We feel super weird about this.
Please know that.
However, with encouragement from family & friends, we've decided to put our story out there just in case anyone wants to contribute. We've heard that maybe people would "appreciate the opportunity to give."
If that is you: Wow! Thank you!
If that isn't you: We totally get it! We're not expecting anything from anyone. Please feel no obligation or pressure [...or anger...or resentment...or offense....]
So without further ado...
We're adopting! From India! We are beyond excited!
The short of it is this: International adoption is mega-expensive. Costs include the home study, filing government paperwork, agency fees, and eventually travel.
We are applying for grants throughout the process, and Anthony's employer has some generous policies for financing our dream, but the truth is that the estimated cost is between $30,000 and $40,000, and that's just a lot of money.
The "long" of it is this, in Alyssa's words:
Even as a child, I remember wanting to adopt. I recall at an early age becoming aware that there were so many children already in existence in this world who needed families, and that draw to create a family from "children already in existence" has never left.
Fast forward to August 2019, and after a sloooow few years of casual discussion on the topic, the switch flipped, and we were ready. We were immediately on the same page--wanting to adopt and knowing we wanted to adopt from India. We often get asked, "Why India?"
Honestly, it's just always been India. God placed this calling on our hearts from the beginning of any consideration of adoption. Some couples select their child's country of origin based on certain criteria; we never bothered because, well, we knew our daughter would come to us from India.
(God, in his goodness, gave us layer upon layer of experiences serving as confirmations, connecting us to Indian culture and community.)
So, here we are, 15 years into our relationship, 7 years into our marriage, with an overflow of love in our hearts, ready to pour it out to a daughter whom we are overjoyed to welcome home.
The process, though, is a lengthy one. We are nearing the end of the "home study" phase, during which we work with a social worker to ensure we are capable of providing for a child emotionally, financially, etc. Next up, we'll be completing the paperwork bundle that will be sent to India for approval, as well as filing for approval from the U.S. as prospective adoptive parents. Once this next phase is complete, we'll be matched! Our family coordinator will pair us with an orphan, and we will finally have a name & face of this daughter we already love. After that, we will *still* have *months* to wait until we will be cleared to travel to India to finalize the adoption. We're likely looking at another 16-22 months until we bring home our little girl!
As we wait, we will be applying for grants, reading and learning as much as we can about international adoption and parenting strategies for children from sub-optimal environments, determining how I can best continue working while prioritizing my role as a mostly stay-at-home mom, building our nursery, and praying for our daughter, her birth family, and her orphanage caretakers.
If you've read this far, thank you. We appreciate your support on this journey if only by reading about it! If you would like to financial contribute, we would be beyond grateful. Your contribution will allow us to focus on the emotional aspects of our unique parenting journey without quite as much worry about the practical aspects.
Even more importantly, though, until we are united with our precious bundle, will you partner with us in prayer?
Will you pray for Baby DiNatale...
that she would be healthy.
that she would be happy.
that she would be well cared-for.
that she would be well-fed.
that she would be adoringly gazed upon.
that she would be held and rocked.
that she would not experience trauma.
that she would know Love.
that she would transition to our home smoothly.
Will you pray for Ma & Pa DiNatale...
that we would be diligent with our paperwork & patient with the process.
that we would keep our eyes on the "why" for all of our efforts.
that we would be consistent with our prayers.
that we would remain open to one another and vulnerable to close family & friends.
that we would have thankful hearts.
that we would continue to improve ourselves in order to be better spouses for one another and better parents for our sweet girl.
that we would experience joy through this crazy ride!