Well, we seem to be narrowing down the decisions. I would say the decision process is not so much about doing tons of research (although I have been spending much time doing that), but about listening to your heart. My heart is telling me to do domestic adoption, so I have started eliminating things related to international adoption.
The next big decision is finding an agency. I guess really I should re-phrase that. Deciding whether to use an agency or a lawyer and go the private adoption route. I went through a bunch of local resources and have this long list of agencies and lawyers that operate in my county. Even just reading what I can online about them, it seems we have 4 possible agencies and 3 possible lawyers. I am in the process now of contacting them to get more information. There is a range of agencies that operate nationwide, so I need to figure out what to do about them. Part of me would prefer to ignore them because the options can grow out of control.
I do have to talk about one agency that we have pretty much decided against, although we will go to their group info session just to be a point of comparison. I won't say their name, but they are large (not sure, but I would guess they are one of the largest) and have a strong Christian focus and wide network. If you've looked into adoption at all, you probably know who I am talking about. They make me uncomfortable for two general reasons. One, I have read some of the "anti-adoption" sites out there and this agency keeps coming up as one that may use coercive tactics to find babies for families. I don't know how I could look a child in the eyes if I had any inkling that he/she was taken from the birthmother out of coercion.
The other reason I am hesitant to go with them is that their Christian mission is so central to what they do. Now, it's not that I am against Christians. Quite the contrary, I am one. And my faith is very important to me and how I want to raise my child. But I don't like the way some Christians act like their version of Christianity is the only right one. For instance, this agency has a sister agency in a neighboring state that only started working with Catholic families a few years ago. As a Catholic (you know, the oldest Christian religion), it makes me mad when people deny that Catholics are true Christians. Plus, there are some aspects of their Statement of Faith that rub me the wrong way. It appears to imply that in order to provide a loving, faith-filled home to a child, I have to believe in creationism or that same sex couples are any less American. All these things put together make me think that our family, in which the parents are Catholic, grandma is a lesbian, and grandpa is Mormon is not the type of family for them. And thus they are not the type of agency for us.
I don't mean to push away other Christians with this post. My faith has been a rock in getting me through my IF journey and I hope it will continue to give me peace as we proceed down the adoption road. But I always think that there is a reason we call God's grace a mystery. I believe Catholic teachings the most, but really we are all muddling through trying to understand the Truth.
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