After the adoption meeting at our church in July of 2010, I asked Ken what type of adoption he wanted to pursue. My only requirement for adoption was to help a child in need — I didn’t care as much where the child came from, how old they were, or why they were available for adoption. But still we had to start somewhere, so I asked Ken what he thought. “Why don’t we look at international adoption?” he replied.
Of course, I began furiously researching international adoption programs. I asked for recommendations from friends, looked at what agencies were local, and spent much time online. It became increasingly apparent that the state of international adoption was very much in transition, and Tennessee’s record of international adoption “incidents” didn’t help. But there were other problems. We were already too old for some programs. Some programs excluded me because of my asthma, even though it’s now well-controlled. Some of the programs had income requirements that we’ll never meet. Most of the programs had extended waiting times. All of the programs were extremely expensive.
With some discouragement, I reported to Ken that it looked difficult, but doable. Our biggest concern was the cost. We knew that God could provide through fundraisers, taking on extra jobs, or by borrowing the money, but the process was daunting.
I brought up the State of Tennessee website where I had been looking at profiles of children available for adoption. I told him about how many children were looking for a home. They weren’t young children, but many of them seemed to have so much potential. I have a free tuition benefit by working at Trevecca, and maybe we would be able to give a teen a chance to go to college who wouldn’t otherwise have that opportunity. There was one particular girl who had caught our attention: she was a lovely Christian young girl who leads children’s programs at her church, and served as a camp counselor for troubled girls in the summer. I found a video interview she had done with a news station. She had been through so much heartache in her young life, and just wanted to help others who were in similar circumstances.
We were so taken with this girl, that we had to figure out how to adopt her. From what we knew, she seemed like a great fit for our family.
So we laid our international adoption plans aside, and I decided to call Department of Children’s Services, and left a message indicating our interest in adopting through them.
They never returned my call.