Our Adoption & The Paradox of Agency Choice

Do you all watch TED Talks? I do. And in 2005 Barry Schwartz gave a great one called “The Paradox of Choice.”  7 million times this talk has been viewed.

Mr. Schwartz’s premise is, basically, that options do us no good. Or at least our happiness, satisfaction, and lots of other decidedly positive things diminish as our options increase.

Choice is paralyzing. I know I’ve been “Barry-ed” when I can’t for the love of cookies choose between 72%, 79% and 82% dark chocolate.

When searching for the agency bound to bring us our second child I felt like a tiny Barry was sitting on my shoulder.

Me: “There are 653 results for adoption agencies in DFW!”

Tiny Mr. Schwartz: “Yup, you can’t even possibly get through that many. It’s like a whole CVS full of toothpaste and you can only take one home.”

Me: “Ok so we have a large agency, small agency, medium agency, medium large agency, medium small agency. This one has programs for different races. This one has programs for different ages. This requires training classes. That one also does international adoptions.  Oh Look! This one works with CPS and foster kids too. This one is all about open adoption. That one is faith based. That one is equal opportunity. This one works with thousands of children a year! Oooh that one specialized in rare cases.”

Tiny Mr. Schwartz: “Berry, spearmint, peppermint, bubblegum, gel, fluoride, fluoride free, foaming, whitening, all natural, fresh breath, family sized, travel sized, gum health, sensitive teeth, twist cap, self advancing.”

Me: “I hate toothpaste.”

Tiny Mr. Schwartz: “You’re never getting a baby.”

Alone at my kitchen table I was certain our adoption was going nowhere.

I smiled when friends asked about timeline, “We are in the process of choosing an agency.” AKA “My desire to continue this process is slowly suffocating under the pillow that is agency selection”

Then we went to dinner.

It was a birthday dinner for a friend from London. She and her family were in Dallas for the summer and have lots of Texas friends we didn’t know at the time. But we love Lauren, we love La Duni and we don’t mind being the oddballs at a table full of good food.

Serendipitously Mat sat next to a couple who had recently adopted a little girl from the Dallas area. Because obviously that happens all the timeno.Their story was the kind we hope to have – the kind everyone adopting wants to have. Basically, it went down fast with relatively few problems.

I checked out Christian Homes and Family Services first thing when we got home and again the next day – those La Duni mojitos are no joke. Our search was over.

What we know from the website and the orientation class is that Christian Homes loves babies, adopting families and birth moms. That last one mattered so very much.

Babies don’t come from nowhere. Real people have babies. Real people with real stories, real needs, real souls. And lots of those people really need to hear that Jesus loves them. Christian Homes and Family Services is a champion for babies and for birth moms. This is our kind of agency. Practically this means a couple things.

For one, birth moms receive things like counseling, housing, help finding work, a plan to save money, transportation to doctors appointments and a case worker who helps them through the emotional roller coaster of caring a baby you aren’t going to parent.

It also means that you people can have answers to the questions you didn’t want to ask but really wanted to know.

We are adopting a baby from right here in America. Possibly even Dallas. The way that the Christian Homes process works means our child will likely come to the Hency family as a newborn. We will know the birth mom and she will know us; it’s an open adoption. And we have made the choice to adopt a baby of any race.

Feel’s good to get answers, huh friends?

Barry’s right. Options are paralyzing and I am terrible at navigating them. God really gave us this agency and we couldn’t be happier about it.

I would encourage you to check out Christian Homes and Family Services. Consider this a raving recommendation so go tell your friends about them.

And of course, here’s how you can pray:

  • For the Hency’s: Paperwork. We are so close but we aren’t done and life feels busy right now. Pray that we would could clear away time to focus on a couple big pieces that need a lot of thought and time. If you want bonus points you can pick up Faye on a Saturday or Sunday so Mat and I can sit down together for a few hours to work on these things.
  • For the future Hency: Mat mentioned a few weeks ago that it’s possible that our baby has already been conceived. I hadn’t thought of that and it really blew my mind. Hency two is quite possibly in utero or could be soon. Pray for that baby to be healthy, safe and just generally progressing in an unremarkable way.
  • For Faye: At 21 months she isn’t going to understand the conversation about adoption. Would you pray that God is preparing her to have another baby in the house. We are talking about babies and pointing out siblings and all of that but she isn’t going to get to watch my stomach grow for the next 9 months. She won’t feel kicks and she won’t be pushed to ask questions. Bringing home a baby that isn’t going to leave could be a pretty big shock.
  • For the birth mom: Brave, courageous and unselfish. This woman is choosing to give life to a baby she won’t parent. Pray for her heart and for her mind. I am sure her mentally and emotionally life is a battle right now. Pray that she is comfortable and that she isn’t sick – pregnancy can feel pretty miserable. Please pray that if she doesn’t know Jesus she will come to know him in this process. We want to see the Kingdom of God grow not just the Hency family.

 

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