Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Baby Market

Last year when we were first getting excited about the thought of adopting, Andy called a local adoption attorney in hopes of getting some advice. Our call may have been a little premature. The attorney asked, “How much research have you done?” When he found out we hadn’t really done any, he took our number and told us he’d call back. He never did. Andy called the office again and talked to an office assistant who asked questions about our intentions and plans, but we didn’t have the answers. She kindly gave him some advice on what our next steps should be. As it turns out, attorneys and agencies won’t invest time in you unless you’ve invested enough time to prove that you are serious about adoption. It was obvious that we had some research to do.

A friend recommended that we read, “The Complete Adoption Book” by Laura Beauvais-Godwin & Raymond Godwin (which I highly recommend). Ray is an adoption attorney in Greenville, SC. He and his wife have adopted two children. The book has 387 pages that pertain to almost everybody interested in adoption and the remaining 303 pages are indexes with State Laws and such. I bought the book during the school year but only had time to read about one page per night. I was getting nowhere. That’s why I decided not to work this summer. After spending several half days reading at Panera and Sweetreats coffee shops, I have now read every section of the book that pertains to us! And I’m happy to say that with a generous financial gift from some friends who have heard us talk about adoption for so long without having made any strides, we are excited to say that we plan to start the home study process by the end of the summer! So, why not today? Why put it off till then? We need your prayers in regard to some decisions that we need to make.

As I have been going through the book, doing research online, and bouncing thoughts off Andy, we have come to realize there is no way we can get to the child that God has planned for us without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We’ve never really questioned whether we would adopt domestic or international. International adoptions are incredibly expensive and we’ve had such a heart for kids in our own area, so we’ve planned a domestic adoption all along. Besides that, there are so many avenues we could go: agency adoption, independent adoption, or State adoption. Then there’s open or closed adoption. Not only that, but once we’ve decided the type of adoption we also have to decide the “type” of child.

Some of the first questions we’ll have to answer for whatever attorney or agency we pursue is: What race of child do we want? Do we want a child with special needs? What age child are we willing to adopt? None of our research gave us the answers to these questions. In reality, we know it’s not about what WE want, what worked or didn’t work for someone else, or what is most logical. God doesn’t always work on our logic.

Picking out the “type” of child feels a lot like shopping, but not the fun kind of shopping. Believe it or not, there are different prices for children of different races, genders, and special needs. Some children are more expensive than a car. On the other hand, the government will actually pay you to take some children. I have to admit, I got nauseous when I read this section of the book.

I know that some people want to adopt a child that looks like them so that it won’t be so obvious he/she was adopted. We don’t feel that way. We’re open to children of all races. Pretty much anybody who’s ever talked to me knows that I have always had a heart for little black boys. In fact, I have to be careful not to favor them when I teach. But, we want to be sensitive to the needs of the child and the only way we can know what’s right is for God to guide us. We’re also praying through whether or not special needs adoption is right for us (more on that next week). We’ve always thought we’d adopt an infant, but if God wanted us to adopt an older child, we are open to that too.

You can see we need some answers before we take our next steps. Please pray that God will give us guidance as we continue in this process. Many of you have been praying for this for a while. Thank you. We are grateful for your love for us and are happy to share this with you.

Psalm 25:4-5
4 Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; 5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Next Post: 7/5/2007


Anonymous said...

I will be praying for you both as you make these tough decisions. Just remember that God will never leave you no matter what you choose. :)

love you,
Emily Fiore :)

Anonymous said...

Michelle- As always, your words move me to tears. I know that you and Andy will do what God's will is in your lives and that you will be sweetly blessed. You are in my prayers! Love, Laura Belcher

David M. Staples said...

It had always struck me that your love for little black boys was something God had put inside of you so you would be prepared for the time to adopt one. That would be really cool - that God had put something like that in you years and years before you ever even considered adoption.

GLouise said...

Hi there- I am a believer as well, having gone through fertility issues. My husband and I are now pursuing domestic infant adoption. Just wanted to drop you a little note to encourage you in the process.

Also- I wanted to add that ya'll should not feel guilty if you want to pursue adopting an infant. Yes, there are many older and special needs kids out there, but you need to pursue what you feel like you can handle...No one will judge you for it. Blessings,