One of my most asked questions about adoption is how we decided on international vs. domestic. We have done both, so I feel I can speak on both of these and how God led us each one.
When Aaron and I were praying about adoption we only knew people that had adopted from China or were in the process of adopting from China. We were moved by their families, the love they had for the orphans, and they way they were adopting so close to having biological kids. For some strange reason I had this idea of adoption that involved birthing 3 kids, waiting five years, then adding a child from another country to your family. To this day I'm still not sure where this idea came from, but unfortunately it was there. I was relearning thoughts about adoption by watching families around us move towards China.
You would think that our hearts would have been moved towards China, but they weren't, and I believe it's because truly God guides us and moves us to where our kids are. We didn't feel him moving us towards China, and honestly we didn't feel anything except that we knew he was moving us to increase our family through adoption.
We visited our local agency and told them we wanted to adopt, but weren't sure where and that's when they began to talk about our options. Basically we were too young for China and some other countries. They then told us about domestic and what that would look like. They shared with us their need for families that were willing to adopt black or biracial babies, because so many families that adopt domestic prefer white children that look like them.
After hearing all about domestic adoption we prayed and felt God moving us that way. The way we knew, was that we just knew. I know that may sound weird to some of you, and to some of you it sounds too easy. But it's the truth. We just felt it was right and so we continued down that path and asked God to close and open doors as we followed him.
Fast forward a few years and we felt as though we wanted to add to our family again via adoption and God had already begun stirring our hearts toward the country of Haiti, and so for us it was simple. God was already moving us there.
The truth is that God led us to each of our kids, because before the beginning of time he knew they would be our kids. Psalm 139:16, says “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” God has always known.
If you are feeling the draw towards adoption and you are asking yourself this same question I was advise you to do a few things to help God show you which way is they way he wants your family to go.
#1 Find families that have adopted and talk to them. Hear their stories. Ask them what made them chose domestic or international. Sometimes just talking to someone about their life can allow God to speak into your own life.
#2 Go to an adoption information session at a local agency or church. I know that our church hosts events like this quite often for this very reason. They will have people talk about domestic adoption, international adoption, and foster care. Getting lots of information will help you make a better decision. You may have a heart for China, but if you don't meet the requirements there's nothing you can do about it. Finding out information is important.
#3 Pray. It sounds so simple, but it's vital to figuring this out. Be open and allow God to show you. If you aren't sure, pray some more. Wait on God. You can't rush anything that he's already planned. Allow him to move your heart towards a people group or country.
If you have been in these shoes before and have some advice I know others would love to hear it, so leave a comment for all to see. If you are in the middle of this, I pray that God would give you patience to wait on him, and guidance as you seek counsel on this as well.