First of all, Steve and I chose our agency, CHSFS because of their long standing reputation in the adoption world. We decided against domestic adoption due to the small risk that a birth parent could reclaim a child after a certain amount of time the child would be with our family. We were uneasy about this possibility.
Then, we looked at all the options we had through our agency to adopt internationally. When we began our application process, we were able to come to our decision to adopt from Ethiopia fairly easily by a process of eliminating other countries for reasons outside of our control. For one, China went to a 5 year average wait for a referral; Russia requires 2 separate trips and Korea only refers children up to 14 months in age.
Also, the process of adopting through Ethiopia is more predictable than other countries. Our agency operates their own care center in the capital city. They seem to have a good relationship and good communications with the government and those who orchestrate the adoption process in Ethiopia.
In addition, the travel schedule works well for our family. We are required to travel to Ethiopia to retrieve our son but we are only required to be in the country for 1 week. The shorter length of travel appealed to us, especially since our 3 girls who will be waiting for us at home when we travel.