Monday, August 10, 2009

Road to #2: the back-ups.

For many months (since March, actually) I have been researching how to go about our next adoption. There were many things to consider: agency, no agency, attorney, facilitator, self-advertisement... blah, blah, blah. I have different feelings on each one but this post is not about that. One of the main things that affects us is that we live in New York state. For all my love of NY our adoption laws are *crazy* (and unnecessarily, IMO) strict. They are the most stringent in the country. We cannot work with facilitators and we cannot work with an agency that is not registered and approved to place in NY state. This kind of limits ones choices, which for us bites. I feel like I have a good handle on ethics and discernment and could do a decent job of picking who I want to work with on my own. But the state obviously does not agree with me on this and I know the laws are meant to protect us, expectant parents and their children.

Additionally, I often hear about difficult-to-place situations that we would be open to but cannot pursue because we live in NY. It's just awful because we know that this is where we are called to "stand in the gap". So this left me questioning God and questioning what our next moves should be...

But today I may have just found an answer.

In asking a friend for an attorney referral we came across one who is local to us and specializes in adoption, actually it is all she does. Now I know adoption attorneys give some folks the heeby jeebies - and admittedly I was one of them. But in speaking with her I got a real peace about how we may be able to work with her and be a blessing to the moms and other families she works with.

Let me explain - quite often those who employ the services of an adoption attorney are looking to do a private adoption. They will place ads in papers (a la "Juno"), promote themselves on a web page, have a listing online, etc. etc. But the sad truth is that they are looking for something in particular and not every mom who contacts them is going to be what they are comfortable with. Perhaps there is some drug exposure, alcohol use, history of mental illness, or the child will be of an ethnicity that they are not comfortable with. Maybe she wants more openness and they want less. The bottom line is - where does this leave these women and their families? Women who are reaching out to someone to perhaps adopt their child and are then told "no, sorry. you're not what we're looking for." I know that sounds harsh but in a way it is true.

This is where we would come in. I guess you would call us a "back-up". But I like to think of us as gap standers. We want to be where others will not go. We want to be a light to these families. We want them to know that they are loved and so are their children.

So my "big dumb heart" has again taken me to an unlikely place. But as long as I feel the Lord leading me I will continue to follow. We meet with the adoption attorney on Thursday. She has even offered to reduce her fees for us... already, without ever even meeting us. And surprisingly the cost is not as much as I thought it would be to begin with. There may be other expenses, but we will deal with that as they come. I want to make sure any mom/dad considering adoption get proper counseling, someone of their choosing. So if this is something we would need to pay for I am OK with that.

Now comes the time to pray. And, of course, wait. Again.



kbell said...

How exciting!!

I can't wait to see this journey unfold.

Kristen said...

I love your heart in this, and yor desire to stand in the gap for kids that are harder to place!

Melba said...

I think this is great too, and I'm excited for you...and to see where the road leads!