Once we made the decision to pursue adoption, came the choice of how to do it. :) (Actually, I started working on that part as soon as Barry told me He was beginning to feel the Lord change his heart back in March…so as soon as the Lord made it evident that this was His will I was ready to go!) I began researching various agencies both in Alabama and bigger agencies such as Holt International, Gladney, Bethany, etc. I looked at what countries they worked with, agency requirements, ages of children that were available, time frames, cost, etc. I called and emailed many of the agencies and asked a ton of questions (sometimes I think I know too much since I work in the adoption field and know more than the average person…it’s a blessing and a curse.) I also talked to several of the families that I work with that have adopted internationally and asked them about their agencies.
A couple of the agencies were crossed off the list early on due to not working in our area or not allowing pregnancies at any point in the process. One of the agencies will put everything on hold, even once you have a referral for a child, if at any point you become pregnant. Well, I am not OK with that. I do not feel like the Lord has closed that door, and I don’t see us not trying to get pregnant at any point in the near future. We are on a fertility treatment hold, but are not using protection by any means. We were very uncomfortable with those type of restrictions so nixed those agencies.
When I called Children of the World, located in Fairhope, Alabama, I just knew they were our agency. Two of the families that I work with used this agency and loved them. They talk about how they are a very hand holding agency and had nothing negative to say about them. I felt the same way when I talked to them. I hung up the phone after that initial call and just knew they were our agency. My only initial hesitation was that they are only actively working with Russia and I hated to limit ourselves to only one country. However, the country thing had been STRESSING my out because I had no idea how to make such a decision!! Sooo…the Lord just made that decision easy on us and we didn’t have to worry about that choice!
Barry told me on a Saturday morning that He felt like we needed to do this and I had our initial application submitted Monday morning. :)