Sunday, September 26, 2010

Adoption #101

Adoption #101 
is a summary of our experiences with adoption over the past 3 years.  I do not claim to be an expert in this area.  After sharing  with our friends and family about needing prayers for this weeks' home study inspection it occurred to me that most people are like Jeff and I three years ago in regards to the who, whens, and whats of adoption.  Furthermore, I think our home study visit went smoothly, despite our boys' impish behavior as they became more comfortable with the social worker, more on that in a later post.  

Ok, in a nutshell there are numerous different scenarios in which an adoption can occur.  We are more familiar with two, international and domestic.  This is how they differ and their timelines:

International (specifically Ethiopia):

1.     prayalso make sure you and your spouse are both on board.  so many people have told us they would love to adopt but their spouse just isn't keen on the idea.  adoption is a huge commitment of time and emotions, there is no way I could be on this journey without Jeff's full support

2.    research, research, and research some more before choosing an agency there are numerous websites you can use to check the backgrounds and personal experiences of others who have used an agency

3.    schedule an interview with your chosen agency, use a list of questions, such as these.  adoption is also a big financial commitment with prices ranging an average of $20k, so don't be shy about asking them the essential questions

4.     pray some more because this is when you may start thinking this is way too much work, who has time, especially if you are raising children already.  then remember we were adopted by God through His son Jesus Christ.  I believe that God loves adoption, he created us all why would he want any of His children to be raised as orphans?  Adoption not only glorifies God but it also has the potential to fill your life with the amazing, unparalleled joy that children bring!

5.     ok, once you have chosen your agency you will want to find as many blogs as possible of people who are pursuing or who have adopted.  they will serve as an extremely valuable source of support and inspiration.  

6.     Next is the paper chase.  Prepare yourself because you will have to dig up documents and forms that you may not have seen in a decade.  You'll have health physicals, pet vet record verifications, FBI clearance letters, reference letters, financial records, you name it, you need it.  

7.     Then you have the homestudy.  this is usually done by a 3rd party agency, not the adoption agency you chose.  They will send you on another paper chase, this one involving your autobiographies (yes your entire life story), more references, pictures of your family, your house, your farm animals, no not really.  Hold on tight because you have just done a "total reveal", splayed yourself wide open for a group of strangers to examine, evaluate, critique every aspect of your life up to this point.  Girlfriend, if this doesn't thicken your skin and bring you to your knees in prayer you are a tougher woman than me, and I have las-oed goats.  I feel like I should invite our Social Worker to be in our Christmas card picture. 

8.    Ok this is where things split depending on if you are pursuing domestic or international adoption.  
        a)If you are pursuing international adoption there are many more forms needed to meet the strict criteria imposed by immigration.  Some positives of international adoption are that you will most assuredly receive a match with a waiting or newly orphaned child in a certain time frame, depending on the country.  You are matched with a child by the agency.  Some countries take longer than others.  When we started this adoption journey three years ago some people were completing their Ethiopian adoptions in less than 9 months.  China on the other hand can have a wait of up to 5 years or more.  The negative aspects of international adoption are the higher cost mainly resulting from travel expenses.  Additional negatives are extended time away from home, and honestly from what I've read and heard, dealing with a 3rd world country and all of the ethical issues and judicial systems can be very unpredictable.  But adoption by definition is unpredictable, we have not ruled out international adoption completely.  (Somehow boys names have started getting tossed around for another little brother, both boys are fighting over who could share a room with him, so far we are split on Calvin vs. Jack, so we are praying about C.J.)  Know that the need is there, the children are there, and if you are being led to adopt no hurdle is too huge.
        b) domestic adoption, this is the route we have chosen.  domestic adoption is different in that you put together a portfolio book containing pictures of your family, your home, ect.  It's a type of scrapbook that the birthmother and/or birthfather looks through when choosing a family to place their child with .  The child is usually a newborn.  You are asked if you are open to any gender, race, physical disability.  the wait could be months or years.  there is no guarantee that you will ever be matched with a child.  Furthermore, the need is here, there are thousands of children in the U.S. foster care system that often end up there because they were unwanted.  In the U.S. there is a huge need for families open to adopting black children.  Check out this article by one of my favorite bloggers at Ordinary hero..

Adoption has so many more aspects than I have covered here.  I'd love to hear about your experience or questions.  It is by no means an easy or quick journey, but what in this life that is truly amazing ever is?  According to numerous sources there are 147 million orphans in this world.  My goal is to educate others about the tremendous need and to encourage you to join me on this life transforming, joyful path.

Today I am linking with 
chatting at the sky: 


  1. Polly, I am in awe of wonderful people like you who chose to change the life of a child through adoption! What a blessing!

  2. Hi Polly,
    Thanks for visiting me! My sister adopted a little boy domestically...he was a newborn and is 5 now. He brings them so much joy...

    What a wonderful thing you are doing!



  3. Hi Polly,

    I read The and I must be on the same track book wise! I loved it. It came so highly recommended I even bought it in hardcover....something I never do. It was excellent-could not put it down! I am going to pass it on to my mother when she comes to visit next week.



  4. Thank you for your kind note!
    I was adopted and what a blessing it has been! What you are doing will dramatically change someone's life!
    We want to adopt at some point, too!

  5. Well hello fellow Polly! Nice to connect with you! Thanks for coming by my blog today!



  6. This is a wonderful post, my husband and I are looking into this right now.

    Have a great Thursday!

  7. Great job!! and yes - #1 PRAY PRAY PRAY


Your kind words are such an encouragement, thanks for stopping by