Well, it is now less than a month until we leave! We can’t even believe it – it has seemed like it was so far away, and now suddenly it’s here.
We have been so touched by all the support we’ve received thus far – thank you. Every time someone tells me how excited they are for us, or that they’re praying, or another dollar has been donated – it helps ebb away at my fears and makes me feel much more confident that this is the right thing for us in this season. And I’m so grateful.
Many people have asked similar questions about the details of our plans, so I thought it might be helpful to include some more info here. 🙂
We’ll be living where we’re working – in the care center with the kids. There is a separate wing of the building for staff, where they have rooms that share a common kitchen and living room. Though the address is Beijing, where we will be living is actually quite rural.
We are volunteering for New Hope Foundation Ltd (I recommend following them on Facebook, their page is here). One of the founders (Robin) as well as a long term staff member (Becca) manage the organization. For more about the story of New Hope, visit their About Us page. Stephen will be assisting Robin and Becca with volunteer management, short-term team hosting, IT/marketing, and facilities. In addition, Stephen will be doing some free-lance web development for clients in China and the states.
I will be providing physical therepy for the kids at the Beijing center, and collaborating with the organization’s other PT (who is based at a different care center); including education for the caregivers, equipment needs, therapeutic interventions, etc.
Will we come home with an adopted child? Definitely not. 🙂 While we will undoubtedly love all the children there (and who knows, may want to adopt one, or two…), the adoption process is long and very detailed. A home evaluation is a critical part of the evaluation for being allowed to adopt (both domestically and internationally). Since we are volunteering in China, and not living and working there – we technically have no home to bring a child to.
If any of you are even remotely interested in adopting, I am so happy to talk more about the process and connect you to the people that can help make it happen. Fun fact: many larger companies have a financial benefit to help employees adopt, and there are organizations that exists to support adoptive parents including financial grants.
We would LOVE to have visitors! There are some visas/paperwork/clearances required and some planning, but it’s definitely doable! Especially any therapists (PT, OT, Speech) – I will definitely be craving some help and collaboration. Please reach out if you are considering, and we will help start you on the process.
At this time, we’re saying at least a year. We have not signed a contract, but this is a general commitment we’re giving to New Hope Foundation. If something comes up, we can certainly modify the plan as needed.