We did it, folks. We actually made this decision--finally.
It was tough, but after talking with Margie about domestic adoption vs. international adoption, it became so clear to us that Korea is the path for us, hands down. Some of the advantages we liked: They have the youngest babies (8-10 mos), provide one-on-one foster care (i.e., a foster mother who dotes only on your child), usually have pretty good medical information available, and have been doing adoptions the longest (40+ years) of any country. And unlike countries such as China, Korea does not require a "dossier" (which is basically a big packet of vital paperwork such as original, certified copies of birth certificates and marriage license, 3 years worth of tax returns, etc.).
I know what some of you must be thinking: Why not domestic adoption? The answer is pretty simple: Catholic Charities cannot give us an average or an estimate of any kind, regarding timeline. It just varies SO much, depending on things like (a) when you are selected by a birth mother (one couple has been waiting for 2+ years; another couple got picked in only 9 mos) and (b) if she doesn't change her mind before giving birth--and many do (even after having picked you).
The other reason is that the agency expects you to be doing a lot of "self-marketing" in domestic adoption (basically, e-mailing everyone you know and asking them to spread the word that you are seeking to adopt a child), which quite frankly, is not appealing to us at all. In our opinion, why sign up with an agency if we are expected to do a lot of the "marketing" ourselves? Time is a valuable commodity as is.
Don't get me wrong: This approach does work. I've spoken with some people who have done it this way, successfully. One friend adopted not one but two children within months of each other, only 6 or so months after "spreading the word" via an e-mail that made its way around the country, with various degrees of separation. She and her husband now have two beautiful children, both of whom they adopted within only 1 year of their e-mail. But I just don't think Jeff and I have it in us, to do things this way. It just doesn't feel right to us, and there are too many unknowns that make us uncomfortable.
So Korea it is!
The first time you adopt with Catholic Charities, apparently you are not allowed to specify a gender, which is fine with us. A child is a child, and we'll be happy with whoever we get. Apparently, in Korea these days, as Margie tells us, we WILL get a boy. So that's kind of exciting!
At least I can start doing a color palette for the kid's room, right? (wink)