Adoption FAQ’s

When we started sharing the news of our adoption, we realized we were answering the same questions over and over again. I complied the most common questions into one post so that we can refer folks to one simple place to get all the scoop.

Are you unable to have more biological children? 

Adoption was never the “if we can’t have bio kids” option for us. Aaron has always felt called to adopt. For me, it was more of a “if God leads us to it” sort of thing. Now He has and we couldn’t be more excited to see our family grow in this way!

P.S. – This is an incredibly awkward question to ask an adoptive family for LOT of reasons. Please don’t go up to people and ask this!

How much does this cost? 

One thing we want to be very open about is the expense that comes with adoption. I used to think adoption fundraisers were crazy but that was because I had no idea just how incredibly expensive it is to adopt!

Our total estimate is: $60,000

Depending on how many months it takes to bring them home, this could change significantly because we are paying $500 per month per child for foster care.

Why did you choose to adopt from the Democratic Republic of the Congo?

Honestly, we didn’t. God did.

When we began this journey all I knew was that adopting from Congo was difficult. As soon as we realized that’s where our kids were, nothing was going to stop us from doing whatever we could to bring them home.

If you haven’t read the post where I share the entire story of finding our kids, you can read it here.

When will your kids come home? 

We are hoping that they will be home in 12 months.

There are a lot of factors in their home country that make adoption difficult. There are many factors in our country that make immigration difficult. We will be at the mercy of the two governments involved and praying that God will eliminate as much red tape as possible to get them home ASAP.

Do you have to go to Congo to get them? 

Due to the ever changing nature of immigration and adoption policies in both the U.S. and the DRC, the best answer we can give right now is that we don’t know yet.

We are currently budgeting and preparing for both possibilities so that we can make the best decision for our kids when the time comes.

Are their birth parents alive? Why are they in an orphanage?

At this time, we have very limited information about our children’s history. Three sentences total.

There are no happy orphan stories. The circumstances that lead a child to an orphanage and adoption are always heartbreaking. Out of respect for our children, we are keeping that part of their story private so that they can choose if and when they want to share it.

Do they speak English?

No, their native language is Lingala. They will begin English lessons in DRC before they come home. We’re also doing lots of research on how to best help them overcome the language barrier when they get here.

Are you changing their names? Why? 

Yes, we will be giving them new names when we adopt them. Every adoptive family handles this differently, so we have spent a lot of time thinking and praying about what is best for our family.

Our two bio kids have names that begin with the same letter, a tradition in my husband’s family. We obviously want to include our adopted children in that as well.

We plan to keep their birth names as a middle name. We would never want to erase the names that their birth parents gave them and we want to help them feel connected to their home country.

Why didn’t you pursue foster care/adoption? Or domestic adoption?

Honestly, because God called us to these two specific children long before we ever had the chance to research any other paths to adoption.

I truly believe that there are people who God calls to foster parent and foster adopt and others who God calls to adopt domestically or internationally. I don’t know why or how He decides that, all I know is that ALL children deserve a safe, loving home. Any family that opens their hearts and homes to a child in need deserves our love and support.

Why do you put sunglasses on their photos? 

Until they are legally our children, we can not post identifying photos of them online. By adding clipart sunglasses, we’re able to share their sweet smiles with you while protecting their privacy.

Are you worried about raising black kids, especially with today’s racial tensions? 

Of course we are. It would be irresponsible for us to pretend that these are not valid concerns. In many ways, I feel completely unqualified to help my children through these issues. I obviously have no idea what its like to be black.

This is where the “it takes a village” mentality comes in. I’m relying on my friends of color, both locally and online, for advice and help. I’m praying that God will put the right people in our village to help mentor all four of our kids as they navigate a world that treats them differently than their siblings.

We have already had such an outpouring of support from our friends of color and fellow interracial adoptive parents, from their book and blog recommendations to their heartfelt prayers. (Thank you each so much!)

How are you going to care for their hair/skin?

I’m going to be honest, I despise this question. Just because my kids don’t have the same hair texture as me doesn’t mean its going to take an act of Congress to learn how to care for their hair.

I really don’t understand why this is such a common first or second question since the answer is pretty obvious: lots of googling, asking other moms for advice/lessons and watching a lot of YouTube videos.

Your son looks really tall, is this a Blindside thing?

While I’m sure my husband loves to imagine any of our kids playing basketball for Kentucky, I think 4 years old might be a little young for even Coach Cal to start recruiting him!

Though I have to admit, I do share Leigh Anne Tuohy’s disdain for that “gaudy orange.”

You hated being pregnant, is this a better experience than pregnancy?

I can’t speak to one being better than the other, but it is a VERY different experience.

No one wants to throw up for 5 months and then have major surgery but I did it twice without any regrets because my kids are worth it. Would I do it again in a heartbeat if that was all it took to bring my other two kids home? Absolutely.

The biggest surprise to me is that I’ve been so emotionally connected to these kids from the start, probably more so than I was to their siblings while pregnant. I don’t have to wait 9 more months to fall in love with their sweet faces, I already have.

But there’s a lot more worrying than I expected with being “paper pregnant.”

When you’re pregnant you have this sense of control because you feel like you can protect the baby you are carrying. With adoption, you can’t do anything to protect your kids until you get them home. That reality makes you feel overwhelmingly helpless.

My heart aches so much for them. My husband will be quick to tell you that I cry just as much now as I did when I was pregnant.

What do your other kids think? 

Lorelei is EXTREMELY excited! She is very excited to have a sister and to have a brother closer to her age. She talks about them constantly and they are always first in her prayers.

Landon didn’t understand at first but as the months have gone by, he has grown quite attached to them. He asks almost daily when they are coming to our house and often kisses their photos on the fridge.

How can I help you bring your kids home? 

First of all, we greatly appreciate your prayers. We serve a God who moves mountains and we know that His hands are all over this journey.

If you’d like to make a monetary donation, you can do so on our YouCaring page. YouCaring doesn’t take a cut of your donation, so every penny possible goes to our adoption fund.

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About Celeste

Celeste grew up on a family beef cattle and show pig farm in Western Kentucky. In addition to farming and life as a restaurant wife, Celeste owns Celeste Communications where she works as a photographer, graphic designer, videographer and consultant. This blog is Celeste's personal soapbox. Any ranting or raving is her own and does not reflect the opinions of any of her clients. All photos and posts are copyrighted property of Celeste Communications.


Adoption FAQ’s — 4 Comments

  1. Pingback: We are adopting! - Celeste Harned

  2. This is perfect!

    I loved the first response, I too hate getting thst question!

    I read recently a family’s response to the question of “why are you adopting from _____” and they said, “because that’s where our kids are!”

    God bless your journey! So happy for you!

  3. I love your story! My husband and I are hoping to pursue adoption someday. What is the agency you’re using?

  4. Hi Lara – We are working with Adoptions International because they are the only agency that works with the orphanage that our kids were in. Every agency is different so most adopting families do lots of research before choosing one. Because we found our kids first, we skipped that step. Best of luck to y’all!

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