Sunday, November 11, 2012

Why choose domestic adoption

Initially we were pretty set on international adoption. When I researched adoption in the past I was set on international adoption, I never even considered domestic adoption. Throughout the past year though, we have researched adoption more thoroughly. We have researched all of our options inside and out and we had to make a decision that was best for us. I think I always felt drawn in to international adoption because I felt like these children were the ones that were "really in need". They were the ones in orphanages and children's homes. I think I thought of it as a great ministry, which it is, but so is domestic adoption. The other reason was that I think I always felt that domestic adoption was for couples that couldn't have children and I still don't think of us in that way. We still have a very high chance of conceiving with fertility treatments. We may not be able to conceive on our own, but I am only 24, healthy and with no known fertility issues. However, success rates are low and the emotional toll has been too much to continue down that road at this time. I am saying these things to show how we came to the decision to adopt domestically and what I had to deal with in my own heart, not to say anything against anyone who has adopted domestically.

The reality with international adoption is that it's a long process and there are very few babies available. Do we have to adopt a baby? No, but as first time parents we want the whole experience. I know there are people who don't agree with that logic, but we have to do what's best for us as a couple. You don't have the benefit of your child knowing and possibly having a relationship with his/her birth parents. This is not always the case, but it's much more rare than in domestic cases. It also becomes more difficult because Elias has Cystic Fibrosis. Many people in our own country don't understand CF and when you consider adopting from Africa that number declines even more to pretty much no one ever hearing of this disease as it doesn't affect anyone of African decent (I hope that's the right spelling). This means that we could be matched with a child and be told at the very end of the process that we will not be approved because Elias is not 100% healthy and they don't understand his condition. We can't afford to go down that road emotionally or financially.

So where does that leave us? It leaves us wanting a baby, preferably a newborn, and working with peoples who are more open to Elias having CF as long as his doctor feels that this will not affect his ability to parent. So our option becomes domestic adoption. We have a said from the beginning that if we adopt domestically that we would prefer a minority adoption as they tend to be harder to place. After talking with our attorney that became even more obvious to us. She informed us that if she has an expectant mother who is expecting a healthy, caucasian baby she could show 50 profiles to that mother of prospective adoptive parents for her to choose from. But if that baby is bi-racial or full African American she may have 2 profiles to show that mother. That mother then has 2 choices for who will be the perfect parents to her child. Imagine having to choose the perfect parents for your child from 2 profiles. This makes us so sad. It makes us sad for the mother that in trying to make the choice that is best for her child is limited because of what her child's race will be. It makes us sad for the baby that didn't choose his/her race, but has less potential parents that are open to him/her because of race. Please don't misunderstand me, everyone has a reason for choosing what kind of child they can parent and I would never judge someone for that decision. It may be because adopting a full African American child where they live wouldn't be accepted by their community and they don't want to bring a child into a hostile environment. It could be because of family members; it could be because they don't feel that they can answer questions about their adoption over and over again. Or it could simply be, such as in the cases of some dear families that I know, that the child that they were presented with was caucasian. I'm not judging any family that makes a decision for whatever reason, I'm just saying that God has lead our hearts to these parents and these babies.

One last thing, adoption is an amazing ministry no matter how one goes about it or where they adopt from. No one has to adopt, anyone who chooses to adopt is doing so for so many more reasons than themselves. Adoption is not for everyone and both parties need to be one board. Do we want to be parents? Yes, but if we all just wanted to be parents most of us could find a way without adoption whether it be fertility treatments until we're blue in the face, surrogacy, donors, etc. We choose to adopt because we want to provide a child with a  loving and supportive family and home. We want to support expectant parents that feel as though they can't parent their child, but they still want to give their child an amazing life. And through all of that we get the opportunity to become parents.

Once again, thank you for your love and support. We are still raising money and are currently selling poinsettias until the end of this week as well as beautiful handmade necklaces. I can't post pictures, but if you follow this link you can see the necklaces that this woman makes.
We do not have all of them available, but if you see one you like let us know and I'll see if we have it. We do not have any dragonfly necklaces or the one with the dove on it. Thank you again and we hope you all have a great week!

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