Thursday, February 26, 2015

Why Don't You Try to Adopt Again?

Klara, over at The Next 15000 Days, has hinted that she will soon share her story of why they chose to not adopt. I decided to join in on the conversation and share ours also. I think she will be sharing her's the first part of March, but I already have a different story I want to share then, so I have decided to share this post now.

Our story starts differently, because we did try to adopt. When Josh learned about his zero sperm count, literally the first words out of his mouth were, "Well, let's look into adoption."

From that point forward, we jumped in with both feet. The approval process was long, but I feel like we tackled it in a timely manner. We handed out tons of contact cards. Towards the end, I made books to hand out also. We attended several conferences and classes to better educate ourselves. We even paid to have our profile on extra websites.

We also encouraged family members to hand out our information. At that time, one set of my grandparents were living in Arizona. I sent my grandma several contact cards to hand out. It still touches my heart that she feels so badly that her efforts didn't result in a baby. I've told her its okay. Even if our cards didn't lead to us finding a baby, I like to think that they still somehow touched a young women's heart and led her to think about the possibility of adoption if she was faced with an unplanned pregnancy.

The only part of the adoption process that didn't fly smoothly was the wait. We were on the list for nearly two years before we had any contact. After being unchosen, we stayed on the list (although we didn't have the heart to promote ourselves as much) for another year. In 3 years, we had one birthmom contact. We were ready to get out of the adoption game.

So my post isn't about "Why don't you just adopt?" Its more about "Why don't you try again?"

Adoption is not cheap. When we tried to adopt the first time, we had to pay a non refundable deposit. If our journey had ended in adoption, it would have went towards our total costs.  But when we decided to close our profile, that was money we did not get back. We also had to pay a fee each year to keep our profile active.

When we did try to adopt, at that time, we went through the church that we were currently attending. They offered a subsidized program so the cost was a lot less. (I've since learned that program is no longer available. It breaks my heart to think of all the couples who wanted to be parents and now may not be able to because of the cost.) I don't know what the costs are today, but back then, to use a private agency, the starting price was around $15,000. And it just went up from there.

"But what about foster care? Its basically free." I have my own reasons for not doing foster care. The biggest reason is, I'm not willing to risk falling in love with a child, only to return them to their family. That is the #1 goal of foster care, to reunite families. As it should be. But I'm selfish, I want a baby I can keep. I could go on about foster care, but it can be a post on its own someday. But let me say, its not free, there is still costs involved, along with many other risk factors.

Even though adoption is costly, I no longer can say we can't afford it. Now, we are more established in our lives and our jobs. We do have some extra money (not a lot, but some). So I can't really say we can't afford it. After being married 14 years, I have become much better at organizing our finances. I now understand, that when money is needed, it can be found. Also, and this is not common knowledge, we have had a few extended family members offer to help pay for it. One in form of a loan, another in form of just helping with the finances. So to say we choose not to try again because of money would not be the full truth.

I've never had anyone say it outright to my face, but sometimes I feel like they are implying, "just because you were hurt once, doesn't mean you should quit." To which I reply, I am longer hurt. We went to the wedding when our almost birthmom was married. There are NO bitter feelings. I know that a broken heart can heal. Yes, I used to be scared of being hurt again. But not anymore. Because I have learned one thing...

Life goes on.

That is what it all sums up to for us. Life goes on and so must we. The first morning after being unchosen, I cursed the sun for rising. Life, as I knew it, was over. Each day was hard. Each breath was a struggle. But slowly, each day got easier. As time went on, we found that life wasn't just about becoming parents. We were so busy chasing that dream, that we were missing what was going on around us.

I must also admit to one more thought. While I will always be a strong supporter of adoption, it just isn't in my heart anymore. I briefly mentioned that family has offered to help with the cost of adoption. But when the last offer was made, it just wasn't in my heart anymore. At this point, if I were to try and become a mom again, I would want to try and conceive on my own. I would want my baby to have my husband's eyes and my brown hair. I've decided that if a baby were to join our family, I would want to feel it grow in my belly. 


  1. This is a lovely post. I really love too that it comes from real experience and growth, and that there is no bitterness, just wisdom. Knowing what is right for you and your husband is all the reason that you (or any of us) need.

  2. I came over from Klara's blog to read your non-adoption story. You were very brave to undertake adoption and you are brave to write about it. I'm in the process of writing my story too and I see a few similarities between your story and my story, specifically foster care.

  3. dear Savannah,
    thank you for sharing your story.
    You put it beautifully. Life goes on and so must we.

  4. Also here from Klara's blog. Thank you for sharing ...

  5. Here from Klara's blog too. Thanks for your story.

  6. We were in the adoption ring for over 5 years...both international and domestic. 16 kids came and went - and it tore our hearts apart. My husband's coworker is trying to adopt now and they have had two kids not work out - and they are struggling emotionally. It hurts to watch them go through the same struggles we went through. And the money... I feel the same about foster care - I am not ready to get attached and then watch a child leave. I also am not ready to deal with a state agency - they can be frustrating.

  7. Thank you for sharing your story. (Mine will be coming shortly.) I can very much relate to your comment "It just isn't in my heart anymore." Also to your feelings about fostering. When I was in high school, family friends were asked to take in a foster child unexpectedly -- a little boy, about 2. They said yes, and they had him for three or four years, I think -- he was a very cute, very bright little guy, and we all absolutely adored him. I think they would have adopted him if they could have, but the family was reunited and moved away. I think it broke the foster family's hearts. This little boy would be almost 40 now. I sometimes wonder about him and what kind of a life he's had.