Jeff and I had agreed before we went to the meetings that we would each take time to think about option before we discussed it. We both wanted to make sure that we picked the path we were most comfortable with. Since our 5th anniversary trip was coming up we had a little time before we would take the next step and welcomed the time for reflection. Of course since we had a plan to wait Jeff and I both figured out the path we wanted to take much quicker.
Listening to everything that is so wonderful about the NJ Foster to Adopt program and the added benefit of the no fees made the decision to not go that path a bit hard for me. Why did I decide not to you may ask? After 5 years of the fertility roller coaster I knew that I would love to hard to let go if the child's parents did what was required and gained custody. The foster to adopt process can be a long road with many ups and downs and I don't know how I personally would emotionally handle it. I truly believe if I already had an established family it would be a great process for us, but at this time it just wasn't the correct fit.
Jeff had also made the decision that the NJ Foster to Adopt program was wonderful but not the correct fit for him. Why I can't speak for him but knowing him as well as I do I have a feeling its similar to my reason. We discussed the option of adopting one of the wonderful children in waiting but in the end we both really want to chance to wake up in the middle of the night with a baby, watch their first steps, and hear their first words. Fertility issues have already threaten to take those moments from us and we didn't want to give up totally on those experiences.
So now we had the Bethany Christian Services options. International adoption has always peaked our interest since we donate to World Vision and communicate with a young boy in Honduras. The idea of adopting a child from Central or South America was a possibility we both considered. Then there was the option to work with a locale expecting mother and starting our family off with an infant.
There is a lot that goes in to making the decision between the two options. First is the cost for the entire adoption process. With International adoption you have the basic costs of the agency and then all the travel costs. Second is the time missed from our jobs to go through the processes. All adoptions have required meetings, class time, and home study. International adoption also has required travel time to the country of choice and what the country requires for length of stay. Third is the age and health of the child. International children are typically 3 and up and through Bethany most children have some level of disability. When looking at our income and what missing time from work would do to us financially international adoption really wasn't the best option. Jeff is lucky enough to have paid days off, but for me I am not so lucky.
So the final decision we have made is the path we truly believe God has chosen for us. We will be working with Bethany Christian Services on a domestic adoption of an infant. It will be a long journey but we are excited to do it together.