- The uncertainty of domestic adoptions: I'd heard one too many stories of biological mothers chaning their minds after the babies were born (a totally understandable thing, knowing the huge emotional impact a baby-in-arms can create), as well stories of biological families taking legal steps to obtain (and winning) custody after a child's birth. While Lee and I might have been able to deal with the risk of facing this loss, we didn't want to do so, and we knew that Jaycie could not handle this type of disruption after praying so long for a sibling. The heartbreak would have been devastating.
- The large number of parents waiting to adopt infants domestically: In our research, there seemed to be an incredible number of parents waiting in line, so to speak, ones whose "portfolios" were waiting (both online and in agencies) to be chosen by birth parents. From what we could tell, the wait could be short if a family's was chosen quickly, but the typical wait appeared to be 2 years or higher. A "chosen" family might also get part of the way into the process, paying thousands of dollars of a birth mom's expenses, only to find themselves starting over and losing every bit of that money if that bio-mother changed her mind. This doesn't rule out domestic adoption for us forever, but it was a factor this first time.
- The problems inherent with adopting older children: This issue may be one that touches some people's hot buttons, but it's an issue for many young families, nonetheless. So much happens developmentally and emotionally during the first three years that impacts a person's entire life. With the U.S.'s system of trying at all costs to keep the bio-family unit intact (which is admirable in some ways but not always in the best interest of neglected children), the majority of children who need homes aren't deemed "adoptable" by the courts until they're three or four years old. Having that amount of instability in a young child's life might create problems that no amount of love and care in the world could overcome. At this point in our lives, we didn't want to take that risk or tackle that challenge. Again, we aren't ruling this out for the future, but it wouldn't have worked for us now.
- The enormous number of babies living in foreign orphanages, particularly in China: Our rationale for going to China was largely influenced by issues raised in this book, The Lost Daughters of China by Karin Evans. For a great interview with the author, go here.
(photo by fellow traveller Trish M.)