Friday, April 5, 2013

a sort of big change

by David Howie

We officially switched to domestic adoption this week.  In some ways this is a big change.  There are very different requirements with the adoption agency regarding reading, meetings, and education, so we’re now jumping through different hoops.  But our thought process / priorities haven’t changed at all.  I wanted to explain that a little bit so that it didn’t seem like we were giving up.

From the beginning of our adoption call, we’ve wanted to help where a lot of other people weren’t already helping.  All children need homes, but if that need is already being met, then we wanted to move to another area of need.  International adoption and orphanages seemed the best way to do this.  We were also very drawn to special needs and Down Syndrome in particular.  We wanted a program that didn’t require too much travel because of the kids we already have.  Hong Kong seemed like a great fit.  Only one trip is required and it’s not over long (some countries require a 5 week stay).  They have a highly regarded special needs program with lots of Down Syndrome children.  Our agency has a great relationship with Hong Kong. 

One other item on our wish list was for a younger child.  We wanted to at least stay in birth order (therefore our new child would be younger than Alaina Ruth).  Plus with a special need we thought it would be easier to learn as the child grew rather than jumping in the middle a couple of years down the road.  But just in the way the orphanage system and the timing of international adoption works, the youngest a child would be is toddler age when they’d come home.  A lot happens during that time.

This was especially brought home to Carrie after the recent adoption conference in Atlanta.  When she first brought domestic adoption up, I was surprised.  In my mind, Hong Kong was the way to go.  But we began to look into it more and gather information.  Our agency does not do very much special needs, domestic adoption.  There is a form to fill out with a list of special needs you’ll consider.  Currently no one in our state is open to severe special needs like Down Syndrome and not very many nationwide.  If we went domestic, our profile would be put on a national network with other offices of the agency, so our baby could be born anywhere in the country.  This matches our calling from the beginning for a need that other people aren’t currently meeting, for a special needs child, and for an infant.

The main downside (that’s really too strong of a word, but I couldn’t think of another one) is the timing.  International adoption takes a lot of time, but it’s kind of a known amount (or at least reasonably estimated).  Waiting for the paperwork to be processed to travel and pick a child up from an orphanage.  With domestic it’s totally unknown because we’re waiting for a child to be born.  That could be any time.  Could be much shorter or much longer than international.  That’s a scary thought.  Without a sovereign God, I think that would be a dealbreaker, but we trust Him to bring our baby to our family at the right time.

So right now, we’re planning domestic meetings with our agency, doing assigned reading, and starting to prepare a profile book.  I think all of our background checks and home study will carry over fine.  Hopefully this summer will be on the waiting list.  Please continue to pray for us.

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