It all began when Heather turned 40 and realized that she wanted to be a parent and felt it might be too late. Jim agreed to be a parent again (having 4 adult children from a previous marriage) and we both immediately thought of adoption. We also wanted to do a domestic adoption for several reasons with one being Jim's phobia of flying. We began the homestudy process in August of 2007 with a domestic adoption in mind. We hired our social worker, Linda Troyer who also deals with domestic and facilitates with international adoption agencies. While our homestudy was in the works, we starting searching for what are options were and where to get started. We got the run around from Texas to our home state of Wisconsin. We found that domestic adoption is nearly impossible. There are no kids out there waiting for an immediate homes -- they are inundated in foster programs and birth parents are not relinquishing their rights even if they aren't qualified parents. The other option is to hope that you can sell yourself on internet sites and hope that a birth mother would pick you. We also thought that we would be the equivalent or greater age of the birth mother's parents and would likely not be picked for that reason.
In November we changed our mind and thought about international possibilities. The choices are slim as a result of BOTH parents needing to travel to complete the adoption process abroad. We looked into Guatemala and the country is currently closed as a result of the Hague Treaty and really had a hard time finding other options that would work with our circumstances. Finally, Heather after days on the internet stumbled upon Ukraine and realized that it is one of the few countries that Independent Adoption is possible and quite frankly the only way to adopt in Ukraine. The government does not acknowledge or have approved agencies that are allowed to service the country. Heather found a facilitator, Lev on the internet and started to communicate with him. Both Heather and Lev found a provision in the law that allowed for one parent to travel in a case where there was a medical reason that the other one not be able too. Bingo! We're off and running.
We then called our social worker and had all of our homestudy paperwork changed to reflect and international adoption from Ukraine versus a domestic adoption. Our homestudy was completed on December 17th, 2007 and just about everything else we need is done. We will then forward all of our documents over to Lev to have him start translating and getting things ready to submit to the SDA in Ukraine.