We get a lot of questions (some are easy to answer, and some are more difficult)….and so today, we thought it would be fun to fill you in on the questions we are most frequently asked.
Where is Costa Rica? Costa Rica is located in the Central American isthmus that connects North America and Central America. It is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the South and East. The Pacific ocean borders the western part of the country and the Caribbean borders the eastern side.
How many kids? 1 or 2. A boy that is 5-7 years old, and possibly a “sibling set”, if the little boy has a sister that is 0-5 years old.
How much longer until you get to meet your kid(s)? Well the exciting news is that today our dossier is officially in the mail to Costa Rica. (Woo hoo!!). The documents are received and reviewed by our Costa Rican lawyer and are translated into Spanish and legalized in Costa Rica It will take approx. 4-6 months for PANI (Patronato Nacional de la Infancia, an organization in Costa Rica which protects the rights of children and adolescents and oversees the adoption process) to “approve” us to adopt, and place us on what is called the waiting list. We could then get our referral (the notification from the PANI that we have been matched with child(ren)) at any time. It takes approx. 2 months to get our I 800 (an immigration document that says we commit to adopting a particular child), and then as a family we will travel to Costa Rica to meet and bond (and do legal stuff) with our child(ren) for 6-8 weeks.
Why are you adopting? The simple answer is because after much prayer from each family member, God made it clear that He called our family to adopt. As we reflect on the bigger picture, it has been amazing to see the many seeds God planted for us before He made it clear that adoption was part of the story He was writing for our family.
- Before we got married, we were both able to go to other countries on short-term missions. We both treasured the fact that our hearts had a love for serving others and a passion for our world. Kari had the opportunity to work as a nurse for a summer in Costa Rica. This is when she was exposed to the needs of the children in that country. God planted the seed of falling in love with the people and the culture. It was then as a couple we decided to sponsor a young boy and the missionary in Costa Rica on a monthly basis.
- God planted seeds in our professions. Kari has had the opportunity to work as a pediatric foster care nurse. This was where she acted as a resource and liaison to those involved in addressing the physical and mental health care needs of these children. Mike is also an elementary teacher, in a low-income school, with a high Latino enrollment. Daily he gets to be a role model and see the needs of these kids and discover ways to invest in their lives.
- God planted a seed for our family to be bilingual. After our first son, Isaiah, was born, we felt that God was encouraging us to move across town in order to have a better chance in getting into the dual language Spanish immersion school. He is now a 2nd grader at this school, and our middle child, Andrew, is at the same school in the preschool Amiguitos program.
- Six years ago, God planted a seed when we bought our home. It is a spacious home that has extra room to share with others. In one room, we have had the privilege to house Corban University students and exchange students from China and Japan. We know that the Lord has blessed us with this extra space in our home, and we have always desired to seek Him and listen to whom we should share this room with. He is speaking loudly now that we should share this with room with another child(ren).
There have been many other seeds that God planted along the way, preparing our hearts and lives to begin this journey of adoption. It truly is exciting for us to share about what God had done and is doing in our lives. Thank you for being a part of the journey with us!
We love you,
Mike and Kari ♥
Here are some pictures from our family celebration day in Portland (Voodoo donuts, zoo, and OHSU tram)-we got fingerprinted, and this was the last step to complete our dossier.