When we started our second adoption journey, I began with a list of about 80 agencies and adoption professionals. I searched them all out on the web, and narrowed it down to agencies/professionals who would allow us to specify gender, did not charge different fees based on the race of the child, and did not discriminate on the basis of religion or sexual orientation. One of those agencies was Nightlight Christian Adoption. In my notes, I wrote that I contacted them by email twice during 2010. I never received a response. I said, “F— ’em!”
But by February 2011, we were disheartened. Our home study had been completed at the end of September 2010. Pact unexpectedly stopped allowing PAPs to specify gender. That left us with the referral services that had been recommended time and time again on the Yahoo! groups to which I belong. We signed with two of them in November 2010, and another in January 2011. From November through February, we had been presented for very few situations, and hadn’t been chosen for any.
During this time, we were also having an office added to our house. It was completed by the end of February, so we officially had the room for a baby. Max and I both thought it was time to find an agency who would work for us, with us.
I called Nightlight. I talked to a woman there for more than one hour. I was convinced we would sign with them. At the time, it cost $1000 to sign up. They wanted an adoption profile scrapbook in a specific format, and they wanted it to be 24 pages. The one I had at the time was 18 or 20. Plus, I didn’t particularly care for it.
I spent all of March redoing our profile.
On April 12, we were matched, via Heaven Sent Adoption, one of the aforementioned referral services.
It looked like we didn’t need Nightlight.
But in June, we were told that the expectant mother had changed her mind. As I stated in a previous post, our home study was set to expire in September. We decided that we weren’t going to update it. If we didn’t have a match by the time our home study expired, we would be done.
While we liked Nightlight (and I’ll explain why in another post), we were not at all confident that they could help us find a match by September. They actually don’t do a lot of placements each year, and we knew that specifying gender complicated matters. Many of the parents who were on their web site in February were still there in June. If we had another year, maybe… but three months? No.
So, we did something very, very strange for us. We signed with a facilitator. Not Lil Snee. We signed with Cathy Mantell at Adoption Consultants Inc. I had seen her recommended somewhere, and when I spoke with her on the phone, I got good vibes. I liked her web site. The upfront cost was minimal, and she seemed confident that she could help us in the time allotted. We signed with her at the end of June.
In July, we were scammed, this time through Adoption Connections in Kansas.
We were well into August when I finally told Max that I wasn’t sure I could be done. The bottom line was, I really wanted a daughter, and I didn’t want Jackson to be an only child. We talked it over, and decided we would update our home study once. If we didn’t have a daughter by September 2012, then we were really and truly done.
I revamped our profile a bit, adding some new pictures, fully intending for it to go to Nightlight, along with a large check. One night, I checked a bunch of sites that list situations – expectant mothers who were looking for prospective adoptive parents for their babies. Lil Snee had a situation that fit in our budget. We had already sent our information to Lil a few months before, but that situation wasn’t for us. I really thought of the situation like an audition – it was a chance to get our new profile book out to be seen and maybe get a little feedback.
Instead, we matched.
And that is why we didn’t sign with Nightlight Christian Adoptions.