Back in 2010 when the hubs and I decided adoption was the path to expand our family, we searched high and low for the best adoption agency for us. As I highlighted in a previous post, DFW has numerous, reputable adoption agencies. We spent two months visiting agencies, attending meetings, and asking question after question after question of anyone who might know anything about adoption. I had enough adoption notebooks to fill a shelf. (so.not.kidding.)
I’d like to say the decision was easy . . . that we just “knew” the right choice. But that was not our experience. We strained over the pros and cons until an outside circumstance (more on that in another post) prodded us toward Hope Cottage. We started our vetting process in July and by September found ourselves teaming up with Hope Cottage for our adoption journey.
We’ve been asked time and time again (and I’m glad to respond time and time again because adoption is practically my favorite topic!) why we chose Hope Cottage. Along with that outside circumstance (which I believe was what we needed to get over the indecisive hump), the following reasons summarize why we chose Hope Cottage . . . and why we still love ’em.
- It’s a smaller agency with a personal feel. You really do feel like you become part of the Hope Cottage family.
- It’s a smaller agency, meaning we didn’t feel lost in the shuffle or need to be put on a waiting list. Once our home study process was approved, we were considered a waiting family right then. No “Congratulations. You are 138 on the waiting list.” This also means–for the most part–a shorter wait time until placement.
- While it may be a smaller agency, it is an experienced one. Founded in 1918, Hope Cottage has been supporting women and building families for DECADES. They know what they are doing. That was a comfort to us.
- Hope Cottage supports open adoption, but doesn’t place any requirements on the birth or adoptive families to pursue open adoption. Personally, we champion open adoption but believe that every adoption situation needs a unique definition of openness. Hope Cottage allowed us to proceed on a level where we were comfortable.
- The agency focuses on foster-to-adopt and domestic infant adoption. We liked how Hope Cottage narrows its emphasis, allowing them to be really knowledgeable and focused in these areas.
- Hope Cottage serves Texas families, eliminating the possibility of travel to another state (and added state laws, adoption requirements) for placement. Since the adoption process was like the great unknown to us, this element of domestic adoption was one less issue for us (eh, me) to stress about.
If you’re considering adoption, I recommend visiting several adoption agencies. Each organization has its own vibe and services. What might be great for me might not be perfect for you. However, our experience with Hope Cottage was a blessing. The right agency at the right time; and, of course, it will ALWAYS be special in our hearts because it was through Hope Cottage that our darling girl joined our family.