Monday, January 2, 2012

A Plan....maybe. And a rant

Today I received a phone call from our pastoral associate at church, with a brilliant idea! She knows a young woman, who is a recent college graduate, who might be able to stay at our house (with the kids and dogs) when we go to China. I spoke to her for about 15 minutes, and she is going to come over to meet us and the kids on Wednesday evening. I am not going to say problem solved, yet, but we might just make it work. For us, money is always the biggest factor when planning. For instance, both Austin and Connor can probably stay with one of their friends (for free), but then we have to pay to board the dogs. Is it less expensive to have someone stay in our house and let the 2 boys take care of the dogs? It might also be less costly if we leave all four of the children home with the sitter, but we really do view this as the only opportunity to take the boys back to their home country. I doubt we'll adopt again, although I never know for certain what the future holds. The cost of adoption holds us back, more than anything else.

And if you think it's less expensive to adopt from the United States, think again. Adoptive parents in the US usually pay for the birth mother's medical expenses and living expenses while pregnant, the attorney fees, the court fees, and the travel expenses. Then, the adoptive parents have to be prepared to maintain contact with any and all assorted relatives, any of whom can sue for visitation rights (and win). Yes, there are thousands of children in the US foster care system. We are certified foster parents ourselves, and have provided respite care for five children to date. We would've happily adopted the sibling group of four foster children we had in 2008-2009, if the US system would have allowed it. Our foster children had three different fathers, which means that they will not be legally free for adoption until all the extended relatives get their shot at parenting and fail. By then, they will be messed up teenagers. These four darlings, ages 2, 3, 5 & 8, lived with us off and on for a year, every time they were between relatives' homes. It was a nightmare situation for them. So, for those critics who assert that we are neglecting our "own" country's children while adopting from oversees... get your facts straight. There are way more willing adoptive parents than there are children in foster care, but our government places too many barriers to adoption.  Read the statistics, easily found on the US government sites, or on Listening to Parents.  And, by the way, kids in US foster care get a week of free summer camp, tuition assistance, medical care, dental care, clothing, education, and Christmas gifts every year. Most orphanage children internationally suffer from malnutrition and the basic necessities of life. End of rant.