Back in November of 2008, we began the adoption journey. Due to my health issues, we have unfortunately had to put everything on hold for the time being. We do, however, still feel called to adopt and look forward to a day when that will be possible.
Here are some questions we have been asked during this process.
What led you to adoption?
- I always thought that I would have fertility problems due to family history. I also had 2 very close friends growing up who were adopted and I thought is was such a special blessing. Back in 1993 when Patrick and I were preparing for marriage, it was something we agreed on and felt led to do together. Surprisingly, God blessed us with 2 wonderful boys, but we still felt a calling to adopt and we began to pursue it. We know that God has a special heart for adoption, and we would be honored if He adds to our family in this way.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15
What kind of adoption are you going to do?
- We were originally going to look into private adoption, but through various circumstances, God led us elsewhere. While we would still consider that option if God led us to someone in a crisis pregnancy, for now, we have pursued Foster Adoption. Basically, we would foster a child (or children... they often are placed as siblings), and then adopt once biological parental rights are terminated.
Aren't you worried that the parents could come back for their child (children)? Wouldn't that cause a lot of emotional trauma for you and your kids?
- This was definitely a concern that discouraged us from Foster Adoption. However, I spoke to a friend to mine who has adopted 4 children, and she reminded me that I don't even have control over what happens with my biological children. I realized that she was right... God is in control, and He would lead us to the situation that is right for our family.
What agency are you working with?
- We've worked with, and been certified by two agencies.
- First, we were certified with Family Care Network in San Luis Obispo, CA. This was an agency where my husband used to work as an IT manager. We learned invaluable lessons from our training and certification. We left because we wanted to broaden our territory, and we felt our FCNI certification was better suited for therapeutic foster care.
- Secondly, we were certified with Family Connections Christian Adoptions. This is an agency based in Modesto, CA, with offices throughout California. We felt this was a good fit for us, as they have agencies and adoption referrals throughout the state. They also have the ability to execute private, international, and foster adoptions.
I have thought about adoption, but isn't it super expensive?
- The expense really depends on the route you take. If you are called to adoption, the expense need not deter you.
- International adoption is the most expensive, ranging anywhere from $20,000-40,000. Much of the expense comes from travel, lawyer fees, agency fees, and fees associated with the foreign country's laws/agencies.
- Private adoption usually ranges from about $8,000-12,000. Much of the expense comes from lawyer and agency fees. Sometimes the adoptive family may be asked to help with the pregnant mother's maternal expenses.
- Foster adoption is often touted as "free," but there are many incidental costs associated with all adoptions. It also depends if you work with the county, which doesn't charge for its training and services, or if you work with an agency like ours that charged around $1500.
- All adoptions are eligible for an adoption tax refund of about $10,000 or $11,000. So thankfully, the government does assist with costs. Also, there is a monthly state stipend for foster care. It is about $500-600/mo during foster care and about $300-400/mo after the adoption is finalized.
- Really there are adoption options for every financial situation if you are truly being called to adoption.
How would I know which type of option to pursue?
- Do you have a heart for a particular child?
- Is it important to you to have an infant? That scenario is more common in private and international adoptions. It does happen in foster care as well, but you may have to wait longer.
- I have friends who have a heart for other cultures, who feel called to address the thousands of orphans living in other countries. Is this something you feel called to?
- Do you have a heart for the unique challenges of foster care? Are you willing to take siblings? You might be well suited as a foster adopt parent.
- Would you like to help a mother by giving her an alternative choice to abortion? Private adoption would help you both in this scenario.
- Would you like toddlers or older children? International and foster adoption would be good choices for these scenarios.
Do you feel weird about choosing a gender? Don't you just let God decide?
- No, I don't feel weird at all. We are doing what will work out best for our family. If you want to leave your adoption in the social worker's hands, I respect your choice, too. The important thing is that children are being adopted!
- Foster care laws do not allow siblings of other genders to share rooms. We will have a boys' room and a girls' room, because that is what we are equipped to provide. Four boys at my age is a little daunting, and I would simply love to have two daughters, It's exciting to have that possibility.
- You also need to consider how your family is uniquely gifted. Are you able to care for medical needs or difficult emotional needs? Every family is different and has the capacity to love and provide in different ways. I believe God will ultimately put each boy and girl in the right place.
If you are considering adoption, I wish the very best on your journey. It may be a long one, but don't give up!
Good things don't always come easily.