We get a few questions over and over again, so we thought we would try to answer those in one place. Some of these aren’t really being asked as questions, but come up often in conversation so we thought we would include those too. Please let us know if there is anything we miss.
Q: Why are you adopting?
A: We believe in leaving a legacy – biologically and spiritually. We’ve always wanted children of our own, but the story was written a little differently than we expected. (Be sure to check out our video if you haven’t already for your story.) We read “Adopted for Life” by Russell D. Moore and it was life changing. Understanding the importance of Jesus being adopted by Joseph and looking at us being adopted into God’s family left us with very little doubt about moving forward.
Q: What type of adoption are you doing?
A: We are pursuing domestic infant adoption, semi-open.
Q: Are you sure you want to do an OPEN adoption?
A: Yes. We are also open to a closed adoption, but more than anything we want the birth parents to be as involved as they want and is healthy for the child. Our adoption will probably be more of a semi-open, meaning the birth parents will not know our last names or where we live or phone numbers and such. Our child will always know that someone else gave birth to them, but they will recognize us as his/her parents. We will send updates to the agency and the birth parents will have the option to visit with us once or twice a year if they want. And no – we are not worried about them tracking us down and stealing the baby. 🙂
Q: Why are you working with Bethany Christian Services?
A: We looked at a variety of different options for adoption. We had started applications with two other agencies a few years ago, but never really felt a complete peace about them as we started looking into things again. We’ve had several friends work with Bethany Christian Services and we have heard nothing but wonderful things about them. When we starting gathering more information about them, we quickly realized that they are committed to adoption as a ministry. We love how much they care for the birth families and part of our funds will help those mothers in counseling as long as she wants it. Also, other agencies are very comparable in price, some lower and some higher. It is pretty common to help pay for some living expenses of the birth mother. With Bethany, if the mother happens to change her mind last minute or the plans change, we will not be required to pay those fees again. Bethany tends to match adoptive and birth parents around week 30 of pregnancy as well and we appreciated that this was time for us to get to know the family, while not being there every single step of the way. Since they carefully counsel the birth parents through the process before then, once there is a match, it is rare for things to change. So far we have loved our experience with Bethany Christian Services and they work around the country and also include International adoptions as part of their ministry.
Q: Why is it so expensive?
A: Yes – that price tag is not pretty. For those that have walked through this a few dozen years ago, times have changed and adoption has become much more tricky. Up to $5,000 of that will go to help the birth mother with her expenses. $2,500 goes toward the Home Study fees. Another $1,500 goes to the post placement reports and over $2,000 goes toward the legal fees. The remaining fees cover outreach, education, training, service plan and implementation, resources, connecting parents, services at hospital, relinquishment of parental rights, and preparation and filing of documentation, and administrative fees. Yes – those working for Bethany still have to get paid too. As we researched, we felt this was very fair. Working through the foster care system is much cheaper financially, but has a different set of challenges. This is something we are open to in the future, but truly believe that God has called us this route for this time.
Q: How long does it take?
A: The average wait time right now is 18 months. We know many that have waited less than that. We are not yet considered “waiting” until all of our paperwork, references, and home studies have been complete. We are hopeful that this will happen before Thanksgiving if all goes accordingly. We went to our first meeting the beginning of September, so really things have moved pretty quickly. Once the home studies are complete (3 of them) we wait until a family picks us.
Q: What has the process been like?
A: So far the process has been great. We made our decision right before they had a general info session and we were able to get in the week following. They also had a 2-day training the following week that we were able to get into right away, instead of waiting until December. They only offer the trainings once a quarter so we were grateful. From there, it has just been a bunch of paperwork and preparing our home and designing a profile book. Luckily nothing too eventful.
Q: Do you have any preferences about the baby?
A: Yes and no. We fill out a LOT of information about our preferences. Anything from gender, age, and race to medical concerns and drug or alcohol use of the mother and father. We have carefully researched many of these things and what would work best to give this little one a loving family. However, some of those details will not be shared publicly, and probably with just one or two people if that. The main reason for this, is this is Teddy’s story. We don’t want Teddy to hear something from someone else, especially out of anger or hurtfulness. We want to be able to share with Teddy when it is appropriate and let him/her understand our position and the story from his/her parents.
Q: What are the mother and father like?
A: On one hand we have no idea, yet. On another, probably very similar to you and I. Most of the babies that come through the agency are born to females 25-45. Some are married. Some are not. Some have had great prenatal care from early in pregnancy and others don’t. We won’t know much about the birth parents until we meet them face to face. When we do, this will be part of their story. Most of what we discuss will be confidential. Not only for their sake, but also for Teddy’s. There may come a time where those conversations are shared with Teddy, but until then, we don’t want our little one to hear something he/she isn’t ready for. Teddy will know his/her birth parents along the way, as long as it make sense and is safe, emotionally and physically. Hopefully that makes sense – but the bottom line for us is we want to preserve Teddy’s story and part of his/her story includes the history of his/her birth parents.