What I’m learning

There are some really great resources to learn about adoption and specifically transracial adoption. I keep thinking that we are so lucky to be doing this now instead of 10 or 30 years ago.

These are the books I’m reading right now:

  • Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other by Scott Simon
  • Adoption Nation by Adam Pertman
  • Dim Sum, Bagels, and Grits: A Sourcebook for Multicultural Families by Myra Alperson
  • White Parents, Black Children by Darron T. Smith, Cardell K. Jacobson, and Brenda G. Juarez
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I’ve subscribed to these blogs:

  • Rage Against the Minivan by Kristen Howerton
  • The Root.com
  • MyBrownBaby.com
  • They’re All My Own by Alison Boynton
  • Millions of Miles by Megan Terry
  • All Done Monkey by Leanna
  • Squishable Baby by Lisa Nelson

I’ve talked with three of my pastors (one of whom has a social work background and worked with adopted kids), a friend who is currently adopting from the foster care system and was formerly a caseworker at an adoption agency, a friend who adopted two transracial infants domestically, and a friend who recently married cross-culturally and interracially. I’m pinning to a secret board on Pinterest (we haven’t made the big announcement yet) and watching YouTube videos of African American hair care tutorials. I’m thinking a LOT about race and what it means to be black, white, pink, tan, and freckled. And everywhere I look, there seem to be friends, radio shows and news stories talking about those things.

The next steps are choosing an agency and starting to raise funds. It looks like this will cost $20,000-40,000 by the time we’re putting a baby to bed and that is just crazy talk! Where will we ever find $40,000? And why does it cost so much? There are plenty of blogs and books about that topic. The bottom line is that it does and that probably won’t change for a while. There are exceptions, but that’s generally how it is.

I keep coming back to the thought that if God has planned this for our family he will provide somehow. I have a feeling that the finances are going to be a group effort from our family, friends, generous business, and probably loans. And I’ll be applying for grants when the home study is final too. Good Cop and I were talking about the money yesterday and it’s a pretty big deal for him. I’m used to raising money for good causes (it’s what I do at work) but it’s a new thing for him to be on the receiving end of people’s donations. This is what we talked about.

  • It’s discouraging that it costs so much.
  • We are not asking for help because we don’t want to do the work. We are doing the work and we will be making sacrifices to get and raise our child, just like other parents. We just can’t do it alone.
  • This is not something strange for God’s people. He talks a lot about caring for widows and orphans, disadvantaged, vulnerable, and exploited people. By asking for help so we can care for a vulnerable child, we are not asking anyone to do something new or weird.
  • The cost of adoption is mostly out of our control. If there are ways to cut costs during the process we will certainly be open to them. But we don’t set the fees.
  • We will do things as transparently and ethically as we can. When the process gets started I’ll be applying with a nonprofit who collects donations for our adoption and sends the money directly to our agency as needed. I will really try to find an option that works so we don’t have to collect money personally.
  • When we raise our child we’ll need support from everyone around us to provide the best, healthiest, most loving environment we can give them. This isn’t any different, we’re just getting a head start.

Yuck, money.

Anyway. The other next step is choosing an agency and that’s a little more fun. We’ll meet with our three top choices in the next few weeks and see which one is the best fit. I’m putting together a list of questions to ask each one. A lot of it will be chemistry for me, though. I want to feel comfortable with the people I talk to. I think I’d be willing to pay a little more, if necessary, to have a great experience with an organization that provides just what we’re looking for and offers our birth mom everything that she needs.

It’s a strange thing to go about having a child by interviewing other adults and gathering ginormous amounts of cash. If it weren’t for the strong parenting drive we feel and the love we’re ready to give, it could get very business-like.

Let there be no question about it. Child of ours, we are waiting on tiptoes to meet you. You are loved already. When you get here to your little house with thick grass and retired neighbors, your energetic dogs and their holes in the yard, your fresh green bedroom we’ve been working on since before we moved in – then you will know that it was never about business. It was all about you.

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