Sara and I entered this adoption process with every intention of adopting one infant boy. Though that was our intention, this process has led us to a young 5 or 6 year old boy in need of a home, in need of a family to provide for him, in need of the love that we believe we can offer.
The Ethiopia adoption process is much different than the Russian process. One main difference is that in Ethiopia you can adopt a second child for a very reasonable fee. With that being the case, we are now leaning toward adopting this particular older child (he is somewhere between 5 and 6 years old according to our adoption agency) and then head back over to Ethiopia to adopt an infant boy when one becomes available. We are currently on a waiting list behind a few other families waiting for infants.
This decision would enable us to bring the older child home hopefully sometime in the middle of this year and then head back over to Ethiopia to pick up the little one sometime next year. All of this is speculative at this point, but we are leaning towards this option.
It is tough for me to put into words how much thought Sara and I have put into this decision. It has been on my mind for weeks straight. We recieved a video of this little boy a couple of weeks ago and we watch it almost every night. He seems like a wonderful little boy.
I do not claim to be the most religious person you will ever meet, but I can't help but feel that maybe there was a reason that Sara and I decided to switch agencies. Without having switched agencies we would have never been introduced to this boy in need of what we are offering.
We have been told a little about the child. His father passed away, his mother has disappeared and he is currently being cared for by an aunt who can no longer care for him. He lives in a village about 14 hours outside of the capital city. He has been on a list of available children since about October 2008.
As we have learned, more and more families are traveling to Ethiopia and adopting multiple children. I have had the chance to speak with two different families over the past couple of days who have recently brought home older children from Ethiopia. Neither family has run any difficulties that couldn't be easily managed.
Sara and I are well aware of the concerns that this decision has raised in those closest to us. We understand these concerns, share in some of the the concerns, and have given alot of thought about how we would deal with various issues that we may face after bringing an older child into our home.
Decisions usually come easy to us. We are kind of fly by the seat of our pants kind of people. We make decisions and go with them. This one is a bit differrent. We are constantly weighing what is best for our family. What is best for Lleyton.
There is no doubt in our minds that we have what it takes to parent three children right now. There is enough of our attention and love and caring to go around to Lleyton and two other boys. Honestly, the main concern at this point is financially. Can we adequately withstand the burden of having two young children in daycare full time while having a third in Kindergarten or First Grade. If that wasn't our biggest concern, our decision would have been made a couple of weeks ago.
The decision is very near. Actually, I think we may have already made the decision...details to come.