Catholic Social Services – We started our with CSS and even though they referred us to another agency because they had so few children on their waiting they were enormously helpful. The counselor we met with had been placing children for more than 30 years and helped us understand what to expect, what to watch out for and what we needed to have on hand for when the placement call came.
Lifeline Children’s Services – This is the agency we ended walking our adoption journey with. They are Christian agency and were very focused on taking care of the children and birth mothers both as part of their ministry. As soon as we walked out the door from our first meeting we knew this was where God wanted us to be.
Bloodlines – This book by John Piper is not about adoption but it is an honest look at race and racism from a biblical perspective in our world today. We felt open to an interracial adoption from the beginning and along with the training we received from Lifeline this helped us understand a little about what we were stepping in to.
Things We Learned
Time – For most people the adoption process takes a long time. It took 4 years for us but 2-3 is very typical. If you are struggling with infertility and think God might be calling you to adoption go ahead and start the process. We waited until after giving up on having a child of our own to begin the adoption process and if we had it to do over again we would have started sooner.
Financial – Make sure when that you are clear on what your commitment level is financially if you have a failed placement. Lifeline only charges when the placement goes through and is successful but we have met a lot of other couples who lost tens of thousands of dollars when a birth mom changed their mind after they were matched.
Communication – Make sure you are crystal clear on what your commitment level is when you are asked if you want to be considered for a match by a birth mom. Make sure you know whether they are expecting you to take placement if you are picked or if there is an opportunity to say yes or no on both sides.
Unexpected Requests – Be prepared for requests from birth parents that may seem unreasonable to you. This wasn’t the norm but I would say around 20% of the birth parents that requested to see our profile were wanting things such as visitation rights for the parents or other children, to be able to name the child, or a coparenting type situation. You just have to prayerfully consider what you are comfortable with and pass on those situations that aren’t a fit.
You Won’t Miss Your Child – Someone said this at one of the training seminars we attended with Lifeline and it was the best, most comforting advice we received. You are going to say no to birth parents and they are going to say no to you but God is going to bring you your child in His time and it when it happens you will know. That is exactly what happened with us – our son is the child we were supposed to have and he was worth the wait!