Thanks to Henry for asking some excellent questions which prompted these ramblings. :-)
Ahhh, good questions. :-)
- Why Adopt?
- Why China?
- Why Waiting Child Program?
We had wanted to adopt since before we had any children. Back in Winnipeg, we were on an adoption list - but we got pregnant, so we got removed from the list.
As to why we wanted another one? Well, when we had no children, the family did not feel 'complete'... so we had our 1st child. Then, the family felt complete... for a while. Then we realized we wanted another child, and welcomed our 2nd. Again the family felt complete, for a while. :-) We then had our 3rd child. And realized that the family felt complete... but only for a while. :-) See a pattern forming?
However, this time, we thought, do we want more than 4 children? That, I'm not sure.
So it became apparent, that if this was to be our last child, now would be *possibly* our last chance to adopt.
I guess the bigger underlying question, is not "why did we want another child", but why does anyone want children.
And if you do have 1 child, what makes you want a 2nd? 3rd? 4th? ... 12th?! Crazy I suppose. :-)
Children bring so much joy and wonder and love into your home - it is amazing!
I don't think I can fully describe why we want children, just that we do.
And it is amazing and wonderful and beautiful.
Challenging at times, for sure.
And so indescribable on many levels.
So yes, we wanted to adopt, it was always part of our family plan.
And why adopting vs just another 4th biological child?
I almost think that that question isn't important.
How you have your child is not nearly as important as why you have a child.
Whether it is by biological means, adoption, fostering, or some other means, you have your child.
Is one way better than another? I don't think so.
To think so would de-value an adopted child, or elevate a biological child...
Neither of these are good, or true.
So, why China VS another adoption Countrie?
Now that is a question easier to answer.
There are many factors considered when choosing where to adopt from. I'll just list some with a little thought on each, and how it affected our choice:
- Reputation: China is a very well run adoption system, good orphanages (well funded), and well regulated.
- Integrity: China is not involved in any child trafficking, bribes, or the like.
- Costs: Adoption costs far much more money than I expected, so some of the reasons are financial. And this is true as well for having another biological child. Even if there is no 'adoption' costs, in the U.S., I think the average is over 10,000$ to have a baby at the hospital. Then there is the increased costs of everyday life, sports groups, cloths, etc. So every time you add to your family, I think finances are considered. That being said, we still had to be realistic in what we could do.
- Integration with our Family: We figured that a daughter would fit best with our family, the age gap between boys would be hard for our new child to adjust to. However, our daughter is still young, and a sister would be very close in age... much easier to integrate with.
- Sex: Not all countries allow you to choose the sex of your adopted child, China did - for us at least, and for the Integration reason above, a girl made sense.
- China is Cool: Okay, this is just a ME thing, but I love the Asian countries! I totally wanted to be a ninja, samurai, or kung-fu warrior for my while childhood... okay, scratch 'wanted' and replace it with 'wants'
- Adoption Agency (Thank you to my wife for pointing this out): Family Outreach International (FOI) is our adoption agency, and they were a HUGE factor in choosing to adopt from China (since they only do China). They are an amazing agency and we felt 'safe' working with them. See Roberta's comments for more...
We did look at other countries to adopt from. India was actually quite high on our list as they had a wonderful toddler program as well.
Ahhhh, right, toddler! Add "age" to the list of reasons.
So, why the Waiting Child program ...
- Age #1: We already have a 5 year old daughter, the thought of a 3 or 4 year old daughter fit well with the ages, and thought she would integrate well with her sister.
- Age #2: We have already had 3 new borns... we did not necessarily feel a need to go through that stage again. I understand if your adoption is your 1st child, that yes, you would probably want that whole experience. But we have gone though it, and realised, that there is probably a wonderful 3 year old who will not even be considered for the majority of adoptions because she is 'too old'. And we were right, there is a WONDERFUL 3 1/2 year old (our Ping) who was waiting!
NOTE: I really think the whole adoption process should be renamed to the Waiting Parents program. :-)
- Why Not Question: Yes, this was an actual question... if you were pregnant... what guarantees do you have that your child will be born healthy? Without cleft lip? Without clubbed foot? Without a heart murmur? Truth is... we have none. We have no guarantees that our children will be healthy. Yet, we would love them. We would love them beyond all reason and sense! Why?! Because they are our child. So "why not" adopt a child that might have cleft lip, or club foot, or _____________ (fill in your blank). Truth is, we will love them! We will love them because they are our child!
The bottom line for us was that, we will love our children because they are our children, not because they are perfect!
That is us... unless Roberta disagree in the comments below... :-) Then, its just me.
PS: You can find some links on China adoption in the blogs LINKS area, as well as the Waiting Child Program