Before you read my answers, please remember that they reflect the opinion and deep desires of myself and the hubby. We are NOT saying that other countries are terrible or that local adoption is the wrong choice. These opinions reflect our own thought and prayerful discernment.
Our answer boils down to this one fact: this baby would be our FIRST child. We would like to experience raising a baby from infancy.
With Ethiopia, the children are more likely to be older, not to mention the factor of a grueling trip for the adopting parents. Perhaps for our second adoption. Additionally, adoptions from China have now reached a 4-year waiting period. The Eastern European countries (e.g. Russia) are way out of our price range. Most of the children adopted from these countries are toddlers. Our original choice was Guatemala; both of us speak Spanish and we have a Hispanic community in town. Unfortunately, Guatemala has been closed in order to comply with the Hague Conventions. South Korea was the only country that fit our financial capability, promised an infant, and also had a marriage requirement (3 years) that we could meet.
Did I mention that the South Korean adoption process takes about 9-10 months once your paperwork is in? :)
In regards to local adoption, we are not comfortable with a completely open adoption, which is what our local CSS strongly advocates (to put it lightly). We like the idea of a semi-open or a more closed adoption. There are agencies here that offer such adoptions. However, a waiting game is involved; you have no idea when you will be picked by a birthmother. A friend of ours was picked within 45 minutes of their paperwork getting filed. A member of the SHE group has been waiting for more than 6 months.
South Korea has one of the best adoption processes with the USA, as the 2 countries have a relationship since the 1950s. Their process is very streamlined. In addition, we would get an actual infant (7-10 months). Again, we haven't ruled out the possibility of adopting a toddler or preschooler down the road, but it would be nice for us to have the experience of parenting a baby. And like most couples who select international adoption, one of the best parts is the finality of the process.
One of the other bonuses of learning more about adoption is the story of St. Andrew Kim and the Korean Martyrs. We have become awestruck at the fidelity and bravery of these martyrs. In fact, should we adopt a little boy, we plan to name him Andrew after St. Andrew Kim, the first Korean priest.
I felt much better when our Adoption agency worker assured us that our diet endeavors are worth it; South Korea is an outstanding country.
As we continue to navigate the infertility side with various drugs, etc., none of which guarantee a pregnancy...and every pregnancy is not a guarantee that you'll carry the baby to term (just ask the bloggers who have recently miscarried). This is a reason we find adoption so appealing; we know that in the end we will have a child. Of course, we will remain open to Life and getting pregnant the natural way should that happen.
(pause for me to curse Blogger's formatting that won't space my paragraphs)
In the end, as an adoptive parent advised me, I have to ask myself: "Do I want to be PREGNANT or Do I want to be a PARENT?" Godwilling, I hope to be a parent, either naturally or through welcoming a child through adoption. :) That is why it is SO worth it to diet and meet the BMI requirement. End of sermon! I'm going to California this week and look forward to catching up with family and friends.