We completed our I-600A (which essentially pre-approves us to bring home a foreign-born adopted child) a couple of weeks ago, but I just mailed it today. The form itself is simple. In addition to submitting copies of our birth certificates and marriage certificate, and of course a hefty fee, the form essentially only asked for identifying information, the name of our agency, the country from which we planned to adopt, and how many children we planned to adopt. It was that last question that held us up ever so slightly, because in recent weeks, we’ve been thinking a bit about the idea of adopting a sibling pair. This would mean that we would adopt two biological siblings from Ethiopia at the same time.
Here are some reasons why we were thinking about this:
1. We know we want to have more than one child.
2. We feel it will be important for our family to have more than one child from Ethiopia, in order to help our future child(ren) feel less isolated and unique in our otherwise Caucasian family.
3. We would only have to go through this process once, which would save a lot of time, money, and effort.
And here are our hesitations:
1. The youngest age range for siblings we can request through our agency (WHFC) is 0-48 months. So, we could end up with an infant and a toddler, or a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old, or twin 2-year-olds, or whatever other combination. We can’t deny a referral except for significant medical issues, so we have to be willing to take on the children referred to us regardless of the ages within that range.
2. Our gut feeling has always been that we are not prepared to adopt an older child (this is why we ruled out adopting through the U.S. foster care system), at least on the first adoption.
3. The older the child is, the more traumatic the adjustments will be for him or her.
4. Holy cow, it would be really difficult to go from 0 to 2 children overnight, especially without any prior parenting experience. Although some can take on this challenge, we just don’t feel prepared.
I also want to make perfectly clear, for those who are not familiar with this scenario, that by adopting one child we would not be separating that child from a biological sibling who is also up for adoption. We would instead be adopting a child without any siblings in the system.
After talking with our WHFC social worker and reading some materials about this topic, we realized that we continue to fall back on our gut feelings that we are only prepared to adopt one very young child at this point. So, with that decision, we were able to mail off the I-600A, with the plan that we’ll file another one in a few years when it’s time to start the process again.
The I-600A can’t be processed until USCIS has our home study and we are both fingerprinted again, so it will not be processed until the end of August at the earliest.