Tony and I have walked around the Connecting Hearts with the Forgotten and read lists and lists of countries. We have talked about each one and are finding it easier to find countries we don't feel called to then countries we do feel called to. I have felt a strong tug toward Sub-Sahara Africa (currently Ethiopia is the only country available here) and India. Tony was never overwhelmed about any country until we came across the Philippines. While my heart doesn't beat quit as quickly for this country I am slowly falling in love with it.
Every country has positives and negatives to adopting, so here are the positives for us:
- Cheaper than many countries.....starting at $14,000. (Russia and Ukraine start over 30 and China starts at over 40).
- Travel is minimum: 1 parent, about 7 to 10 days. (Other countries require 2 trips-Ethiopia and some require very long trips-Columbia, 3 to 8 weeks.)
- The income requirement is minimal....125% of the poverty level, which is standard for all international adoptions. (China and several others require 10,000 per family member, including the child coming home)
- Sibling sets are readily available (which is what we will be pursuing due to the age requirement).
- We have friends currently going through the Philippines.....that will be a great resource and encouragement for us. Just think....Filipino buds to play with.
- The Philippines likes to adopt their children to Christian families. I'm hoping (maybe) that means several of the orphanages will be Christian based.
- A minimum age of 27. You must be 25 to adopt internationally. We are hoping to have all US paperwork done by Tony's 27th birthday. This means that Addilece will be a bit older than we hoped. (This isn't as long as other countries though....China and India are 30)
- The travel time is......LONG. It is 12 hours from there to the West Coast. Then we have to fly home. Like I said.....LONG. Then add layovers, children who don't know you, and jet lag....not fun. Also, if our children one day decided to move back to their home country it would not be easy for them to come home or us to visit them.
- You can not specifically choose a sex. While it is true, if we were having a biological child we couldn't choose either, we do truly want a boy at some point. We will just have to trust God that if we don't get one from the Philippines then we'll get one another way.
- A child adopted from the Philippines is not legally yours when the first arrive home. They are considered foster children for the first six months (I think) that they are in the US.
- When your file arrives in country it is placed in a file folder (yes, we are talking paper here). Then every so often an orphanage director comes to Manila (the capital) with a list of adoptable children. They sort through the folders and pick 2 families for each child. Then they take them back to the orphanage and decide which family gets each child. If your file is not chosen they keep it until they return to Manila. While this could mean a long wait, it probably also means a better fitting placement for our family. After all, who knows these kids better then the directors?