Sunday, January 3, 2010

want to think about these questions?

There are so many options when someone considers adoption. There are so many things to think about and pray about, to consider and ask questions about. Not to overwhelm anyone who is just on the brink of considering adoption, but here's where we started:

  1. Where do we want to adopt from? Initially, I wanted to adopt from China, because that's what so many people around us were doing. I researched all the possible countries we could adopt from and made a chart with their requirements and the cost. China seemed the most reasonable at $26,000 or so. The downside was that a non-special needs adoption could take three years.
  2. Where do we want to adopt from? Okay, so after thinking about China, and seemingly making that decision, my husband gets on the internet one night and does his own research and discovers that domestic adoptions can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000, depending on who you adopt through. So we decide to pursue a domestic adoption, considering our bank account and the realistic expectations for how much we can save.
  3. Do we want to consider being a foster parent and adopting through the foster system? Adoption through the foster system is free, but they mostly adopt school age children, many in their teens, and the kids are coming from situations bad enough that they have been removed from their homes.
  4. What about special needs foreign adoptions? Those tend to move quicker and are often less costly than the healthy children, but adopting a child with a special need is a very big step for a couple that have never been parents. Hmmm. Think about it.
Okay, so at this point, and many looooong conversations, we decide to pursue domestic adoption. So, more questions:
  1. What agency do we use? At this point we get on the internet and start looking at agencies. We could technically use an agency anywhere and we could use more than one. So I look at websites and then I call and talk to those that I like the look of...and ask more questions.
  2. How do they find birthmothers? Well, for most agencies, birthmothers come to them through using the phone book or the web. Or from a pregnancy crisis center or a doctor.
  3. Do they counsel the birthmothers? Some work extensively with their moms, counseling them through the process, and even after the adoption. Some seem to take the babies and run, leaving the birthmother to fend for herself. Ick.
  4. How do they charge? I did not really like the agencies that charge based on the race of the baby (more for white, less for black.) Some agencies told me they could have me a baby within six months, if I was prepared to spend up to $50,000. What I discovered was that according to the law, a birthmother could ask for up to two months rent and utilities, even if they did not need the help. And some agencies pass those costs on to the adoptive parents, again, regardless of whether mom needs help or not. So basically, we'd be paying her for the baby. Not really legal. On the boundaries of being legal, I guess.
  5. How many adoptions do they do in a year? Just curious.
  6. What is the average wait? Two years. It can be much less, but it can take longer.
So we went and talked to the two agencies we liked, and chose one, New Life Christian Adoptions. Of course, it's been a year now, and we almost had a baby in May, but I am getting antsy for something to happen again and so I have been looking at all our options. Again. And making myself crazy asking all these questions.

Just thought I would share some insight into this whole process. It can totally be overwhelming!


Maria T said...

Yeah, those are some pretty weighty questions. We're swimming in that same pond and trying to figure it all out too. Never simple, never easy, rarely clearcut.

Baby Wanted said...

Just found your blog-I'm praying a birth mom contacts your agency and you get a match. No, I'm not praying for a woman to get pregnant (referring to your previous post and the convo with your agency, lol)! I just hope someone who is looking to place their child for adoption is led to your agency. Good luck-I plan to continue to follow your journey, hope you don't mind!

2China4Ayla said...

Sissy - Special needs doesn't necassarily mean unhealthy and Non-special needs doesn't necassarily mean healthy. I have witnessed case after case of a NSN child coming home to a family very sickly and SN children coming home with no sickness and often even their said sn being reversed. In my opinion ALL adoptions are special needs - their is a significant loss in the child and in the adoptive parents that warrant "special needs" in the family. All adoptive parents need to be able to realistically handle emotional, physical and health issues with a child - birthing a child also many times results in several issues. Anyway - while you are weighing these decisions just know that just because a child/baby may be labeled special needs doesn't mean they are always a major factor. I know of 3 people who brought home heart babies and NONE of the 3 have any remaining heart issues whatsoever - all 3 are perfectly healthy children. I also know parents who brought home NSN children who have been discovered to have HEP B, heart issues, and cancer. The parents didn't sign up for that....but these children were THEIR children and they did what they had to do and they got through it and are all very grateful their babies are in their arms. I do not think International adoption is better then domestic adoption or vice versa. I think all children deserve to be loved unconditionally by a family and that you deserve to unconditionally love a child. I also hope that you will ask yourself and ask God if God intends for you to expand your horizons....maybe your restricting yourself and your family and missing out on a blessing due to those restrictions????? Maybe not???? It is worth asking. You know our story. You know we were not signed up for what we went through but you also know that our children are 100+% our children and no matter what we are grateful to have them as ours. Had we known what we found out health wise we would not have persude our 2nd adoption and we would have missed out on one of God's greatest treasures He had in store for us. It is all so hard. The questions, concerns, and preparations leave you feeling frazzled unsure of the voice of God or your own voice. My favorite prayer when I am feeling confused is "LORD, Please open the door WIDE for me if I am to go through and SLAM it in my face if I am not to go through it. I trust you and I know you will help me through the heartache of closed doors and through challenges of the opened doors, Thank you Jesus, in your Name I pray this, Amen!"