Case Family in Hong Kong

Reflections on the Adoption Process

Posted in Daily Life Blurbs by jpcase01 on September 17, 2008

Now that our son is finally with us, I think this would be a good time to look back and reflect on the whole process.  First of all, it was one of the most emotionally taxing experiences of our lives.  I don’t think it’s really possible to undertstand the experience unless you’ve been through it.  There is no way to describe what it’s like to be dependent on so many different people (adoption agency, orphanage, social workers) and governmental entities (Immigraton, Social Services and the Guatemalan govt).   At this point I really can not recommend pursuing adoption unless you feel a very strong and clear God to do so.  Second of all, it takes forever, our process took over a year and a half and could have easily taken up to two years if we had not gotten a couple of breaks along the way.  The first 8 months are an administrative nightmare getting personal references, financial statements, background checks and a home study.  Then we got referred when he was two weeks old, but did not end up actually getting him until a year later.  Finally, the process is costly, requiring enourmous commitment and undertaking a bunch of risk.  We have heard of people who paid large amounts of money and did not end up getting a child due to various reasons.  So here are some suggestions we have after gaining insight from our first adoption:

1.  Finish the adoption at the same address where you start the adoption.  If you do move, make sure you update your home study immediately.  This might sound like common sense to those people who have already been through the process, but we moved after we were approved and we did not get an updated home study and this cost us a lot of unecessary pain and heartache.

2.  Do research on your adoption agency.  You can find many good resources online.  I would not suggest following word of mouth, particularly from people who have not adopted from the agency.  It just so happens that had I did some research online of our agency, I would have caught a few red flags early.  Just realize that the agencies will promise you the moon as long as they get your business.

3.  If you’re not sold on international adoption and just want to adopt, look locally first.  We were informed that people willing to adopt interracially are in demand with very little cost compared to adopting internationally and sometimes with special incentives offered.  https://apps.chfs.ky.gov/snap/

4.  Be prepared for the cost to be more than even your highest budgeted amount.  Unforeseen circumstances will arise and they’re going to cost you.

5.  Make sure the process is stable in the country you are adopting from.

Melanie said that being able to raise two children with distinct differences was a highlight for her.  A highlight for me has been able to see how God is using this to grow us.  It’s really been difficult this far trying to get Javi sleeping through the night and trying to teach Ezri how to share her toys and mommies attention and it’s been difficult on Melanie trying to be everything to everyone, but I think things are getting a bit better everyday and that sunny skies are right around the corner.

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  1. Patti Hupp said, on September 21, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Melanie-
    I was just talking to Kelly tonight and she told me about all your ups and downs. I love your list up there because I can identify with just about ALL of them. She told me about your troubles at the Embassy and that just brought me back to our adoption. It was crazy! One more thing I recommend to people is fight the embassy. there are higher people there than just the visa people. We had to get the ambassador involved to get anywhere. My heart sure does go out to your guys. I know you have such incredible relief to finally have Javi home. I will be praying for all the adjustments because I know there are many. We are still experiencing that from time to time over a year later. Congrats again! he is beautiful!

    Love, Patti


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