Andrew and I decided that we wanted to move forward with adopting a baby from China. After reviewing several agencies, we picked ACCEPT and USAA and made an appointment for this Thursday afternoon.
Adoption has always been an attractive option for me (ever since I was a very young woman). I always imagined that I'd adopt in addition to having my own biological children. The only problem is: I imagined that I'd do it well before the age of 43!
After spending many weeks researching all our adoption options, we've decided to adopt from China. We picked China because the moms there are very unlikey to have abused drugs or alcohol and the children are abandoned by parents from a broad cross-section of society. This seemed preferable to other countries, including the USA (which is not to say that other countries don't have very good adoption possibilities - - we just personally preferred China).
The process takes about 9 months from start to finish (rather like pregnancy?) and works something like this:
- A social worker conducts a homestudy
- The INS approves us to adopt
- Our paperwork goes to China
- China matches us to our child
- We travel to China to bring her home
- We live happily ever after!
Because of China's "One Child" policy and their centuries old preference for male children, the babies are primarily female. As long as one parent is under 45, they can adopt an infant (under 12 months). The babies are typically between 7 and 16 months old and average about 11 months. Cost is something many people are too polite to ask us but quite curious to know so I'm happy to share that the cost is about $17,000 including airfare (UPDATE: Both adoptions were closer to $20,000 all expenses included).
One year after the adoption, we can repeat the process and adopt a sibling for her. (UPDATE: We were able to start the 2nd adoption immediately since Maddy was considered SN)
During all of our recent pregnancies (3 of them), we've decorated the nursery in our mind and named our baby and imagined all the wonderful ways our life was going to change. Then we lost the pregnancy and all of our hopes and dreams. This time, we're ABSOLUTELY going to get a baby girl! We can start painting her room and picking out her toys! We can pick a name! There's no way this can fail! And I don't even have to get more stretchmarks!
We're very early in the process so there's lots of waiting in front of us. With luck, we'll have our little girl by the end of next summer!