Here’s the reality, our adoption story may not be a story at all. Or at the very least, it may not lead to an adoption. Frankly, I’m not 100% sure what to do with that thought so I’m going to put it aside for now.
Last night, we took our first step towards adoption by attending an agency’s orientation meeting. Informative and thorough, but to be honest no real surprises in terms of the actual information being delivered. The price for domestic adoption was somewhat higher than I expected but at this point, the cost is not something we give a significant amount of thought to as long as it looks as though it can be managed responsibly.
I think Sarah and I both expected to leave the meeting fired up, ready to build a marketing campaign for our fundraiser, and try to finish the home study paperwork by the end of the night. Let me see if I can capture the feelings we had leaving the meeting.
We have three beautiful and healthy children. It’s not lost on us for a second how lucky we are. So much of our call to adopt has to do with our fortunate circumstances and the desire to share that with someone, a child, that would benefit from having a family that wouldn’t otherwise have one. Amongst other reasons that I’m not going to dive into here, but bottom line, I think we felt a real need was out there to place domestic infants with a family able and willing to adopt.
Instead, I think we left with a feeling that we are on a path to build some profile book and then begin competing with other prosective parents, praying and hoping that we get “picked” by an expectant mom. Well, that’s all fine and dandy, but at what cost? The competition doesn’t bother me, it’s the idea that when we do get picked, we are delaying an opportunity for a couple that is incapable of having kids, for whatever reason, the opportunity to adopt.
Put another way, in our state and with this agency, there are 79 couples waiting for the opportunity to adopt. So far this year, only 17 babies have been placed. The average wait time is ~750 days. There is no shortage of placement opportunities coming up any time soon.
Although we would love to start loving on a new child as soon as possible, the wait doesn’t really bother us. But with those numbers, we left feeling like we were doing this for fun instead of filling a real need. Don’t get me wrong, we look forward to the joy that comes with adoption, but so much of our calling feels like it extends beyond that.
Here’s another thing that’s not lost on us, domestic infant adoption is only one of many different adoption routes that can be taken. Of course we already knew that but it’s a little more clear that we need to lean into the process a little more by opening up the lens a little more.
Maybe our adoption process won’t look much like we thought. We knew prayer would be a critical part of the process, but the first step already has us searching for answers.
Naturally, Sarah wants answers today, whereas, I’m okay waiting to get more educated and allowing things to come into focus a little better by talking with some of the counselor in a little more depth about our thoughts and fears.