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!