Countries, Agencies, Children...Oh My!

I have researched countries and agencies for hours and have found 6 great possible agencies. This is largely due to joining a Yahoo Focus Group specifically related to adopting children with cleft lip/cleft palate - from this point known as CL/CP. The adoption community continues to open its arms to us and provide wonderful feedback about their experiences.

We feel very drawn to Eastern Asia, Central America, and South America. However, the latter two both seem to require very lengthy stays in country. For example, one month was probably the shortest stay. I would prefer not to live anywhere for various reasons, so my searches keep leading me back to Eastern Asia. We are very interested in Taiwan, Phillipines, Samoa, and China. Initially, China was not on my radar, as it seems that so many adoptions occur there; however, I am learning that there are so many children with CL/CP available for adoption in China. Many parents were able to pick up their children 10-15 months after beginning the process. This would be ideal! The idea of waiting 4 years for a child is much longer than we prefer at this point.

I have begun reaching out to different agencies to begin learning about their processes, waiting children, etc. I have even started looking at Waiting Children lists, which is heartbreaking and hopeful all at the same time. On one agency's website, it stated that 35% of the special needs adoptions occur with children born with CL/CP - the majority of all special needs adoptions! It's exciting to join this already awesome group of people who are saying yes to helping a little one who needs wonderful parents.

I also went to my first adoption meeting locally on the northside of Indy. It was helpful just to learn the expected Adoption 101 information, and I was very inspired to see around 20-30 families interested in adoption. I was fortunate to have two girlfriends attend with me! I have big dreams that many of our friends will also adopt children in the future. If you've read my blog for very long, you know that I get really passionate about different topics - coupons, natural labor, water birth, breastfeeding, recipes, etc. - and I like to talk others around me into having those same experiences. Maybe it's all been practice for encouraging others to adopt. How awesome would that be?? I love the idea of our future child having other children around him/her who were also adopted. It would be such a support group for the kids, as well as adults!

Will you please pray that Ryan and I have clarity about our next steps? Specifically, we would appreciate prayers related to which country we should choose and with which agency we should work. This dream was inspired by God's calling, and I know that if we listen, He will also help us make those decisions with peace and clarity. Whether you pray one time or everyday, I appreciate them all the same. Thank you friends!!

Who knew this sweet little lip would change our lives?

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