For those of you who would like to keep up with what's going on in the adoption process, here's the letter we'll be enclosing to our agency. It outlines why we are choosing the country of origin, sex, and age of the child we are looking for. The application asked for two paragraphs; that was a challenge! I have this strange desire for them to like me! I thought if they could see my heart for what we're doing and understand where we're coming from, they wouldn't think poorly of me for wanting the single most desired child in the adoption pool: a young baby girl. It was very hard to check the "female" box, and to say we want a baby between 4-8 months. It made me feel like I'm a heartless child hater. Every presentation I've ever watched on adoption stresses the need for older children, special needs children, and even boys to be adopted. I haven't met any of those criteria. Thankfully, I had a very wise woman tell me, "If you say yes to something you don't feel called to, you are stealing the blessing away from someone who does feel called to it." That philosophy has worked well in the past, but am I just trying to justify away my guilt for not having the fortitude to bring in a child that might be harder to raise? I hope not. What matters most is what God thinks of me, and I hope he's proud of us for saying yes to His call on our lives to adopt.
Anyway, here's the letter:
For all who are interested in following our adoption progress, here is a brief essay written to the adoption agency outlining why we are interested in the country or origin, age, and gender of child that we are choosing:
We feel very led to Ethiopia for several reasons. We are drawn to how family-orientated the culture is, and are excited about the possibility of meeting our future child’s birth family. We want her family to know that she will be given a loving home, and hope to have the opportunity to keep in touch with them as she grows. We can only guess at how important it will be for our adopted daughter to have a chance to connect with her roots. We feel very privileged to bring home a child into our family who is of a different race. The lessons we would be teaching all of our children about accepting people for who they are, not what they look like, are absolutely priceless.
We have two beautiful daughters, and would like a third because we both adore being “girl” parents. Bringing a child into our home who is a different ethnicity will present unique circumstances as it is, and we feel better equipped to raise a girl, because we have experience with them already. As far as the age, we would like to maintain birth order in our family. We would prefer a baby as young as possible, because our youngest daughter, Hazel, is just over one, and we want similar spacing to our biological daughters, which is around three years. We also believe it would be a much easier transition for both the baby and our family. We want our youngest daughter to be given the same chance to “care” for a baby sister that her big sister, Madelyn received. Additionally, we want to give our child as much opportunity to overcome the malnutrition that is so prevalent in Ethiopia.