in my ear, “Count your blessings, Traci!”
And boy, do I have a ton of blessings to count…especially this little lady!
She has now been home with us for 10 weeks, and we cannot imagine life without her. Thank you for your continual prayers her and our whole family as we continue to adjust to this huge life change.
Many of you have asked me questions about our adoption process, but I have never really shared it specifically in one post, so I thought I would do that today. So here we go..
How did we get matched with Sania Louise?
Well, in October of 2014, I attended the Allume Conference with my sister, and we stopped by a booth that caught my eye called “Project 143.” Project 143 is a orphan hosting program for older orphans (ages 8-16) in Eastern Europe, China, and now Africa. You can chose to host an orphan, kind of like an exchange student, for 5 weeks in the summer or winter. I talked with two beautiful ladies and heard about their stories and experiences with hosting through P143. One lady had hosted a young girl who she still has a wonderful relationship with. And one lady actually adopted the young girl she hosted. I was so drawn into their conversations and something in my heart began to stir. I felt a huge tug on my heart to host a child the following summer.
When I got home from the conference, I shared the idea with Cy, and he was like, “huh?” :)
We have never talked about doing anything like this before, so he was caught a little off guard and of course, didn’t have the same tug on his heart that I had on mine. So I laid it in God’s hands and trusted Him to complete it, if it was Him who was doing the “tugging.” :)
In February of 2016, I was working on my computer and noticed the Project143 business card that I had placed on my bulletin board a few months earlier. I remember the ladies saying something about P143 listing the children available for summer hosting sometime at the first of the year. I thought, “I wonder if they’ve posted the children?” So I visited their website and found out the children had just been listed a few days earlier! I looked through the list of children and read about each one, not knowing whether we would host a boy or girl, or even any child at all.
And then this sweet face jumped up on the screen….
Something about her drew me in. Maybe because she reminded me so much of my sister when she was little?
I emailed P143 and asked if this little girl was available to be hosted, and she was. They said, “Do you want me to put her on hold for 24 hours for you to decide?” Huh?! What?!
Cy didn’t even know I was looking at the list!! He would die if I told him that I had a child “on hold.” But the sweet lady from P143 said that little girls get chosen quickly, and she could not promise that she would be available too much longer. So I told her to put that sweet girl on hold (doesn’t that sound funny?!,) and I would get back with her the next day.
And then I hit my knees.
“Lord, please let Cy want to host this little girl like I want to host this little girl.”
I wasn’t even sure how I was going to bring it up to him. “Um, sweetie….I saw a little girl from Latvia online today… and I want to host her this summer…. and it um, costs a good bit of money, and um, well….the deposit is due tomorrow.”
Yeah, that was going to go over really well.
Long story short, Cy and talked about it. He was surprised and unsure. We asked P143 for a few more days to decide. We talked and prayed. We talked and prayed some more.
P143 sent us some more detailed information about her and this picture.
Let’s just say that when Cy saw the picture of Sania Louise in pigtails, it was a done deal.
Then things happened super quickly…we paid our deposit and began filling out a ton a paper work. It was February, and she would be arriving for us to host her in June, and we were freaking out. :)
When did you decide to adopt Sania Louise?
We decided to pursue adoption of Sania Louise before we hosted her. Not all orphans are able to be adopted, but she was. Most people wait to start the adoption paperwork AFTER they host they child, but we were feeling led to start the paperwork before we even met her.
How long does it take to adopt from Latvia?
Latvia adoptions consist of 3 trips to Latvia and can usually be completed in less than a year. Don’t quote me on this, but it usually takes 6-8 months for the first trip to Latvia. You spend 3 to 4 weeks there with the child you are wanting to adopt, and then they come home with you. You take the second trip to Latvia (only one parent has to go and the child does not) 3-4 months later to finalize the adoption with the Orphan’s Court. And the 3rd and final trip is about 3 or 4 weeks after that and at least one parent and the child has to return to get passports and visas (I think.)
Where are you in the adoption process?
So here is what our original adoption timeline looked like:
February 2015 – Started the process to host Sania Louise for five weeks that summer. We also started the adoption paperwork.
June-July 2015 – Sania Louise stayed with us for five weeks as a host child through P143 and then returned to Latvia.
December 2015 – We took our first trip to Latvia to bring Sania Louise home. Our second trip would have been around March or April and our third trip around May 2016.
However, we did not bring Sania Louise home with us in December, and at that time, our adoption was ended. You can read a little more about that very difficult time in our lives HERE.
By God’s grace, we were able to start the adoption process again in January 2016, but we were not able to take our “new first trip” until June 2016. We just got our travel dates for our second trip yesterday, and I will be traveling to Latvia on November 22-24th to finalize the adoption. Sania Louise will officially be a Hutcherson on November 23rd. Then we will probably have our third and final trip in December or the first of January 2017.
Are you confused now? teehee. :)
So, basically, if we stayed with our original timeline, our adoption process would have been a little over a year (Feb. 2015-May 2016,) but since our adoption ended and restarted, the total timeline was from from February 2015-December 2016ish.
This post is a lot longer than I thought it would be, so I will do another Q & A post next week about what it has been like since she has been home and how she is doing. :)
Until then, have a blessed day!!