Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Decision

Well, we've decided (for now) what path we'd like to take: domestic newborn. We will most likely have a trans-racial adoption, skin color being unimportant to us.

I've really been searching my heart, and as much as I love the Chinese, Russian and Guatemalan programs, and know several people who've created their families through them, I just feel that domestic is right for us this first time around. One of the biggest factors in our decision is that we'd really like to parent a child as early as possible in their development. Just once, we'd like to really experience what life is like with a newborn. Our subsequent adoptions (yes, we want more than one child!) will most likely go through the foster/adopt system, perhaps involving a sibling group. There is also the issue of travel. Neither Jake nor myself have the available time to fly to a foreign country for a week to a month, depending on a country. Both of our jobs offer a 2 week paid vacation, and we'd like to use that time (plus 4-6 weeks unpaid FMLA leave for me) as maternity leave to be home with our baby.

Guatemala was very closely considered, but with all of the Hague Treaty uncertainties, especially considering that we won't be able to even begin the paperwork process for another year or so, really put a damper on that decision.

You know how you read or hear of most people saying that they felt "drawn" to a particular program or country, or how they just knew it was "right"? Well, that's how domestic is for us. Hopefully the fact that we're open to adopting trans-racially will make our wait time shorter than those who wait for a Caucasian infant. I'm still afraid of the uncertainty of a failed placement, but the more discussions I have with those who have successfully adopted domestically, the better I feel. I'll also be looking for an agency that whose fees are good for as many times as it takes to do a placement, rather than pay for a failed placement, then have to pay again.

However, we are attending a seminar this Sunday by an agency we are considering, and their information could sway us to further contemplate our decision regarding international.

That brings up another issue: I am having THE WORST time finding adoption seminars in Oklahoma. I've tried Google, Ask.com, and even different agencies websites, but the closest I can find is in Texas (other than the one this Sunday, which is hosted by an agency out of TX). I don't mind going to a seminar in the DFW area, but I would want to make sure that the information they provided would be valid for Oklahoma as well. My friend, Wendy, suggested that I try RESOLVE, but you have to pay $55 to join, and I don't want to pony up that money just to see if there is a local meeting or seminar. Last time I heard, they didn't have an Oklahoma chapter anyway. If anyone out there has a membership, and could look up that info, and either email me or post it here? I'd really appreciate it.

One of the greatest things this adoption had brought about is an open discussion amongst family and friends about adoption. My BIL and SIL were asking us about the process, and telling us how they may someday adopt from China. My brother and SIL have also said that for their third child, they'd love to adopt, most likely from China as well. My brother, from a young age, has always said he'd love to have a Chinese daughter. I think it has something to do with a documentary he once saw about why babies are up for adoption in China, and it really touched his heart. Of course, most of you know that my parents are in the process of adopting a sibling group that they have fostered for almost 2 years now. So, adoption seems to be all in the family here!! I'm loving all the positive feedback and comments I've been receiving. With infertility, so many people are afraid to say anything, or just don't know what to say or ask, so it's refreshing to be able to openly discuss our family planning. Has anyone else had an equally rewarding experience?

As always, an advice or suggestions is appreciated! Thanks!


Julie said...

I would just try the different adoption agencies in your area. I'm sure they all have seminars.

Please research them very carefully - there seems to be a lot of unethical agencies out there.

Good for you for following your heart. I hope you find your child soon :)

Nicole (the great) said...

I just found a great agency out here. But I am in NY.

One thing that drew me to them is that they take no agency fees until placement. So, except for the homestudy stuff and all that, no money gets exchanged until the baby is ours. We are seriously considering it.

Tiff said...

We were 'drawn' to domestic too. How exciting!!!!! If you don't mind, I can email you some info on an agency I heard great stuff about......

HopeToBeBlessed said...

I found your blog today and your saga sounds so close to ours. Infertile, can't figure out our options. We just started taking classes to adopt or foster/adopt through the state even though we aren't 100% sure about it. I figure the worst that can happen is we get some free parenting classes right? I am glad to see I am not the only one with these feelings. I'll be keeping an eye on your blog and I wish you all the luck and best wishes I can!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog today and wanted to let you know that Resolve is really a great resource. I was skeptical at first, too, but my $55 brought much more than just access to the peer-led support group I wanted to join...through Resolve I met so many women (and men) who had been there, done that, and could share their experiences and advice with me. I don't know what the resources are like in Oklahoma (I'll check it out for you) but if you have a chapter, I'd definitely join. I promise you'll get way more than your $55 worth!

Paradise19 said...

Hey, sis-in-law! I'm totally in support of your decision right now, and would love to help in any way! You've made a huge decision but I believe that you know in your heart that a child will be yours. Becoming a mother is a wonderful experience, biological or not. After spending my whole life in a family open to adoption and seeing all the positive outcomes, I can't tell you enough how happy I am for you!

Kellie said...

Good luck! I'm glad you guys made a decision, and that's the first step. Good luck.

On Our Way To Russia said...

A Act of Love in Utah - the headquarters is supposed to be a relatively quick and successful domestic infant adoption agency. Good luck!

erinberry said...

It sounds like you're well on your way! It will be exciting to follow along with you.

I don't know anything good or bad about this agency, but Abrazo in Texas has an Hispanic program.

Anonymous said...

Abrazo Adoption Associates, based out of San Antonio, is a private, nonprofit child-placement program serving children and families nationwide. The agency, which has been featured on MSNBC, BBC, and Discovery Health channel, specializes in open adoption and places primarily American-born infants and toddlers. Abrazo offers inspiring orientation weekends for qualified applicants, pre- and post-adoption counseling and support for birthparents and adopting families, an annual triad reunion called "Camp Abrazo," an online adoption community, and much more. See www.abrazo.org, for more information.

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