Wow- as I look back it's been over 2 months since I last updated. I admit, I often think about putting my thougths out for whoever chooses to read, but time has been of little lately, so I haven't made this a priority. I'll try to update a little of what's been happening in our home lately, and then I intend to answer some of the questions I keep hearing.
First, to keep you up to date, today is the last day of my first trimester of pregnancy! Yes, you read it right. It's true! We are excited to be expecting baby #4 and #5 at the same time. We, here at home, are referring to our newcoming arrivals as Haiti-baby and belly-baby. Seemed appropriate to keeping straight who we were referring to, as we dream up names and think about different room arrangements for our upcoming brood of 5.
I have to say, I really enjoy hearing the questions you have been asking about our adoption journey. It makes me realize that I have not done well at informing you about what God is leading us through. But also it reminds me of what I started this blog for. To educate people about the long arduous journey to adopt. There are some things I've learned along the way, that I take for granted knowing. Of course, each adoption is different, and we continue to learn as we go. I will try to answer some of the questions people have been asking here. Don't be offended if I list one that you've asked. Truth is, I don't think there's one that's only been asked once. Which means you are not alone in asking and wondering. So, if you do have a question for me, please don't hesitate to ask. I'll do my best to give you the answer I have. But also please kindly understand there will likely be some areas along the way we choose to keep private as a family. I promise not to be offended if you ask, but please don't take offense if I'm not comfortable answering. Deal? Deal!
Q-Your pregnancy, was it a surprise?
A- Honestly, I think I am more surprised at the question, than I was at the little stick with the line :) But since you asked.... we had been desiring to get pregnant since our 2 year old was born. But as time went by we were realizing this might not be the plan God had in store right now. We clearly felt God leading us to start the adoption process, so we thought we'd "stopped trying" on our own. Shortly after is when God allowed us to conceive. If God had allowed us to conceive in our "own timing", even one month sooner, we would not have been obedient to His call to adopt! So the short answer is....no, this pregnancy was not a surprise to our God, the author and giver of life!
Q-Are you still adopting?
A- Yes, we believe strongly God has a child for our family in Haiti right now. We wouldn't ever choose to trade one of our boys for another child. Neither would we trade our Haitian baby or this baby I am carrying. It's just not something we ever considered changing. We have room in our home and in our hearts for all of our children!
Q-Will you bring the baby home this time?
A-Unfortunately, no. I am sure this will be one of the, if not THE hardest part of this process. At this point, we are told to expect 12 months or so before we will be ble to fly home wth our baby. Of course, I am praying it will be sooner, and I believe God can make that happen if HE chooses, but the timing of this plan also is God's perfect provision around my pregnancy. I wouldn't be able to travel back to Haiti much later into my pregnancy, so God has already worked it out perfectly. BUT, you can still pray with my that the wait will be shorter, and that we can bring our baby home to stay soon!
Q-Is it (adoption) expensive?
I don't know much else to say. But, yes it is. But our God has met every single need we've ever had, and we believe this is His plan for our family. We are confident, without a doubt, that He will provide everything we need!
Q- Are you getting a boy or a girl?
A- First of all, we hve specifically said we are not "requesting" a boy OR a girl. We truely believe God has an exact child in mind to be a Dunkleberger, and we trust He will lead us to that child....soon! We will meet our child on Sunday. Then we will be sure to tell the world! (I'll admit, there are some details regarding this that I will keep a family secret.)
Q-How old is the baby?
A- Similar answer to before. But we have requested an infant. We are intending to not change the birth order of our family. Keeping the oldest, the oldest, and the youngest, the youngest. But, knowing our baby will likely have a "birthday before we get to bring them home" (that's how we explain it to our boys).
Q- How long will it take?
A-Also, answered above, but we have already started some of the process. I will explain that our agency is leading us in a different way than we were familiar with before. I'd always learned that you complete a homestudy before you have a child selected, but due to the nature of our trip (the mission trip we are going on next week with a team from our church) and the small size of our agency, we will be able to meet, and hold, and love on our child before we go through the process of a homestudy again.
On one hand, we have to leave our child behind for a year, but on the other hand, we will be completing our paperwork while our lawyers do their part and the country of Haiti does there's. So we would have to wait for the other end of the paperwork to be completed anyway. Our homestudy shouldn't slow down the process at all. We are determined not to let it! It is a process we have gone through before and our intention this time is to complete it as quickly as possible to get it over with!
A year to wait sounds like a big deal, and it is, but the other agencies we looked into said the wait for a Haitian child is up to 36 months! So 12-14 months didn't sound so long, after all.
I think that's it for now. I love to hear your questions to know what you are wondering. Don't be afraid to ask and I'll do my best to answer.
And next time I write....maybe we'll have BIG NEWS!!!