Our family has been asked numerous questions about our upcoming journey and the ride to get there.  We will now try and answer some of those questions.  If you have one, please email it to us!

Why China?
The easy answer would be because that is where our daughter is.  And that is the answer strangers will get, but the truth is I (Kim) have been drawn to this country for as long as I can remember.   I just think the children are beautiful, and having two boys, I was devastated to hear about the huge number of girls who are abandoned.  China's one child policy, and the strong need to have a boy has left thousands of girls  abandoned.   These children grow up in orphanages that are quite different than the way our system works.   In the last few years China has had more boys available for adoption than girls.  The wait for girls is getting longer.  Most of the boys have medical conditions.  The life of an orphan doesn't get easier when they get older.  If you are an orphan your chances of education and marriage are almost non-existent.  A family would never allow their son to marry an orphan.  

What happens to the children if they don't get adopted?
Sadly, they age out on their 14th birthday.   If they are lucky they may get to stay with a foster family if they were part of that family, but the ones in orphanages are sent to work camps.  Some lucky ones may stay and become staff at the orphanage, but the majority are sent away. 

What is the waiting child program?
The waiting child program is for children over the age of 4, or a handicapped child.  The traditional wait for an infant or toddler is now up to 5 years.  If you take a waiting child, you can have a child home in usually 9-12 months.  Many of these children have minor problems, but they are abandoned because Chinese hide their handicapped children. They wonder why we would want these children.   Our daughter has a repaired cleft lip.  We hardly see it, but in China a parent could not afford to have the necessary surgeries, so the child is abandoned..  If you can only have one child and your child has a handicap, you will simply abandon the child.  When you adopt through the waiting child program, you really are giving a child a second chance at life.

When will we travel to China?
We hope the end of April.  If we are matched with a child soon, we should be able to make that time frame.  This time around we are working with Matt's college schedule, Andrew and Natalie's schedules, and summer swim schedule.  Matt is coaching again this summer.  We are halfway through the process.  We were pretty unsure this time around about following through, so we kept this news quiet until we got to this point.  Now we are close to the finish line, so we are ready to share our news!

Why don't just Carl and I travel?
Adding another sibling to the family is a big deal and we want the whole family to be there.  Having the boys with us was invaluable when we adopted Natalie.  If we can afford the trip for everyone, we will make every effort to bring them.  Going back to China will also be good for Natalie.  She is losing some of her memories, and seeing China after being in the US for 2 years will definitely be a wake up call!

Are the kids excited about a new sister?
Honestly, NO!  Natalie is excited to have a sister, but the boys are not. They think it is "weird" that we want more children and that there will be such a big age difference between them.  Hopefully once she is home, they will be happier.  They do realize that they are pretty much out the door here, and that this is important to us.

What age are we getting?  Have we thought about a boy?
We are going to adopt a younger child this time.  Natalie was 8 when we brought her home, and very set in her ways, likes, dislikes.  This time I feel the need to really have a little one to take care of.  We are looking for a girl between 2-4 years old.  

The family would love a boy, and if we could bring two home, we would bring a boy too.  We have approval for two, but financially we think we can only bring home one, so it will be a girl.

Will we take special needs again?
Absolutely.  We are open to many different needs, from a heart condition, to missing a limb.  There are so many children that need families, and we don't see their medical issues as problems.  

Why do we have to go to China?
That's the rules.  China makes us go for two weeks.  We will get our daughter around the second day after we arrive.  We have 24 hours and after that they ask us if we want her.  After we say "Yes, of course" then she is with us the remainder of the time.  We will have appointments with doctors, government officials, she will get a passport, visa, physical, and a TB test.  We will have some time to do some local sightseeing and shopping.