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Post provided by adopt2Connect guest blogger Christy Belleau.

Domestic newborn adoption, adoption via foster care, international adoption and then all of these:
same race, transracially or with special needs.

Deciding how to adopt is personal. As you look into various options and talk to your social worker you
will begin to get a feeling for what feels right for you. You should consider cost of course. You should
speak to other adoptive parents. You should consider your lifestyle, what you are able and willing to
deal with, and what you feel you can’t. You need to be brutally honest with yourself because a child’s
life is riding on your decision. And you need to look at how successful you are likely to be with each
adoption option if you want to minimize your frustration and your wait.

I considered most options, and there were times when I felt like a horrible person for deciding some
situations would not be right for me. God bless my social worker who said to me “If it feels like too
much of a stretch for you, then it is most likely not the right decision for you or the child. You should not
go into a situation because of your empathy for the child, or because taking this route will make you a
parent more quickly. You should wait for a situation to feel comfortable to you and one in which you
feel you are a good fit for the child”. And I knew she was right.

I was older, single and I didn’t want to wait more than a year or so. While I felt I could love any child, I
wanted to consider where I lived, how family might react and what I was really capable of handling on
my own. After researching the options, and being really honest with myself I came to the realization
that adoption from Russia was the option that felt like the best fit for me. So I decided 0-18 months old,
as healthy as possible, and a girl. Then I started looking at international agencies.

It was a bit hard as I waited when adoptive parents in my group came in with brand new babies with
downy little heads adopted domestically, transracially and not. No multiple trips, no visas, no apostilled
documents. Hard when someone who selected the same international agency at the same time I did
received a referral before me; especially since I had changed agencies because the new one seemed to
move more quickly and offer younger children. Hard when a darling little girl with CP was presented to
me at the age of 4 by my social worker who’d been contacted by an agency working to find her a home
before she aged out of her current one.

This child was real, and she needed a home. This is when you ask your heart to take a back seat and you
examine the reality. She needed a walker and my house had steps going into both doors, 2 sets of stairs
inside and I had cats and dogs running around. She would need a lot of PT and I worked full time, how
could I make that work? And she was 4, with other health problems. Realistically I was not the best
mama for her, no matter how much I wanted to be.

So for me, what was right about my choice? No wait for parental rights to be terminated, that was done
before I saw her face. No mind changing after birth. No returning to the family of origin to preserve
that relationship, a very small chance of losing any expenses. A predictable wait, one year from the time
my paperwork went to Russia to coming home with my one year old. I found my comfort zone, and I
was successful, but getting to the point of knowing what was right took me about two years and lots of
research and talking. My advice is to take your time, do your research, find your comfort zone and then
jump in with both feet!