Time went by and then one day, Ralph said, "Well, if _____ ever became available for adoption, I would adopt him". See, at one time we had been foster parents. We fostered 7 children in total, at different times. There was one we both grew to love very much. When he came into our home, he'd already been in 3 different foster homes that didn't work out. They thought he was retarted because of behavior he'd exhibited. He would do things like hit his head against the wall and the floor. He was difficult to understand, he had his own words for things and would get frustrated if he wasn't understood. Long story short, he had been neglected and left in the care of an older brother who was brain damaged, hence the reason he appeared to have mental defects. He was, in fact, smart as a whip and very loving. But, he had been reunited with his biological family and would not be "adoptable"
I told Ralph that if he was serious about adoption, then let's adopt, you can't say "I want only this child" and not another. You get the child that is meant to be yours. You get that child when it's the right time. You don't get to pick.
After talking it over for a few months, we made the decision to adopt. We contacted an attorney and set the wheels in motion.
Trying to domestically adopt in the U.S. is difficult. You have to create a profile, a few pages that say, 'This is who we are and PICK US, PICK US, we'll be good parents to your baby". I hated the idea of competition to become a parent. It just didn't set well with me. But you do what you have to do. We had the homestudy, got our documents together, police check, background checks, financial verifications and we created a profile and waited to be picked. We waited a year....we were picked once but then the birthmom changed her mind.
Nothing was really happening, but with domestic adoption nothing can happen and then one day you get a call and the next week you are parents. On the other hand, you can wait years to be picked, you just never know.
In the meantime, I'd started researching international adoption. I liked what I read about Guatemala. It was close to the U.S., so we could go back and visit with our child as he or she got older. The kids were mostly relinquished do to poverty. There were not many who had been exposed to drugs or alcohol in utero. Children were placed in foster care, not orphanages, as was the case in many countries. I'm not saying all orphanages are bad, just that we had been foster parents and knew that a loving, caring foster family was an excellent situation for a child that would become ours. Most of the children being adopted from Guatemala were very healthy. The process was relatively short...children were referred at birth and came home around 6 to 9 months old.
But, if we made the switch, we guaranteed that our process would last at least a year. We would have to redo all our paperwork, apply to the INS to be allowed to internationally adopt, then get in line to wait for a child to become available. We both thought long and hard about it...should we make the switch or not?
I prayed often during this time...my prayer was always the same..."God, please lead me to the child that is meant to me mine. Please guide me to make the right choices."
I truly believe that God answered my prayer and lead me to my child.
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5 years ago