Let the research begin

19 Aug

Sometime around the end of 2010 I started to do heavy research about adoption.  Josh got me a book about adoption for my birthday in November and another for Christmas.  Choosing to adopt is a big decision that leads to many other big decisions.  I prefer to follow my head and not my heart so almost every decision I make, especially ones that will affect the rest of my life, are heavily laden with research.  We had to figure out which country we were going to adopt from and why, then decide which adoption agency we wanted to go with, then find another agency to do our homestudy (because our adoption agency probably wasn’t going to be in the state where we live).  Fortunately, I’m the queen of lists and I’ve been know to make a mean excel spreadsheet in my day. My sister was a huge help to me during this process.  She has adopted two girls from Vietnam and is pretty much an expert, in her own right, on international adoption.  She’s done research for me, called and talked to several agencies, and just been an all-around amazingly supportive sister and friend.  So thankful for her!  

My sis directed me to one very helpful website called adoptivefamilies.com.  It is loaded with resources and information about adoption, including the facts and parental requirements for every country that is open for international adoption.  Josh and I decided what exactly we were looking for — as far as the age and health status of our baby, the cost of the adoption, the amounts of trips required, and the length of the adoption process — and compared that with each country’s requirements for couples wanting to adopt.  This enabled us to eliminate many countries and narrow down our options.  It was time consuming, but really quite simple.  Because Josh and I are both under 30 years old and had only been married 2 years when we started the process, we were not eligible to adopt from several countries we were interested in.  This was slightly discouraging at first, but those countries will be available to us next time we adopt.  Each country has they’re own list of requirements for adoptive parents, including marital status, age, length of marriage, income level, criminal background (or lack thereof I guess I should say), number of children already in the home, etc, etc.

We narrowed our options to Ethiopia, Uganda and Taiwan.  We eliminated Taiwan after finding out they prefer couples who have been married five years or longer.  It wouldn’t be impossible for us to adopt from there, but it would be difficult to get a baby and the process would be very long.  When trying to decide between Ethiopia and Uganda, we came to the point where we had gathered all the information and research possible and really needed something “more” to help us make this decision.  We prayed that God would make it clear which country our baby was in and would close the door to one of these options.  Only a few days after we prayed, Ethiopia announced they would be cutting back 90% on their international adoptions because of corruption in the adoption system.  Needless to say, we got the message and started researching agencies with Uganda adoption programs.

There are several international adoption agencies in the state we live but none of them have programs in Uganda.   After many more weeks of research, phone calls, and excel spread sheets, we finally chose an agency called Children Of All Nations, which is located in Texas.  We’ve been very pleased with CAN and are confident they are the right agency for us.  Because CAN is located in a different state than we live, we needed to find a local agency do our homestudy. This did not take long……and you can read more about the homestudy in the next blog!

 

UPDATE: 12/29/2011 We are no longer working with Children Of All Nations.  For details on why, see this post.

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