Frig and I spent the last month or so deciding on what path we would take to completing our family and finalizing an adoption agency choice. Pretty early in the process it became apparent that domestic adoption was not going to be for us if we wanted to bring our child home when he/she was still under the age of two. I had made several phone calls a few years back and not been able to get on the waiting list for newborn domestic adoption at that time. When I experienced the same frustration this go around, including a very lengthy meeting where we were mostly ignored, we quickly decided we needed to rethink our efforts.
We had already received information from one Texas agency which was very comprehensive and included material on both domestic and international adoption. Three weeks ago on a 1 hour drive to wait tables at our friend's restaurant I read over the materials out loud as Frig drove. When I got to the page regarding China we both got very excited. It appeared to be the perfect fit; easy to get girls, significantly cheaper than domestic newborn adoption through the same company, and after 4 years of waiting the wait didn't seem too bad. Our initial excitement was deflated about 15 minutes later when I was reading through the requirements and determined that Frig kept us from qualifying after all. He was certainly upset and mentioned how he had wished he could have had the excitement of the whole evening.
The next day I began to research other counties. I immediately thought of Korea, because of two of the women on the JLIH board that have close associations with Korean adoption (thanks Elissa and Laura), and sent away for information from every agency I could find that would do a Korean adoption with a family in Texas. I also sent messages to both of my friends asking them all kinds of nosey questions.
Korea seemed to be a good fit and we had narrowed down to two agencies. However, one of the agencies also deals with China and it appeared that their qualifications might allow us to adopted from China. I sent an email to them and asked if we would qualify. When I received a reply in less than 2 hours I was pretty sure this was the agency for us. But now we had to choose the country, and fast, because the agency is closing it's Korean adoption on Oct 1st.
As of today we have chosen our agency, Holt, and our country. After many emails, web searches, private messages, posts on the Holt message board, and pro/con conversations we have chosen to go with Korea. The medical care our child will receive prior to coming home will be excellent, there is a high chance he/she will be cared for in foster care prior to placement, the age at placement is young enough to fill our needs, and the wait time will not be insurmountable (about 2 years). We have told Holt that we are open to some special needs and if they refer a child that seems like a good fit to our abilities we may bring our baby home even sooner.
We did experience a bit of a stressful moment on Saturday while filling out the application. Frig was reading the 8 page legal agreement and came to a clause pertaining to the mother becoming pregnant while the process was still being completed and up to 1 year after placement. We were both worried that the other one wouldn't want to continue because of the possible loss of money. We have decided that it would be ok to lose the money prior to referal (which is also prior to paying the largest sum of money) and that after the referal is completed we will be careful so as to insure completion of the placement. I was so relieved I cried.
As part of the application process I had to include our last 3 year tax returns (thank goodnes to turbotax), and pictures of our house and family (thank goodness for photobucket).
I recieved an email saying our application should be prossed in the next 2 days. Since I have been emailing with Holt I feel pretty good that we will be accepted for the Korea program.