I have been asked many time for names and numbers and adoption information. I wish I had a ton of pages to visit and references, but I only have what I know from our experience. We are adopting domestically (within the United States) through the state of Florida through Christian Family Services in Gainesville, FL. Our case worker's name is Monique Lord and she's absolutely fantastic. I highly recommend calling her if you want additional information regarding Florida state adoption laws or their agency. Domestic adoptions are vastly different from International adoptions. Rob and I felt God specifically call us to adopt at this time within the States. We are absolutely open and supportive of any adoption, domestic, foster, or international...just so we make that perfectly clear. I have no doubt that this adoption is not only far from our last, but we hope that God opens the doors to adopt internationally as well as possibly foster in the future.
Now, this is where it may be alittle confusing, but stay with me here. We live in Colorado and each state has different requirements for their adoption processes. Whatever state you live in you will be required to do a 'home study.' You also have to fill out applications to begin an adoption process. So because we had to have a Colorado agency to take care of the Colorado laws, we chose to go through Colorado Adoption Center in Windsor. We had looked into a few others, finding that CAC was not only the most affordable, we just seemed to click with them. In short...I LOVE THIS AGENCY. Our good friend who adopted internationally made the comment that she couldn't believe how 'easy' our process has been. I have heard of several families having very good and very bad adoption experiences. It never occurred to me what ours was at that point. But during our garage sale to raise money for adoption fees, I had a lot of people feel the need to tell me their very worst stories about adopting...even if it hadn't actually happened to them.
(I'm going to rant for a second...Let me say first off, people like to tell you the WORST story possible for whatever it is that you are going through. Like being pregnant for the first time, I had people tell me HORROR stories about their birthing experience(s). Seriously, WHY WOULD SOMEONE DO THAT!? I hate that moms who've had almost dying birthing experiences will tell some poor new mom how the umbilical cord almost choked their baby as it was being pushed out and then the mom almost bled to death and they ripped from belly button to anus, oh but everything turned out okay. WOW...SERIOUSLY!? Did you not just see the poor woman faint!? Yeah, pick a better story or just don't tell yours until AFTER this poor woman has delivered her precious baby. I'm not sure what it is about birthing stories that makes 'experienced' moms want to tell the very worst ones. I always try to encourage new moms who are terrified of labor that its literally the most natural pain they will endure and survive. Does that mean that they will have a good experience? No, but whats the point in making the poor thing scared and doubting God's perfect design? Fear is never the answer to coping. I say Hooray for drugs...yay for epidurals...labor just means that you are almost done! Its going to be exactly what its supposed to be. Same with adopting...God has a child in mind for your family~ DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR YOU! Why would God lead you into a situation just to fail especially when it is regarding a child? "God's heart is closest to the orphan and I want to be where God's heart is..." A friend said this to me once and it has stuck with me ever since. God never promised it would be easy, but He does ask for all of our heart...well, so that's what it comes down to and I'm choosing to not only trust the Lord, but seek His heart... Yes...I'm done...jumping off my soap box! Phew! LOL)
Okay so back to the original thought. Until my friend had mentioned how our process had been 'easy' I hadn't even thought about it. We don't have any 'Horror' stories. We haven't been ripped off, scammed, or been in a place of destitution because we've had to pay all this money for fees. I absolutely trust our Colorado agency and would absolutely recommend it every single time.
What about the money???
Well, what about it? Rob and I are the first to tell you, we are NOT made of money. God has ALWAYS supplied our needs and therefore we KNOW we can trust Him. (If you want to know our whole story to this point you can read it in the post called Adoption, Really Lord?) Rob and I have always taken the stand that we didn't feel comfortable going into more debt just to begin a process. THIS IS OUR STAND POINT. You do not have to agree. We also felt that we needed to have the money upfront without taking out a loan to begin. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY. However, we ran into issues having to come up with our first large sum of money for our home study. Like I stated before, we found CAC to be the most reasonably priced. Unfortunately our decisions were made largely on fee schedules. I want to say something LOUD and CLEAR.
If God has called you to adopt...MONEY IS NOT AN ISSUE. God economy IS NOT like ours. God doesn't see money as a reason to do or not do something. Why should He? He's our Savior and Creator...is it too much to ask God to provide $100 for an application fee? ABSOLUTELY NOT. If He calls us to obey Him, I feel that its only necessary that we put our entire financial situation IN His lap, and ASK Him for the provisions necessary. Don't you think He will provide for you? Obedience isn't just about saying, "yes, we'll adopt" but more importantly, "YES WE WILL TRUST YOU LORD."
I'm going to let you chew on that for abit and pray that God leads you. The joy of obeying the Lord is knowing that He has a specific purpose for your life and calls each of us into different areas of service to the Kingdom. I'm excited for each of you who hears the Lords voice calling you down the adoption path.
Colorado Adoption Center
Christian Family Services
2720 Southwest Second Ave.
Gainesville, FL 32607
(352) 378-6202 firstname.lastname@example.org