I’m going to start by saying I think we made the wrong decision. Maybe. I’m still excited about domestic adoption, and I really, really hope it works for us. We’re expecting our profile to be available to expectant mothers by the end of the month! D is convinced we will be picked very quickly. I know the heartache that so many others have been through, so while I’m still hopeful, I’m a bit more realistic. I honestly don’t know WHY I still have hope after everything we’ve been through, but I guess that’s my nature.
Why do I think we made the wrong decision? Well, I thought for sure I’d want a newborn. We made the decision right before we had any foster babies. At that point, our youngest foster baby had come to us at 20 months. I love her still (and I get to see her still!), but a year later I was sure we’d never have a baby and I ached for a baby. The fact that an international adopted child wouldn’t come home until the age of 2 was really frustrating to me. Then we got N at 8.5 months, and that was awesome! I loved that age! I love that baby still, and I know I’ll probably never see him again. Six weeks later we got R at 6.5 months, and he was slightly delayed at the time, but that was a really fun age too. It made me think we had made the right decision to stick with domestic adoption over international adoption. And I still wanted a newborn, at least once in my life.
Then all our babies went home, and magically we got our newborn three weeks later, after almost two years of being foster parents. This was frustrating to me, as almost everyone we’d met through the whole foster approval process had taken in a newborn within a few months, and the vast majority of them were adopting (as a matter of fact, the only foster parents I’ve met who AREN’T adopting are the ones who are infertile – all the adopters have children of their own). And while our little newborn has gone to live with her family (who are capable of taking care of her, so yay!), I had my chance to have a newborn. And I’ve decided I think I like slightly older babies better, say 3-4 months. Luckily, newborns grow into 3-month-olds and 6-month-olds and 9-month-olds, so getting a newborn will still be awesome.
But I’m on a mailing list for international children who need families, and while the vast majority of them have cases that are too difficult for us to handle with two working parents, a two-story home, and limited family help, in the last few weeks we’ve received notifications for quite a few whose only health issue is that they have limb differences. D works with kids who have limb differences, he volunteers at a camp for kids with limb differences, and he has a limb difference himself. He actually works with a lot of kids who have been adopted from other countries, who were available for adoption because of their limb differences. When the older kids find out he’s trying to adopt, they always advocate for him to adopt from their home country (it’s pretty sweet actually). We’ve already decided that we want to do it, hopefully for our second child (since we’re still hoping domestic adoption works out for us for a first child). But knowing that the kids coming from other countries will be at least two years old, it makes me wonder if we’re doing this all out of order. Should we have done international adoption first? How long should we wait after adopting domestically (fingers crossed) before we try to adopt internationally? I just turned 40, I’m not sure how much longer I can keep this up