Friday, August 5, 2011

Lessons on Adoption - Good or Bad these are my feelings

Its incredibly difficult and quite emotional to write this post. Many have asked where Andrew and I are at with regards to our decision to adopt. I guess you could say that I naively or prematurely wrote my very excited blog about moving forward with adoption.

We had done some investigation into adoption, but we had not done all of our homework. As I stated in a previous blog, part of my healing at least for the time being in the place that I am currently at, I would like to adopt a baby, a newborn. Andrew and I don't have any preference on the gender of the child, and have thought very hard about race. For the purposes of too many opinions I will leave the descriptions of our thoughts surrounding race as a non-factor and something I don't feel needs to be discussed in an open forum. If you want to speak to me further then I don't mind in a private setting. Perhaps over coffee :)

Anyway, in our beginning steps we discovered the absolutely disgusting and dark side of adoption. Now here is where race does play a part, but played little in our decision with regards to adoption (hopefully that made sense). Depending on the race of a child depended on the cost and the availability of a baby. If you desired a Caucasian baby where both biological parents were both "white" then it would cost you between $32,000 to $42,000. That cost covers... actually I don't know what exactly, considering if you would like to adopt an African American baby the cost is from $12,000 to $15,000. These costs were fairly consistent whether we chose to go through an adoption agency or through a private adoption attorney.

So I began to ask myself where does the money go... And if its to cover administrative costs, medical costs, and counseling costs for both before and after care of the biological mother how then is the cost between one race so much more then another? My understanding is that paperwork is blind to color, medical costs are blind to color, counseling is blind to color...

In the midst of being in a very dark and painful place of not being able to have children on my own (unless God does a miracle - here is to believing still in miracles!) I am angered, annoyed, frustrated, and hurt by the cost of adoption and the idea that its free to make a baby but requires that only the wealthy can afford to adopt. I guess I realized why so many adopt much later in life, its simply when they could afford to do so.

Now some may say, Brenda, there is a tax break and I would say yes there is and its around $13,000 assuming the adoption goes through you can file the adoption costs on your tax and receive the credit. However, that does not in anyway cover the costs associated with adopting a child who is not African-American nor does it cover the costs if the adoption does not go through...

Oh yes, and that leads me to the other devastating news we received as we moved into the adoption world. You may pay your $12,000 to $42,000 and it may not result in you receiving a child. Sadly there is little recourse for you in receiving any of your money back. This may sound heartless on my end, but when you barely have enough money for yourself right now you can't imagine potentially letting go of a significant amount without any guarantee... Plus I know what it already means to give a significant amount of cash away for no guarantee with three failed IVF attempts.

So I have no update other then Andrew and I are childless we may be for a very long time or for the rest of our lives. I have cried out to our Lord and asked for a miracle, but I have also come to understand that some times the miracle we are asking for is not in God's ultimate plan no matter how much I don't understand. We can not afford to adopt at this point in our life so any movement forward in pursuing adoption has come to a screeching and very painful stop. Perhaps one day when we are at a different time we will begin to pursue adoption again.

I have been on an extreme emotional roller coaster with so many slammed doors that I am desperately trying to learn how to pick myself up amongst this deep disappointment. I am angry with my body, I am angry with the system, I am angry that I believe adoption has become a profit centered service which preys on those with deep wounds. I believe they have put a "legal" spin on baby selling and it sickens me to my core...

That is it that is all I have to say... I am going to take a break from writing anything with regards to our struggles to have or adopt children because I have no momentum forward in our story with regards to this subject.

A perfectly tarnished child of God


Anonymous said...

Some friends I know found a way to adopt some children from a Native American reservation and if I'm not mistaken for a very different cost than traditional adoptions. They have been through 3 successful adoptions as well as some unsuccessful ones. It might be worth it to contact her even just to chat about finding a more economical route! There is hope out there!

Bryan Radtke said...

We have two adopted children and working on the third. When we adopted for the first time, we went through similar reactions. I cannot completely relate as we didn't go through the same lengths to conceive. I will say though that its important to find an agency that's as transparent as possible. For our first, we went with the Cradle, and they were really good about outlining what to pay, when, and what its going for. At the time we adopted, there was a big need for their African-American program and we felt very convicted to head in that direction.

Our second was a little different because it started via word-of-mouth. The agency we ended up with was not as transparent, cost more, and we felt "nickel and dimed" the entire process.

Our third was all God's work. He is a foster child that we met through our day care. We hope to make his adoption official by the end of the year.

The reason I'm telling you part of our story is because I'm a big advocate for adoption and I think there is a big need in Chicago (I think you live here) for adoptive parents willing to adopt foster children. Financially, it is significantly less expensive than an agency adoption. Its also possible that you could end up with a child that you've fostered since birth. Might be worht considering

If you have any questions, you can find me on twitter @ bryanradtke.

Anonymous said...

You should look into foster adoption. Finanially it makes much more sense, especially considering free college at a state school in most states.

Jon said...

Adopting Native American children when one's not part of their particular tribe has its own difficulties, not the least is gaining permission from the tribal leaders as an outsider to adopt that child.

Brenda: I trust that you and Andrew figure things out, if not now than in the future. I continue to keep you both in my prayers and wish you well on your ongoing journey towards parenthood. -Jon

Bethany Patrice said...

Brenda, you are such a wonderful woman, and you have my deepest of respect and admiration. I am believing that all things work together for you. Love you sister.

Judith and Lance said...

Brenda -- my heart was breaking for you and Andrew as I read this post. I wish I had some poignant or revolutionary to say, but I don't. All I can say is I'm so very sorry that 2 awesome people who I believe would make exceptional parents have had such a difficult and seemingly impossibly journey to achieving that goal.

Have you every talk to Barry or Lydia Sink? Perhaps they could offer support from someone who really understands.


Annie said...

Can I just sit and cry with you?
-Annie from South Africa

Susan said...

I have followed your journey somewhat. (I came across your blog through your husband's and heard of him through one of his books). I know it's overwhelming and discouraging. Please don't give up. My husband and I have adopted two children through agencies, and neither were anywhere near the costs you mentioned. Both are full Caucasian (although we were open to other races). The system definitely has some flaws, and the process is not for the fainthearted (which I don't believe you are!) BUT it is so worth it!! I don't know if you have a support system of people who have adopted, but I would be glad to share my story with you if you want to contact me.