Before deciding to adopt from Liberia Eric and I researched all of our options. We knew that the Lord was leading us to adopt a child of African decent, but there are TONS of kids in the US that fit that description! So we checked out both private infant adoption and adoption through foster care. The reality with foster-adoption here in the United States is that it is a very long and hard road to parenthood. I really admire those who are able to endure the ups and downs of the foster-adopt process. I think they are the strong of the strong where adoptive parents are concerned. For those of you who may be wondering why we chose to adopt internationally again rather than domestic here is some information:
- Private Adoption: Eric and I felt uncomfortable at the thought of "competing" with other parents in hopes that we would be chosen to parent a child.
- Private Adoption: The costs associated with private adoption include money paid to the birthmother for such things as her rent, her grocery bill, etc. It seems a bit like paying a birthmother for her child (to us).
- Private Adoption: Most all private adoptions in the US are with newborns (just a few days old). Eric and I would rather adopt a slightly older baby (6-12 months old).
- Foster-Adopt: It is very difficult to get an infant placement through the foster care system, and if you do the children are oftentimes part of a large sibling group, have been drug exposed, or have a variety of other special needs.
- Foster-Adopt: There is no guarantee that a child placed with you through the foster care system will end up being your child forever. The process can take YEARS to finalize and in that time the child can be removed from your custody at any time. Eric and I aren't prepared for that kind of heartbreak.
- Foster-Adopt: When you seek a child through foster care they are "all up in your business!" Every facet of your life is investigated....you are not allowed to discipline the child however you feel led....you are obligated to answer to the foster care system until the adoption is final (which again, can be years). Eric felt really uncomfortable at the thought of being under a microscope for so long--not because we have anything to hide, but just because it is so excessive!
So, are the above points why we are adopting internationally? Nope. We're adopting internationally because that is what the Lord called our family to. Yes, there are tons of children in the US who need loving homes. Yes, we congratulate and admire those who seek adoptive placements through the foster care system. But our family was called to Liberia. Children in the US aren't dying as they wait for families. Children in the US have medical care available to them. Children in the US have enough food to eat each day. Liberian children awaiting adoption do not have these assurances.
If the Lord ever calls our family to adopt either privately or through the foster care system here in the US, we will humbly obey. In the meantime though, we look forward to the adoption of our Liberian children! :)