Many times in the last two years, we've been asked, "why?"
Why private agency?
These questions have provided opportunities to dialogue with family, friends, acquaintances, and sometimes strangers about a bigger issue: orphans and adoption.
Recently, we've watched friends celebrate children joining their families through other roads. A family from our church started their adoption journey around the same time and has now had their son home from China for over six months. Friends from Cru just went from a family of two to a family of four by adopting through the state. It's been amazing to see the journey and to see these children get placed into their perfect, forever families.
But of course, we wonder, when will it be our turn?
Which brings us back to the questions above and why we felt called to and chose this particular road to adoption.
International: For us, international is a very natural choice. We've both spent quite a bit of time in other countries, even for stints as long as 10 months. We love other cultures. We love learning about other cultures, and we love sharing the Gospel with those who may have never heard it. We don't necessarily care that our children probably won't look very much like us. International Adoption would make sense for us. So why not International?
- International adoption is significantly more expensive, which was a deterrent for us this time around.
- Most countries also have age requirements which one or both of us hasn't met yet.
- Most countries are stricter with income levels which we don't meet at this time.
- International adoptions have more strict guidelines for health of the adoptive families, which due to a history of anxiety/depression, we wouldn't be approved.
- Will we pursue international adoption at a later time? If God leads us to, absolutely.
State Adoption: This option would be significantly less expensive and probably shorter. These kids need families, and we totally understand that. So why not state adoption? This one is harder...
- With state adoptions, it is normally older children.
- These precious children typically (of course, there are exceptions) come from places of hurt, loneliness, and even harm. We aren't quite sure that we have all the tools necessary at this time to give these children everything they would need.
- Is state adoption out of the question for us? Absolutely not. We fully expect to be in a better place down the road to be able to provide a loving, secure home for this type of child. Just not right now.
- We love Bethany's love for the birth parents.
- We feel passionate about adoption being the better alternative to abortion and want to celebrate the choice the birth mothers make to choose life for their child.
- We feel called to have a semi-open relationship with our child's birth-family. We want to be able to build a relationship and show Christ's love to the brave woman (and the birth father and/or their families depending on the situation) who made the sacrificial choice of adoption.
- They do a good job. Though the cost is high, it's reasonable. The services they provide to the birth family as well as adoptive families are done with excellence.
- Before we chose Bethany, I wanted to 'research' what it was like to be one of their birth mothers. So, I went onto their website and started a chat with a pregnancy counselor. I wanted to make sure the birth mothers were treated with respect, with compassion, with love. I was satisfied.
- Our social worker has walked with us for two years. Answered emails, phone calls, visited with us, trained us, and prayed with and for us. For two years. She has earned her salary.
- Many people choose not to pursue a private adoption because they would 'lose' money they've spent along the way if they became pregnant. With our agency, you pay for things as they come along. Even if we decided to not do Bethany at this point, we would lose money that was only for specific services. I am thankful they are setup this way. We cannot get 'scammed' out of money this way. They are an honorable, reputable organization.
BUT, we are confident that this is the road God has led us to, at this time. Will we adopt later? Probably. Will we definitely go with Bethany? Maybe not. We are option to adopting however the Lord leads us. It's His story, not ours.