With the nightmare-ish experience we had with America World, I’m being FAR more cautious in choosing a placement agency this time around. Part of the dilemma has been the country of origin of our to-be children…trying to decide which country meets our needs as well as which countries we meet the criteria for (for example: we are too young to adopt from Haiti. Yes, I said too young! Haiti requires parents to be at least 35 years old at time of application and I’m not even 32 yet.) At this time we’ve narrowed our peak countries of interest down to Ghana & Ethiopia. Our 1st choice, Rwanda, shows no indication that they will be re-opening any time soon as Hague regulations could take them years to implement. There are pros & cons to each country. Of course, both countries have been devastated by poverty & have millions of orphans in need of homes. By numbers Ethiopia has more children in need, but that is because it is more than 4.6 times larger than Ghana.
Ghana’s Pros: English is the official language (HUGE pro since we’re seeking to adopt older children), sibling groups available, shorter wait time & less costly than most other countries
Ethiopia’s Pros: established program with a significant history of adoption placements to the US, a large number of agencies that offer Ethiopian programs, sibling groups occasionally available
Ghana’s Cons: newer program with less of a track record, very few agencies with Ghanaian programs, extensive travel required (1 trip of 4-6+ weeks or 2 trips of 1-2 weeks each)
Ethiopia’s Cons: Amharic is the official language (potentially leading to communication difficulties with older children), request of siblings can significantly increase the already longer wait time, slightly more costly that Ghana, travel requirements: 2 trips of 1-2 weeks each
Once we decide on a country, we have to choose (and apply to) a placement agency. We will continue to work with Hillside Children’s Center for our home study & post-placement reports since we are already under contract with them. I am finding this to be the most daunting piece of the puzzle thus far. Because of our negative experience with AWAA, I have been much more diligent about researching each & every agency we’re considering. My greatest tool has been former clients who have completed their adoptions through each agency. I’m surprisingly refreshed that some agencies list people as references that don’t even recommend the agency. It may sound strange, but to me it says “yes, we have had our bumps along the way, but it’s 1 in a million, not the overall consensus of adoptive families.” At this point we’re circling around Hopscotch Adoptions, a small agency in NC if we pursue Ghana or All God’s Children, a Christian agency in OR if we pursue Ethiopia.
I’m still reviewing all the references…carefully considering each family’s experience with these agencies & these countries. Please keep our family in prayer as we work to make the best decision for our family. Thank you. I hope to have some more concrete direction soon.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. ~Ephesians 1:4-6