The number one question we're asked is "Why aren't you adopting domestically, when there are so many kids who need homes here?"
It is a very fair question, and I'll give you our honest answer, one that we spent a lot of time working through ourselves. First, let me say that we didn't discuss our initial desires to adopt with many people, and the people we did discuss it with have gone through or are going through adoptions of their own, or people we could trust to help us work through our thoughts without trying to force theirs on us. Even our families knew nothing about it (and I am very proud of my children for not saying anything, as they have been part of the discussion almost since Day 1).
We first looked at domestic waiting child adoption, and after speaking with several agencies, they did not feel our family would be ideal for the majority of the waiting children they were working to place. Most of the waiting children are in therapeutic foster care, and some cannot be around other children or animals, for the safety of the children and animals. This was the case for every specific child or sibling group we inquired about.
We then began looking into adoption through foster care, and attended orientation. Scott and I were excited about the possibility of adding to our family this way, but it was bothering Elijah that the placements would most likely not be permanent, or would take a long time to make permanent. We also discussed the challenges of homeschooling our biological kids and sending off to public school our foster kids. Simply trying to adopt a child that becomes available for adoption through the foster care system is very difficult, as 85% of foster children who become available for adoption are adopted by their foster parents.
We were asked why we didn't look into domestic special needs adoption, and I'm actually happy to say that there's a waiting list for the sweet babies with Down Syndrome whose mothers choose to give them life. International adoption may seem expensive, once you factor in three agencies' fees and travel expenses, but domestic adoption can be just as, or more, expensive.
So we found ourselves looking into international adoption, and here we are!