Thursday, July 14, 2011

a new story: part four

To read the first three parts of our new story click here.

I didn't really know where to begin.  I knew our two main choices were domestic adoption and international adoption.   And I knew within those choices there were other choices.  For domestic, we could do foster to adopt, private adoption or agency adoption.  For international, we had many countries to choose from.  I was totally overwhelmed.  All I felt like God had said was, "Just look into adopting," but I didn't even know where to look!

I started making a list of people I knew who had adopted - both domestically and internationally.  My hope was that by hearing people's stories, someone's story might sound like our own.  I talked to the awesome Kim Stewart and she gave me the name of a few different agencies to start with. 
Lila and Kim's daughter, Lia - adopted from China.
I called one of the agencies and told the woman who answered, "I don't know what I'm doing.  Is there someone who can help me process this?"  She connected me to someone else who told me that the simplest reason most people adopt internationally is that it's a sure thing (as in, there are so many kids needing homes that it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when you get a referral) and most adopt domestically because they want an infant.  That didn't really help me.  We weren't totally set on an infant and we weren't all that concerned about not being chosen if we chose domestic (not because we are just that prideful, but because if we got that far, we would truly believe that God had brought us there and would provide the perfect birthmom and child for us).

So I decided to talk to both departments and see what I could learn.  Just for grins, I spoke with the woman in charge of Ethiopia adoptions and learned that the average age of children being adopted out of Ethiopia was 12-18 months and that Ethiopia requires your child to be at least two years older than the child you adopt.  If we chose to go the Ethiopia route, she advised that we wait until Lila was at least two before even beginning the process.

Now remember, this was January so Lila was just over a year old.  The thought of waiting a WHOLE YEAR to really dive into these questions again just didn't feel right.  I didn't want to wait until next winter only to realize that adoption wasn't a good fit for our family and miss our optimum timing for getting pregnant with Lila's brother or sister.  Also, we felt more comfortable adopting an infant - we knew we could do infants!  We hadn't yet experienced toddlers at the time.  And although cost ends up being about the same for both international and domestic adoptions, with international we would have to travel and leave Lila for anywhere from a week to more than a month depending on the country!  Those things all weighed heavy on us, so it seemed the most logical choice was to rule out international adoption and begin pursuing domestic adoption.

So, with the international/domestic question answered, the next step was to try to find an agency.

Check in tomorrow for part five!


suz said...

oh my gosh, i'm literally on the edge of my seat, like for real. i want to talk to you about this sometime because adoption has been a desire of mine for as long as i can remember!

Katy said...

wow, so exciting to hear this and praying for you!

A couple from our church has two little girls from China, so adorable!