Saturday, March 8, 2014

An Adoption Update: Choosing your Team

the home team
One thing I am more certain of today than ever before is that adoption is never an accident.  It is a beautiful orchestration of many days, months and weeks (and sometimes even years), lots of work, tons of prayer, a wide variety of people, different organizations, families, friends and community all coming together to help facilitate something AMAZING taking place.  It certainly is a team effort.  From hiring the right professionals to enlisting the assistance of friends and family for both prayer and financial support.  You absolutely cannot do this kind of thing alone.  

This truth is both frustrating and freeing.  There are times when I just want to will my way through this on my own strength and effort...this leads to frustration pretty quickly because there is only so much one can do when pretty much most of everything is out of your hands!  What I am learning is that by inviting people in who genuinely care and want to understand and support, the burdon is lighter, the celebrations sweeter and the joy multiplied...freedom.  It is truly beautiful.

Sure there are moments when I wish I could just get pregnant and have a baby and get on about my life, but God's plan for our family is special and I choose to celebrate that and embrace this adventure and all of its uncertainties....this whole experience is a gift we have been given. 

Back in the fall, I was in hyper research mode as we neared our timeline to make a decision about which agency we wanted to choose to work with for our adoption.  I literally spent hours each evening reading different agency websites.  For me, the more I learned the muddier the waters looked.  Do we use a traditional agency? Which one? A facilitator? A consultant? An attorney? A national agency? A faith-based agency? Is licensing important? Do we want to use a local agency? Can we list with more than one? What are the reputations of these agencies? Reviews? On and on and on... and of course depending on what website you were reading, everything seemed peachy-keen, until you read the next website which raised questions about what I had just read as "truth".... it was so super confusing and unknown.  We had several friends who shared their experiences and recommendations which we found to be extremely helpful, but still, nothing was just jumping out at us for what we were looking for, despite several phone conference calls, webinars, tons of information shared and hours of research.

The reason this is such a major decision to make in the adoption process is because when make the choice of an agency (if that is the path you choose), you have to pay money to apply with them (and they might not accept you!), then you have to pay them (usually) a few thousand dollars to be listed with them (ie. become a client of theirs and to receive all of the services they offer) and then the fees go forward from there.  We knew this was going to be a major investment of not only our hearts but also our money.  So we wanted to make absolutely certain that (in addition to God) we were trusting our family's future to people who work with integrity, understand our family, are pleasant to work with and who are reachable and responsive to our questions and needs throughout this process.  

By chance, I was sharing my research frustrations with a friend of mine who is an adoptive mother of two cuties, who is also passionate about adoption.  She was telling me about a friend of a friend (of a friend?) who recently adopted after working with an adoption consultant company with great success and she recommended that I at least check them out.  

That very night I looked them up and we loved them right from the start.  Faithful Adoption Consultants have been absolutely fantastic.  They are a faith based organization run by women who are themselves adoptive mothers.  They are serious about prayer and about trusting the Lord in each and every adoption they are involved with.  I cannot say enough wonderful things about them- finding them was an absolute answer to our prayers.  What is unique about them is that they are not adoption case workers with a particular agency.  They are experienced independent consultants who network with dozens of agencies and attorneys all across the country.  So by hiring them, we did not have to make a decision about choosing one specific agency, we receive the benefit of their years of experience in this industry and the contacts and relationships they have established with licensed, reputable professionals across the country.  A true answer to prayer.  

We have been "active" with them since January 1, 2014, and what this means for our family is that our baby could be born anywhere in the lower 48 at any time.  We might have a couple of month's notice of his/her arrival or we might have less than twelve hours to pack and travel to where ever they already are!  Talk about a wild adventure!   It is certainly an exciting chapter for our family!

I will continue to explain more about this process and our personal experiences in future posts, but will sign off for now.  If you want to check out FAC on Facebook, they have a very active and amazing community of support and prayer there that is pretty amazing to behold.  We feel so blessed to be a part of it!  

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