We get asked lots of questions about adoption. I will answer some of the most common ones, a couple at a time.
“Why adoption?” Or “How did you decide to pursue adoption?”
We believe God loves adoption!
We have had front row seats to many more families completing their adoption process since living in Ukraine than we ever had living in the U.S. Why? Because Christians are responding to the need for children to grow up in families and Ukraine is a popular country to adopt from. Since we live in the capitol city of Ukraine, we meet people in the end stages of their process (coming to get their child/children). Each story is unique, but each amazing. We have been given much and we feel we have “room” for more children despite our own imperfections.
Years before Niya came along, we knew international adoption was nice, but that it wasn’t for us. Our kids were still small, and we didn’t find it fitting for our family to separate and go abroad for weeks (or months) at a time to pursue an adoption. Our parents all work full time so we couldn’t leave the kids behind with Grandma and Grandpa, as many families do, and we certainly couldn’t afford it outright. Instead, we pursued adoption via foster care, which I still believe is a great avenue. It usually costs only hundreds of dollars for the proper background checks and certifications (CPR in our case), versus tens of thousands. I’m all for adoption, and even going to great lengths, but the circumstances for each family are different. We weren’t willing to go into debt and we also decided against a fundraising campaign. It was right for us at the time and I would encourage interested couples to investigate this option further. (My experience was in California during 2010-2011 if you have questions.)
Fast forward to 2012-2105. We find ourselves stationed in Kiev, Ukraine and this is it! Our opportunity to live and adopt abroad. The points in favor of adoption are still there, and the points against international adoption have been removed. Are we going to pursue this or not? (We only had two years at the time, not knowing we would extend for a third year). We take months to get settled in our new home as well as make a definitive decision to move forward. Yes, we are going to pursue it. Let’s see if God has this for us. Are there more kids that will one day become Bergstrom’s?!
And yes, there is always the chance that this isn’t what God has for our family. Maybe we will meet kids, but it won’t be right for one reason or another. That is another topic for another day, should it be the case for our family. For now we press on and wait. How can we know if we do not “go”?
“Why Ukraine?” Or “How did you choose to pursue adoption from Ukraine?”
That was easy. We live here! Living in the United States and contemplating international adoption is different because one could consider many countries depending on their own age, time it takes to complete the process, age of kids available, ethnicity of kids, and on and on. Each country has different requirements so it is a big decision and research project (choosing which country to pursue). But for us, it was a no-brainer to pursue Ukrainian adoption while living in Ukraine, because adoption from another country would have brought back all the issues we had years ago when we thought about international adoption.
Stay tuned for next time when I answer:
“As an American, is it easier to adopt a Ukrainian child since you already live there?”