Tuesday, February 2, 2010

give me your opinion, please!

So I asked you a couple of days ago if you knew anything about adoptlink facilitator services. Well, no one really knew anything or had used their services, but I wanted to update you on what I found out recently. What you should know is that adoptlink is an adoption facilitator out in California and she has a very well organized chart of adoption situations from all over the place. She charges $4800 for her services plus posts the amount that the adoption agency will be charging for the adoption. KT mentioned that there wasn't a ton of information posted on their chart, just the basics like sex of the baby, race, the due date and the date the case was presented to the facilitator. You can see the chart here.

The situation I was interested in was with the birth mother Arthene, who is due to have a set of boy/girl twins in March. They are a Caucasian, Asian and Hispanic mix and the fees are somewhere in the neighborhood of $35,000 plus the travel/lodging and finalizing the adoption here in NC. Not too bad I guess for twins. The case originally had a notation that said WEST COAST adoptive parents only. Fine. That eliminates us. The chart also lists the names (in code) of various parents that have applied to have their profiles shown to the birth parents, but this case has no names listed. I kept thinking that was strange since the adoption costs for the twins is not much more than some of the other adoptions for single births they have listed. But recently the notation was changed from WEST COAST to USA ONLY. Now I could realistically ask something.

I kept coming back to this situation. I don't know why. Something about it intrigued me, I guess. There are so many people around me who have twins (my SIL, my friend Emily, my friend Tara and my friend Ashley) so I'm not really afraid to adopt twins. Plus, even though the expense would be great, it would be one adoption and our family would be complete. I wouldn't have to go through this waiting and adoption process again. Those are practical reasons, but something keeps pulling me back to look at this chart, even knowing the cost is not realistic for us.

So I finally emailed the facilitator Lil about the situation, asking for more information and if the fees were flexible at all. She responded with a basic email informing me of the specific costs involved and sent me more specific information on the birth parents. I think the reason that people may not have applied to adopt these children is the mother's health. She states that she is bi-polar although Lil notes on the form that this has not been documented and she does not take medication for it. Immediately, I remember thinking that bi-polar is hereditary and I read a little bit about it on Wikipedia and they say the most researchers believe that our genes play a major role in being diagnosed bi-polar.

Would that scare you? I can admit that it gave me pause.

Ultimately, the cost is what stopped me from emailing back and asking if she could show our profile. Knowing what we have budgeted for our adoption and knowing that this would cost $40K plus just puts it outside what we can afford. Way outside what we can afford without major help.

And yet I keep going back to the chart and the information Lil sent me. Other than the bi-polar thing, the health of the parents is excellent (Lil sent me their health forms written in their own handwriting, both mother and father with identifying information blocked out.) Overall the situation would be perfect timing with the babies due in March. I talk about these babies to friends of mine, thinking that maybe I could pass on the situation to someone who could afford it.

Last night I just prayed: Lord, if these babies are supposed to be mine, you'll make it happen. If I'm thinking about these babies for some reason, I can at least pray for them. If you know that Charlie and I are supposed to parent these babies, then you'll take care of the cost, the travel, the time away from work, and everything else. I will trust that you know who my children will be. If these babies are on my mind because they need prayer, I can pray that the right parents come across this site.

Maybe their parents are someone reading my blog. Maybe their parents are someone that you know, waiting for a perfect situation. Who knows?

Maybe these babies are supposed to come to NC. If so, then God will handle it.

But, let me ask you, would the bi-polar thing scare you? All you adoptive parents out there...would that stop you from going forward. Be honest, please. Especially those of you who have already adopted children, what would you think about this situation? God can handle that, too, I know.


KT said...

Mental illness is a situation where every adoptive family needs to find their comfort level...and it will differ for everyone.

I have a friend who has a younger brother and sister (adopted through foster care) with a severely bipolar birth-mother; the sister (at now age 16) has this diagnosed condition...it seems at this point that the brother does not. They knew this going into the situation many years ago (I believe they were adopted around age 4 or so…). That being said, they have been able to work with doctors to monitor the children as they grow.

My friend’s sister functions normally when properly medicated. However, finding the proper medication (and getting her to take the proper medication) can often prove to be a challenge.

I would suggest do trying to connect with others familiar with this diagnosis before making any decisions; do go in and speak with a doctor as well. I suspect my friend’s sister’s case is on the severe side; she does have a loving family support system and I do see her having a successful life (with medication).

2China4Ayla said...

Sissy - No. It wouldn't bother me. This is information that you are privy to but not at all sure can even be remotely possible. None of that kind of info. would be given in an international adoption so it is very possible one of my children's first parents could have been bi-polar or have another mental illness. It is a bridge you may have to cross or may not. There is a lot of great medication to help with bi-polar....also other natural helps. I have a family member with bi-polar and she is a fabulous person - takes meds and no one would ever even suspect it. I think it is a good idea to take the file to a pediatrician/doctor and discuss these concerns. Get a medical oinion and make an educated decision with their help. I wish I were rolling in cash and could help you bring these babies into your family. I think it would be perfect. I always had twin desires - and I got virtual twins with my girls only being 5 months apart and I love it.

WheelbarrowRider said...

It wouldn't stop me. Here is why. My family is full of mental illness! Granted, it did make dh hestitate for a bit. He was worried my dad's bipolar might equal our kids having trouble. But he married me anyway. :) So I am asking you, if your dh's family had bipolar, would you choose not to have kids? Probably not. Likely the kids are fine. If not, like my sister, maybe they just have adhd or some depression and its managable. With early diagnosis and the right care, a lot is possible. But someone mentioned the key-with bipolar it is often hard to get them to take meds b/c they do and then they feel good and then they don't think they need them. Vicious cycle. If you research bipolar, I think you will find that there is a positive side (seriously) of creativity, etc. All of us are a "mixed bag" as my mom would say. You never know what you will get, none of us do unless you own a particularly good magic eight ball. I would pray about it. I agree, if it is meant to be the finances will come. From somewhere. :) It would be nice to only do it once, I imagine!

WheelbarrowRider said...

oh, and you would have to change your blog title :) two plus two equal four!

Debbie B said...

It wouldn't bother us but it's an individual decision. Look up the long term issues and treatment and see if you think you'll be able to handle twins with that condition.

I'm kind of shocked at the price but our agency is in the lower end of costs. Just didn't realize it was that much more with other agencies.

marge said...

it's a personal decision, but it would not bother me. genetics DO play a major role in bi-polar along with other disorders, but with education and treatment, it's manageable. AND there's nothing set in stone that says if a parent has it, the child will. it's nothing like schizophrenia where it's almost a 50% chance you'll have it if your parent does. i think if these are the kiddos for you, you'll be able to handle whatever they need.

Maru said...

I always wanted to have twins... :o)

It wouldn't bother me. There's no guarantee these babies will have any disease or condition their parents have. I agree with WheelbarrowRider. And yes, it's a very personal decision.

Keep your focus on becoming parents. Don't think about the adoption costs. This will only stress you out and stop you. The finances will come. For us that meant a second mortgage. Nothing wrong with that! ;o)

But coming across this situation and thinking about it so much, isn't that enough proof of divine intervention? :o)

Ann - Building a Nest said...

This would not bother me, but I completely understand if it is too much for someone to handle.

My DH has family members that suffer from bipolar; An ex-boyfriend of mine did as well. The major problems came in adulthood before they were diagnosed and no one knew how to help them. Once they were dx, things started to fit into place. That doesn't mean it was pretty or easy and there has been tinkering with medicines, but they all became happy & functioning adults once they received help. That is my very limited exposure with this type of mental illness, but I do think you would be in a good situation from the start to KNOW what potential problems there could be and you would be willing and able to find help at an earlier age than most. That just doesn't happen for a lot of kids who come from bipolar barents themselves. Everyone in the family just thinks it is normal to feel these extremes.

Best of luck. I know God will lead you where you need to go.

Mrs H said...

Facilitators in CA can be licensed. It's only 1 of 2 states that licenses facilitators. The information as to who is can be found on the CA government website.

We looked at several facilitator but ended up going with one that was licensed/certified.

(I'm sorry I don't have the link.

E said...

Honestly, it would give me pause too. It is a very personal decision. I don't know much about bipolar disease, but it's a scary term, especially when not educated on what it could (or not) potentially mean for these kids. I think that it's good to get as much information on family history and taking everything into consideration, go from there. Only you and your husband know what you can or cannot handle. Personally, I don't think that one thing in the family history would be a dealbreaker for us...

The fees are astronomical, even for two. I have seen her site before and all of the situations seem to be in the very high cost range. But I definitely know what you mean about adopting twins and being done. That is what we hope for too, even though it's not super common.