Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We Picked an Agency, But They Haven't Picked Us Yet

Well, my hubby and I had a date last night and chatted it up. We picked Generations agency in Waco, Texas.

I thought it might be interesting to see what the attraction was for us to a particular agency, especially because our attractions have changed quite a bit from when we started this whole process.

We really love the Christian focus on this agency...as well as all the respect and love for humanity that comes from that perspective. We started our search with the priorities of speed, cost efficiency, and reliability. But as we've prayed and asked God to shape our hearts, we have seen other, beautiful priorities rise to the surface: a peaceful sense of God's perfect timing, fair division of resources, and care for the human spirit.

Well, I don't know if I'm describing this all well enough, but here's a sample of what's attracted us to Generations ("G"). I'll compare it to what we heard from some other agencies we talked to ("OA").

--OA: Reduces the incidence of disrupted (change-of-mind) adoptions by "dropping" birth mothers when they start to waiver.
--G: Reduces disruption by counseling mothers face-to-face, traveling to their homes, and not matching them with adopting couples until they feel sure and secure of their choice. Either way, the birth mothers receive full support during the pregnancy.

--OA: Charges a huge fee (understandable) but gives a discount for black babies.
--G: Keeps fees even for everyone, not giving different treatment to any race.

--OA: Tracks down the birth father
--G: Actually offers free counseling to the birth father

--OA: Requires that parents not have too bad of a criminal record, be financially stable, etc.
--G: Also requires that at least one parent work 20 hours or less per week and take at least six weeks leave after the baby is born. Require that parents attend church together and have a stable, happy marriage.

--OA: Emphasize their ability to recruit birthmothers.
--G: Emphasizes their respect for the courageous choice made by birthmothers and fathers.

--OA: Mentions the importance of keeping the child's "culture" alive through education and celebration of heritage.
--G: Mentions the importance of unconditional love and acceptance as the family's unique "culture" is built, regardless of skin color.

--OA: Asks us to call them when we're ready to sign the dotted line.
--G: Makes it clear that they will get back to us about whether or not we've been found worthy of one of their fabulous babies.

Generations just feels right for us.

Our next step is completing the "Pre-Application Form," which contains, along with basic information, such essay questions as "Please write in your own words what a genuine Christian is to you," and "In your understanding, what is a Christian family?"

After that, we mail it in with $50.00. If they like what they read, we get invited to an interview, where we pay $125.00 for the privilege. We are then invited to officially submit an application (along with another check for $125.00). Woo-hoo!

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