Obviously, the thought of going into another adoption has been one that we've had a hard time with. Once you've been preyed upon by the likes of a horrible human being, taken advantage of, and had your dreams crushed once again, it takes a lot to want to put yourself right back out there. Still, we have discussed it, we weighed the pros and cons of private versus agency and started looking into agencies. Honestly, we didn't go with an agency originally because I never had a 'peaceful' feeling when researching any of them. Each website, each 'happy story' all left me with a feeling of 'yuck'. Not exactly what you're looking for when planning on investing lots of time and money, must less your heart. Still, after having dealt with that sorry excuse for a person we thought was our birth mother, we decided that maybe an agency would be on the safer side. So, again, back to the books, back to research, back to looking. I came across multiple agencies (more than I can count), took recommendations from others, and started perusing...
This is what I found:
1. Many of these places charge outrageous fees with very little description as to where the money goes specifically. I am not saying that it is not a pricey venture and we would pay any price for a child, but when I looked at a sliding scale and saw that our 'base price' (other fees were pretty certain to come) was 20K more than the lowest, honestly, I couldn't stomach it! I don't feel it should cost more for my husband and I to adopt because we make more money. That screams 'business' to me, and while I am certain it is very helpful for those on the lower end of the income scale, the prices (with multiple agencies), literally made me sick to my stomach. A friend of a friend reported her adoption costing 5-6K more dollars because her daughter was not 'of color'. Really?!? How is that ethical?
2. We've completed a home study, we've had a social worker inspect our homes, ask us every personal question in the book, things you couldn't imagine being asked. We answered willingly, honestly, and understood that they must be so responsible when placing a child in a new home. I wouldn't want them to be anything but COMPLETELY PARTICULAR. My problem has arisen in looking at agencies. My husband and I don't attend the same church, we were raised in different Christian faiths. We believe in God, we worship Him, and know that He is in control of all of the things we've suffered these past three years. Here's where my problem lies...
All of the "Christian" agencies refuse to approve us because we aren't attending church on a weekly basis together. Yep, you heard me! And I'm sorry if you feel this is a requirement for adoption, I do NOT agree. I know what great parents hubby and I will be and I don't want some judgemental 'approval' board giving me the yay or nay on whether or not we can adopt. We've already been approved to adopt, we've completed our home study, we've had counseling, we've had full federal background checks.
My conversation with one agency yesterday went this way...
Lady: Hello, this is _____ from _______ adoption agency. Do you have a minute to talk? (Tone was very cold, very harsh, and she sounded annoyed)
Me: Yes, I'm just driving right now. How are you?
Lady: Were you unable to fill out the questionnaire online?
Me: Um, no we printed it, but were told that wasn't necessary simply for the application and that you would call us to discuss the application and approval process and we'd turn that in later.
Lady: Weeeell, obviously that is going to be an important factor in our addressing your church issue.
Me: Um, church issue?
Lady: You and your husband do NOT attend the same church, correct?
(You can see where this conversation started to disintegrate before it started).
After a short explanation, and her informing me ever so kindly (ha!) that they could NOT just make exceptions to their rules for anyone, I interrupted her and explained...
"My husband and I have suffered two miscarriages and a failed adoption where we were completely scammed, robbed of money, and lost another child. In this situation many people would lose faith, they would feel abandoned, they would quit. Our faith has only grown, individually and together. We are certain that God wants us to have children, we KNOW that He will provide and I feel no need to justify to you my faith in order to be "approved" with your agency. We will have children and if it isn't through your agency or any other, that doesn't discourage me, we WILL have children." (Mind you I had explained that I am a youth director, which does, in fact, mean that I work for a church--WITH CHILDREN!).
Anyhow, her response was simply, "Well, obviously we are not going to be a match with your family. Good bye!" Click!!!
I would like to say that this was an isolated event, and while she's the only one who has been that outwardly rude, I've had 3+ agencies tell me that our not attending church together was a deal breaker, that we would indeed need a signed letter from our pastor attesting to our regular attendance! Who knew a Christian couldn't even adopt from a Christian agency. And we wonder why we get such a bad name?!?!
I would like to conclude by saying this, had she actually listened, had she called with a decent attitude, had she been the least bit pleasant I wouldn't have been so angry. I was under the impression that she was going to be "discussing" with us our spiritual walk and our family plans, but that was NOT what she was doing.
So, while I'm still a firm believer in adoption, and know of the good that it brings, and am sure that there are great agencies and people out there, our current adopting is on hold until further notice. It is highly likely that we will adopt in the future, but for now, I'd like to not have anyone judge me on my relationship with God, or my husband's relationship with God. Wow!! Needed to share that for sure!!!