I’ve been asked over the past few months why Sam and I chose to adopt internationally and not in the US. After all, there is a strong need to families of children who already live here, who are growing up begin bounced from home to home.
This is a question I sometimes wonder about myself – what lead our hearts to decide that at this point in our lives, international was the right decision for us? It’s longer, often more expensive, and carries it’s own unique set of frustrations with it.
So I wanted to share our thoughts on why we chose to head overseas to expand our family. Here’s a few of those reasons:
- We have been overseas to third world countries. I’ve been to India and seen the extreme poverty. Sam has been to S. Korea, Thailand, and Iraq among other places. We both know what the children live in over there. Even if they have homes it’s usually not an ideal situation, but when they are abandoned or orphaned it gets even worse. I’m not saying the foster/adoption system is wonderful over here, because it certainly has it’s own cons. But over in some countries it is indeed life or death.
- When we chose international adoption, we picked third world countries as the ones we were interested in. Korea came about because of our age/time and ended up being the only program we qualified for at this time.
- We wanted a infant/toddler. I hate to put it in those terms as it sounds like we’re choosing some kind of family pet instead of a child, but it’s a part of the process. Our desire was to have our family grow in a way that would make sense to all of us. We thought, and our agency agreed, that adding an older child than Bella would cause a lot more adjustment time for everyone. We are aren’t prepared to parent those stages yet, having never been through them before. From what I’ve read (and I’m sure to be corrected if I’m wrong) and talked to a domestic social worker about, it is very hard to adopt a toddler without a sibling group and an infant is even harder. Infant adoption (privately) in the US is as much, if not more, as domestic.
- We wanted to take our time. U.S. adoption often move quickly, and we wanted time to grieve the loss of our sons and the life we didn’t get. We want to seek help to become emotionally healthy again, and to work through the grief and the adoption process at a slow pace.
- We didn’t mind that our child won’t resemble us and will have a piece of his or her culture to grow up with. Not that parents who adopt domestically ever think that, but we love to travel and take in new places and cultures. I remember as a teacher that Social Studies was my favorite subject to teach on. It’s a part of who we are, the places we’ve been to that have shaped us. I know we could easily integrate another culture and way of life into our family.
- But mostly – international adoption is where our hearts are. We have no thoughts about it being “better” than US adoption and we are strongly considering domestic as our children get older. It’s not something we don’t want to do, it just wasn’t our call for this time in our lives.
Hopefully that makes some sense. I know everyone has their own opinions about adoption, both international and domestic, and we are always open to hearing and learning from others. I think in this process we are also learning about how to say, “Thank you for letting us know” and then keeping on the track we feel we are meant to be on.
I’m interested to find out if any of you that are or have adopted chose domestic or international for the same reasons, or what your reasons were?
Photo Credit and to Purchase: The Adopt Shoppe
Diana blogs on raising a toddler daughter, the loss of her twin boys, and their families’ Korean adoption in progress on the aptly named Hormonal Imbalances.
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