Adoption Q&A

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Last weekend I asked for questions regarding adoption, so I'm answering those today!  I really didn't know a lot about the process before we started and I have learned SO MUCH since experiencing it.

1.Best part? Easiest? Hardest?
The best part is having Harrison!  I don't know if there's an easy part to adoption.  It's all pretty difficult...from the paperwork, money, decisions, etc.  The hardest part was waiting and feeling like you were at the mercy of someone else waiting on them to pick you.

2. What made you choose domestic over international?
Lots of prayer, but we really wanted a newborn baby.  We knew domestic would allow that, so that was our only criteria.  We were open to any race.

3. Would you adopt again?
Yes!!!  Although probably not in the same way since it was extremely expensive.  I say all this knowing that God is in control of how our family is built, but I desperately desire to give Harrison a sibling (or two!).

4. What is your relationship like with the birth mom now?
Very good!  We were blessed with an amazing birth family.  Dustin and I were so nervous to meet Harrison's birth parents the day we got to the hospital, but our conversations with them were so easy and flowed so well that we knew we'd be friends forever.

5. How did you pay for the cost of the adoption?
Once we decided to adopt, this was something Dustin was the most nervous about because adoption is EXPENSIVE.  Our goal was to fundraise $35,000 and at one point, someone close to us was skeptical of our adoption goal because they thought it was excessive--I'm not sure if they thought we were going to picket the money????  But $35k was not our max budget for the adoption, it was our fundraising goal because we felt we could swing the rest of the cost with our savings.

God blessed us with some really amazing people who gave sacrificially to our adoption.  Sometimes we would get money from people we hadn't talked to in forever!  Then we had a few fundraisers (t-shirt sales, bbq plates, mini photo sessions, yard sale) and those were pretty successful.  I applied for multiple grants and we received 3 small ones (we didn't really qualify for many grants, unfortunately).  And then we ended up taking out a loan for the rest of what we owed.

6. Scriptures to pray regarding adoption
Praying Scripture was the only thing that kept me sane some of the time.  The one Scripture that I repeated constantly (and even kept on an index card in my purse) was Isaiah 26: 3-4 "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trust in you.  Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock."  I needed to rest in the truth of keeping my focus on God and not myself or our situation because I worried and stressed at times.

7. When the first failed match happened, you mentioned losing money.  Can you explain that?
When you adopt domestically, some of the cost is paying for the birth mother's (or family) rent, utilities, groceries, cell phone bill, maternity clothing, etc.  The federal government views that as a gift, so if a match fails, that money can't be given back because it's a gift.  You also lose any money paid toward lawyer fees, paperwork fees, agency fees, etc.  We lost a good bit of money when the first birth mom changed her mind, and while it was hard in the moment, if she didn't, then we wouldn't have Harrison.

8. How long did you wait for the home study to be approved?
A week or two max?  Once we mailed off our home study, it didn't take long at all--but it felt like forever when you're ready to be active haha!

9. How were you able to share photos immediately?  Most I've seen have to wait until finalized.
I've learned that each state is different with its adoption laws (and I really think it'd be nice to have one federal adoption law).  Since we follow Texas law even though we're in Alabama (since that's where Harrison was born), Texas law allowed us to share pictures as soon as his birth parents signed away their parental rights.  In Texas, that's allowed 48 hours (or 72...I can't remember??) after the baby is born.  In Harrison's situation, we got to him when he was 4 days old so we were able to share pictures immediately.

10. Do we go with private agency or state-based?  Or foster to adopt?
I think that all depends on your budget and your availability.  I would suggest talking with people who have adopted from different outlets to see what would fit your family best.

11. What was the most unexpected part of the adoption process?
I've mentioned this before, but I was so ready for us to be considered "active" which meant that we would see profiles of birth mothers and say yes or no to showing them our profile book.  I was pretty naive and didn't think about the hardships and tragedy that brought upon adoption.  I remember getting the first emails and opening them while sitting at the kitchen table, reading them, and then crying because of the situation of why these women were choosing adoption.  That prompted me to not only pray over our yes or no for each situation, but to also pray for all birth mothers of cases we read because their lives were hard.


  1. This post was so interesting! I never knew the things you had to pay for, like groceries, cell phone bill, etc. Also, who knew you could take out a loan for adoption! That’s amazing and way better than a car payment. Thank you for sharing and I know Harrison’s birth parents are lucky to have chosen such a great couple. I love to see you so happy.

  2. Thanks for the info! I knew adoption was expensive but I didn't realize how much and I sure wish it wasn't so! Congrats to your family!

  3. So interesting to read. Bummer about the loss of funds with the first failed adoption (the fact that you have to pay all of that is nuts) but Im so happy for you, Dustin and Harrison. Hes the cutest!

  4. I love that you are educating people on what all goes into adoption!! The world needs more of this! Love it!

  5. This was so interesting to read! I had no idea about footing the birth mother's bills!

  6. Thank you for this post, it's really eye opening what a family has to do in order to adopt. I've always wanted to adopt and I think at this stage in my life, that is more of a reality then actually trying. You guys have a big heart! <3


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