After much research on the Internet and talking to friends we had a few agencies in mind. It was all so overwhelming. How to choose.?? We only really looked at 3 agencies.
By late March Sharon had weeded through stacks of adoption literature that clogged our mailbox. We found that one agency was going to have an informational meeting in Appleton so we decided to go.
While we learned a lot, this was not the agency for us. They focused mainly on China and their Russian and Ukraine programs were like second class.
By the time we really got into the research we already knew that we were interested in either Russia or Ukraine.
Scott was more insistent on Russia or Ukraine than I was but our discussions on what we hoped for our son made me agree that these were our best options. For a brief time I lobbied for Colombia. I figured that the babies from there would be well attached because they were cared for by foster type families or more caregivers. The fact that you had to stay in country for about a month would have allowed me to practice my Spanish and maybe visit friends.
In the end though, I agreed with Scott. Our child would most likely grow up in small town Wisconsin and we thought it would be easier to raise a child who would not be a minority. Scott wanted a child who would look like the rest of us so he would be just our child, not our obviously adopted child. Each family knows what they can and will accept and that should be respected. I admire and bless the families that have adopted minority or handicapped children. However we wanted as healthy a child as possible who would hopefully look as Caucasian-European as us. Our family backgrounds are heavily German so we figured Russia and Ukraine were not that far of a stretch
Next we checked out the agency that our friends had used. This agency was located in Atlanta. I called and left messages 2- 3 times before I finally got a call back. I expressed to Scott that this didn't seem to be a good sign. From that agency we learned that Ukraine was ending U.S. adoptions and it would be a long process if we went for Ukraine. This was good information but we just didn't get the warm fuzzies from this agency either. If they were so slow to respond to us then, how would they be once they already had our money? We were glad later that we had followed our feelings and done our research as this agency went out of business shortly thereafter and we would have been out our money or stuck trying to get it back somehow. God was directing us elsewhere.
Well, at least we know a little better what we are looking for at this point. Russia it is!
We learned that the process in Russia is that you basically state your preferences and they pick a child to refer to you. We both found that a bit intimidating. How do you say no? Please don't ask us to play God and reject a child. We both had to have faith in our agency and that someone out there would make a good pick for us. That is perhaps the scariest part - that total leap of faith.