Early last fall, I shared with you that my family was considering expanding via international adoption. It was a thrilling few weeks with an overwhelming level information. I prayerfully knew that our family was meant to adopt from China and felt very comfortable with the agency that was recommended by a friend. At the time, I just didn’t realize how convoluted the international adoption process can really be.
First there is a rule that because my husband is Deaf that we have to only adopt a Deaf child. Which is 100% fine because that was our plan anyway. However, he also has to have a special medical waiver and approval to adopt because deafness is considered a disability. The agency that we had chosen seemed very unsure about the deafness part and didn’t give me the confidence that our initial investment wouldn’t be wasted. **Since we originally started the process, some rules have changed that will make it easier for us to adopt.
The other issue that has had our process on hold is that we really want to maintain birth order. Finding a deaf child under the age of 18 months would have been fairly impossible. So we decided to put off the process until Ez was a little closer to age two.
After watching The Drop Box Film a few weeks ago, my heart was stretched to knew limits. I felt God’s command to go forward with the adoption process as soon as possible. Literally, the next day, I contacted the agency and told them that I wanted to formally start our adoption processes right away. Once again, I got the uneasy feeling that they were uncomfortable with our needs and that was confirmed when they suggested that we change from China to India.
At this point I was feeling very uncomfortable. Everything I have ever read, heard, seen suggests that China is the best place to adopt a Deaf child. I started to do my research and came across this amazing website No Hands But Ours. I sent them an email and Liberty immediately responded. By the end of the day, I had a been invited to a whole new world of Chinese International Adoption. While No Hands But Ours does not promote specific agencies, she gave me some suggestions that she felt would match our family needs.
I immediately started sending out emails to these agencies. I felt armed with a whole new level knowledge and questions. Over the next week, I had some great conversations with a couple of agencies on the phone and also had several tell me that they didn’t think that they could find us a Deaf child. I appreciated their honesty and after the experience with agency #1, I am glad that they didn’t waste my time.
One of my last calls was with Sara from Madison Adoption Assoc. I immediately felt connected with her. She was comfortable with working with Deaf families. She even sent me the stories of some Deaf families who had adopted through their agency. She was open about the timeline and then followed up with a detailed email. Something just clicked.
Fortunately, since then, I have had several confirmations that Madison is the right agency for us. I wish that I had done my due diligence the first time but honestly, I think that God had put a pause in my plans because He has something bigger and better planned for us.
This past Thursday, my husband and I sent our very first set of “papers” and a check to our chosen agency. I am plump with excitement over this huge step in our lives and thankful for all the pieces of the puzzle that He has set in place for us. The little connections, small confirmations and straight out answers.
Now the hard part starts. We have to locate our home study agency and start filling out loads and loads of paper work. Please pray for our little daughter who I know is already chosen for us and is looking forward to being part of our family.
I will continue to share our adoption journey. If you have adopted or are interested in finding out more, please leave me a comment. I would love to connect with you.