Adoption questions

I’ve been working on my adoption book during my daughter’s early-morning driver’s ed– might as well get something useful done as long as I’m forced to be up.   I’m hoping some of you might be willing to help me a bit with this project by giving me some feedback now and then!

Today’s question is related to the early stage of the adoption process.  I’m interested in hearing how you decided where to adopt from and what type of child to adopt.  Did you adopt domestically or internationally, an infant or an older child, a child with special needs, or maybe even a sibling group?  I’d love to hear some of the thoughts that went through your head during that time and how you narrowed it down and made the choice for your family.  Were there people who spoke into your life at crucial times?  What helped make your decision clear?

I hope to quote some of you in my book, and if I choose to use your words, I’ll email you to ask you how you’d like to be named:  full name, first name, anonymous, or whatever you prefer. Thanks in advance for any insight you can give me.

Here are some links to our adoption story if you’re interesting in reading how we made some of those decisions for our family!

{ 27 Comments }

  1. I have a lot of family members who were adopted into our family, so adoption was always a consideration for me. When we ran into roadblocks finding an affordable and ethical adoption route, it was actually my husband who suggested doing foster care. Originally we ventured into foster care with the goal of adoption, but as we learned more about how foster care works and what it entails, we ended up deciding to remain a foster-only family, helping as many children as possible along the way. We specialize in sibling groups, because seeing the bond that our two forever children have, we can’t imagine having them split up, and we want to save other children from that fate.

  2. When we decided as a young married couple to adopt our first child, most international countries were out of the question because we were too young (we were 22 at the time). Our domestic adoption process what amazing and quick-6 months between the first informational meeting and meeting our just-born daughter in the hospital. We enjoy our open adoption with the birthmom as well as a few other family members and couldn’t imagine a more perfect scenario.

    When our daughter was a baby, I started daydreaming about growing our family, and came across some adoption blogs (including this one) and learned about orphan life in other countries. We decided we had been blessed with the newborn experience already, we didn’t need to do it again. Then we came across a blog about HIV+ adoption in Ethiopia and our hearts immediately knew that was for us. We had our first homestudy when our daughter was 10 months old, and we requested 2 children between the ages of 0 and 4. We were ultimately matched with one + child, and a baby with a long list of other special needs, putting our first daughter right in the middle. Being in the orphanages and seeing the other waiting children was life changing, and our hearts were opened to even more levels of special needs adoption. We were also awed by the beauty of Ethiopia-the landscape, the people, the food. It is a place we never would have thought to go, and if not for our children, we never would have experienced it!

    Our kids are now 5, almost 4, and almost 3, and we are preparing yet another dossier, this time for Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a small, special needs only program. We are excited to meet our future child, and also for the experience of falling in love with another country and culture!

  3. My husband was adopted from birth and we wanted an infant (from birth) and we decided to adopt domestically in the same town, so Sam could have a relationship with birthmother, which my husband doesn’t have. Internationally seemed to be a little too scary and expensive for us. Attachment issues scared me and although there were no guarantees that a child wouldn’t have problems, we felt that if we had a child from day one there would be less chance of it. Race didn’t really matter, but we did want a boy….it just so happened that the birthmother that chose us had a boy.

  4. Hi Mary–

    For our first adoption, we planned to adopt internationally through Bethany Christian Services. We spent a lot of time researching our agency, and they seemed to be both experienced and reputable. At our orientation meeting, the agency expressed a need for families willing to adopt domestically–and we were willing to do so. It was a quick turnaround for us–6 months from our first informational meeting until we were in the hospital with our son. But that quickness gives lie to the experience, as we had actually been chosen earlier by a mom who was making a placement plan for her 9 month old son. After two months of really crazy-making back and forth with the adoption workers in her hometown branch, we decided to pull out of the process. We grieved and grieved. Then another expectant mom interviewed us. Ultimately, she chose to parent. The up-and-down of waiting was excruciating. So when our son’s first mom started making a plan with us during her pregnancy, we were over the moon. Of course, it turned out that she was an exchange student here in the US for only an academic year…so in the end, we experienced a domest-international adoption.

    I think something that I could never have predicted is how fiercely I have become an advocate for expectant parents in the adoption process. Our agency helped shape this in us, and I am so grateful for the experience of talking with first moms who had placed their babies or children for adoption. We have an open adoption with our eldest’s first mom, but more than that, I find my ability to honor the story, honor the choices, be part of “whole family adoption” is healing for all of us.

    When the time came to grow our family again, we again felt like international adoption was a good fit. We decided to focus on countries where we had a legitimate personal connection to the people or culture. This was important to us because we didn’t want to be consumers. We wanted to honor our future child’s story and provide that child with a genuine connection to his original culture.

    That meant Ethiopia or Mexico. We looked into Mexico and found it’s nearly impossible to make an adoption plan successfully there, so we looked into Ethiopia. I read _There Is No Me Without You_ and my heart broke about the orphan crisis there. At the time, Bethany’s program in Ethiopia was new. We felt that experience was an important criteria in choosing an agency, so we ended up choosing AAI.

    We brought our second son home a little bit over a year later.

    In terms of people who spoke into our lives, our social worker at Bethany was really important in helping us to think about first families. I think that addressing first families is particularly important for us, as we turned to adoption after choosing NOT to pursue medical treatment for infertility. Sometimes parents in our situation want the first family erased or invisible. But thanks to the wisdom of our social workers and an ongoing relationship with our eldest’s first mom, I have learned to see it much differently. It’s hard to argue with a kid having more adults in his life, especially those who adore him and are looking out for him.

    In fact, when the time came for our third adoption, we specifically focused on finding an agency that worked hard to advocate for expectant moms and kept their social workers separate–so the same person working with us would not be counseling the pregnant moms. Everything else felt negotiable to us, but that–that was really important. We wanted to be sure that expectant moms had real choices and real advocates in the process of making this excruciating decision.

  5. Because my husband grew up as a missionary kid in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), adopting from Africa was our first choice when we decided to grow our family from two homegrown children to four. Ethiopia was a natural fit for us.

  6. Allyson J. says:

    We are still in the process of adopting a child but have decided to do so through foster care. We decided to adopt after I had to have a hysterectomy at 27. We decided early on that we didn’t want to go into debt or have to ask for donations to adopt and decided to go through our church (LDS Family Services). After getting the runaround for a year from them and being told from the 2nd of 4 social workers, whose hands we passed through, that if we wanted an infant we needed to go through the county (she told us that whenever we asked her a question) we decided to lose the $1,000 we gave up front and go through the foster system. At that point, I had never been more embarrassed and ashamed of a church run organization.

    My hairdresser recommended a local foster/adopt agency and we called and went through training with them. From the first training, we knew we were in the right spot. They genuinely cared about us and the kids in foster care. The social workers were awesome and understanding. We are on our 3rd placement (a 3 month old boy) and, while it is extremely hard, we are hoping that we can adopt at some point.

    When we were looking at agencies we were trying to find someone that made us feel comfortable and loved. In foster care, especially, the emphasis is on the kiddos (as it should be) but there needs to be some focus on the foster parents. The first placement we had overwhelmed us completely and made us rethink our decision. 0-3 kids in an hour was hard, even though we thought we were prepared enough. There’s no preparing for that, you have to learn from experience.

    As for people that “spoke” to us, I think Heavenly Father nudged us along until we got to the agency we are with now. They have been a God-send to us. We wouldn’t have grown and learned more about ourselves and what we truly want our adoption experience to be (or what it could be) without them.

    They are huge advocates of having as open an adoption as possible. I get annoyed with people that say that these kids shouldn’t know their past because it was so horrible. Like it or not, it is their past! They need to know their biological families, even if it’s just through pictures and letters.

    Adopting through foster care is heart wrenching, to say the least. We’ve seen families that truly care about their kids and are trying to better their lives and we have seen families that want nothing to do with their kids unless they get money from the government.

    We pray everyday that the kids we have had in our home end up where they are supposed to and that they are safe and blessed.

  7. We have had our new boys with us for only a week, so I have no experience other than the last five months. We always assumed we would adopt eventually, but never felt led to start paperwork or go looking for a child. We figured the Lord would “drop them in our lap”. We have five biological children ages 7 and under, so our house is already busy. Friends of ours had recently become foster parents, and she came to playdate on a Wednesday asking if anyone was interested in adopting a sibling set of boys. The youngest child was living with her friend and the others were in separate homes. The parental rights had been terminated, so the kids were ready for adoption. I said we would take them, then sent a text to my husband to see what he would say. He agreed! From there we got a home study done and set up visits with the boys’ case worker. Our parents live close by and were the first to know, and were supportive of us. Actually we may not have considered it if we didn’t live close to helpful grandparents! We were also supported by friends and random gifts of money to cover costs (though the actual adoption doesn’t cost anything). The boys moved in last week, and now we have eight children ages 7 and under! God’s plan is always an adventure!

  8. our story is a little long, so here is the link to when we were featured on their website – http://www.nohandsbutours.com/2012/10/20/our-adoption-story/

  9. In our pre-marriage counseling, we decided that we wanted to give birth to 6 children and adopt 6 children. God in his infinite wisdom chose us to parent 3 adoptees after many years of infertility. While I had grown up surrounded by adoptees (best friend & 2 of her sibs; family I babysat for; college roommate; etc., my husband had no experience with adoption. It took many years and many talks before we settled on Korean adoption with Family Adoption Consultants. However, we had just completed our homestudy when Korean adoptions were put on hold due to the Olympics. In the meantime, we had a failed domestic adoption experience.

    We were having the nursery painted and wallpapered when we got the referral for our oldest daughter. Actually the painters knew first as they heard the voice message. She finally arrived home from Korea 3 months later; we had been married 11 years by then and I was 35 years old. Healthy baby —> now a wonderful 23 year old material science engineer.

    For our second child, we just went along with FAC in the Korea program. Our son arrived home at 3-1/2 months of age; 2-1/2 years age difference between the two.

    We wanted more kids, but our son was sick a lot: earaches, bronchitis, pneumonia, broncialitis, RSV, etc. We were constantly at the doctors, ER, pharmacy. I was also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia at the time. We just were sick and tired all the time. Our son went on to be diagnosed with Bipolar, Autistic spectrum, Tourette’s syndrome, OCD, ADHD, unspecified learning disabilities, delayed puberty, as well as many medication-related physical challenges. At age 20, he is currently on disability, lives at home, attends local community college part-time and volunteers at a senior living home.

    But our family wasn’t complete. God presented an opportunity to adopt locally. We went through another brief adoption failure. Then 3 months later the call came at 10:30 pm on Monday.that we had a baby boy and he could be picked up the next day. The big family story is that when my MIL called DH’s siblings to tell them about the adoption, the response was “How can they have a baby. They didn’t say anything when we saw them Sunday!” No one really believed that we could get a call out of the blue like that. I was 45 at the time and our youngest son was 7-1/2 years younger than our middle child. What a difference it was with a newborn. I had no idea they slept so much; plus we didn’t need to deal with the whole 12 hours time difference on arrival. I met with a lactation consultant and was able to nurse our son using a supplementer. By the time he was 5 months I was supplying 90% of his nutrition. He weaned himself at 8 months to start walking.
    We brought him home to school this past November. He is 13; extremely athletic; a joy to be around; an easy-going kid. He was diagnosed a year ago with learning disabilities.

    People continue to ask if we’ll adopt again. Our response (besides our ages of 56 & 60) is that it took us 20 years to have 3 children; we can’t handle parenting another 20 years!

  10. I come from a family of adopted siblings (I was not adopted) so I was quite comfortable with the concept of adoption. I had always wanted to adopt as a way of creating our family. We already had three biological children when we decided to adopt from China. We chose China because my parents were working and living in China at the time and because my mother had told me stories about the issues for children growing up in orphanages in China. We also had a number of Chinese friends and acquaintances so were quite comfortable with the Chinese culture. Also, I was significantly intimidated by the potential for fetal alcohol syndrome in domestically adopted children. One of my adopted siblings came to our family with FAS and it created a huge challenge for my parents. I didn’t want a repeat if that situation in my life. So, we adopted a 13 mo girl. Within a couple of years we decided to go back to China to adopt another little girl, this time from the special needs program. We felt that we had some experience as parents to offer and that it was a way that we could ‘give back’ to the world. We also felt that it would be helpful for our daughters to have each other growing up in rural, mostly ‘white’ Ontario. Melissa Fay Greene’s books “There’s no me without you” and “No biking in the house without a helmet” influenced our thinking as well.

  11. My husband is adopted and felt that his adoption was a real blessing to his life. He felt the need to pass that blessing on. So we began foster parenting when our birth sons were all older teenagers. I happened to be at the courthouse, one day, with a sibling set being returned to relatives. Our caseworker asked me to wait since another sibling set was coming in that needed a home. I took two little girls along home with me and after a tumultous year filled with many ups and downs, they became our daughters! We’ve faced many challenges and expect to face many more: the girls have certainly livened up our lives after 3 sons!!!
    We were not planning on adopting any more kids. But God had another plan! We were asked to babysit a 4 week old infant by a woman from our town. Well, he stayed for 8 days and then kept coming back. After seeing many issues with him, at 3 months old, mom agreed to us having temporary guardianship for a month to help her get back on her feet. Well, he never went back and 14 months later, we did a private adoption. He has PTSD which has made life hard for him the past 4 years.
    We love our kids dearly and are so thankful for the privilege of having them in our home. Is it easy? No, not at all yet God gives strength, wisdom and grace for every day.

  12. We adopted from Ethiopia 4 years ago. We had 2 bio kids and had never even thought of adopting until we both heard numerous programs on the Christian radio station during National Adoption Month. We didn’t know the other was listening, and when I approached my husband about the topic he just grinned and told me he had heard it too!

    We went to an agency that had an informative seminar on all types of adoption. We left there sure that Ethiopia was the right fit for us. Some of the factors were age of child (healthy infant younger than our 2 yr old), length of travel (one trip at that time), the poverty in that country, and cost. In the end though, after having our son home 4 years we know that it was God who chose him for our family, we were never in control!

    We are starting our second adoption through Reece’s Rainbow. Our new daughter has Down syndrome and is Ukraine. The factors that led us to her are completely different. God simply opened our hearts for children that are disregarded by others. It is not poverty that leaves our daughter orphaned, it is that no one WANTS her. Well, now we WANT her. We so thrilled to be on this journey again!

    Each family’s story is so different, but the redemption at the end is the same!

  13. For some reason I’ve felt like I would adopt a child since I was a little girl. My husband and I thought that after we had a few biological children who were older that we would look into the process, most likely looking domestically for an infant. Instead, when our kids were 3, 1 and 2 months I saw a picture of a little girl on someone’s blog and ended up crying over her for days. She was listed through Reece’s Rainbow as 3 years old, having spina bifida and soon be moved to a mental institution if she wasn’t adopted because she was aging out of her baby house. I couldn’t get over the fact that she would most likely die in this institution, unloved, if we didn’t act quickly. After much prayer we decided we would take the first step and see if God closed the door…there were so many reasons this adoption shouldn’t have worked. God opened that first door…and all the others after it. Seven months later we were in Ukraine adopting her and she’s been home over 2 years now. Our adoption wasn’t what I’d ever imagined and it’s been a difficult road to help heal this child physically and emotionally, but it’s very clearly been a journey that God gave us and continues to lead us through.

  14. This post explains why adoption, why older kids, why siblings:
    http://wendyloudesigns.blogspot.com/2011/04/why-adoption-i-blame-martha.html

    I just realized I’ve never written about why we chose Ethiopia. Maybe I should …

  15. We adopted from Korea. To preface that, my mom is a huge saver- and while we were still considering where/how to proceed- she gave me some old school papers – my autobiography from 8th grade that stated I want to adopt from Korea. The seed was planted many years ago when our vicar at the time adopted two boys from Korea=). WE also knew an older couple from our church who we were bringing a meal after a kidney transplant who told us about their adoption from Korea. Amazingly enough, the day we had found out about my infertility diagnosis, my dh called me with the news of his amazing adoption benefit from work- God is so good.

  16. Hi Mary,

    Not sure if you remember me, but we attended church together over 10 years ago. At the time we had one son. A few of the moms got together for some scrapbooking and fellowship one evening and you shared your adoption story with me. At the time, my husband and I were “lightly” considering adoption but hadn’t shared this information with anyone. Our son was young, we weren’t in a hurry and we really weren’t sure where to begin. I remember the conversation and how it stirred something in me. A seed was planted. It took a while for that seed to grow, but it did. Three or four years and two moves later we adopted another son and a daughter through the foster care system. I will always remember that conversation as the beginning of our adoption journey. You may not have meant to, but you played a part in our adoption story!

  17. I am really enjoying the stories in this comments section! My husband and I planned on adopting all along, but knew it would be awhile before we could get into the process with college and then seminary for both of us. Yet, last March, we received a phone call from a young woman we were acquainted with from my home town area–she asked us to adopt her baby. We couldn’t believe adoption could happen this way–so quickly and effortlessly (and relatively inexpensively)! But it did and our beautiful daughter was born just 5 months after that blessed phone call. For her future siblings(s), we plan to possibly adopt through the foster care program or in some other way be matched with an older child. We are also open to adopting a child with special needs.

  18. We first looked into international adoption, deciding on Russia because a cousin had adopted from there. The further we got into it, however, we realized my breast cancer history was going to be a problem. For the same reason, I didn’t feel like a birthmom would choose us for domestic adoption. I had actually pretty much given up the idea of adoption when a friend mentioned a little girl she knew in foster care. She had been praying and felt like God wanted her to ask me about adopting this little girl. I made lots of calls, we went through the foster care process, visited her and brought her into our home as a foster child at age 2. We were able to adopt her officially a few months later.

  19. I have been interested in adoption since seeing the imagines of Romanian orphanages in the news in Jr/Sr High. In college I was able to travel overseas and volunteer in an orphanage with children with special needs. Upon returning to the States I found a job working with kids with developmental disabilities. I was also told in college that I may have difficulty getting pregnant, so when my husband I were talking about getting married we knew adoption would probably be in our future. Because he was in school and afterwards had an intense training program, adoption was not an option for the first 10 years of our marriage. However, we did have 3 bio kids during that time. When our youngest was year old we decided to pray how God would have us grow our family next, through adoption or with a biological child. We both felt Him leading us to adopt. However, we then found out that our ideas of adoption were different. My husband assumed we would adopt a typically developing child while I assumed we would adopt a child with special needs. Once again we prayed which direction God would have us go. A week later my husband felt God’s assurance that we were to proceed with special needs adoption. We were open to many different special needs, but specifically in a child with Down Syndrome. After looking into it more, we found out there are nearly 200 families homestudy ready to adopt a child in the US with Down Syndrome, while there are hundreds of children overseas with DS waiting for a family. We looked through the adoption requirements for Holt International Services and Bethany Christian Services to see which country we felt drawn to. Bethany has a program in Hong Kong that primary adopts children internationally with special needs and many have DS. We are now just over a year into our process and are thinking we will travel to pick up our son sometime in May or June.

  20. Don’t know if it’s too late to add another story — but here goes! Growing up, I knew a few kids in my neighborhood and church who were adopted, and one of my best friends as an adult is part of a family of two bio, two adopted kids. I loved the sound of that, and tucked it away as a dream for my future family.

    When my husband and I were first married, we talked about adoption briefly. He hadn’t really thought about adoption much . . . and wasn’t too excited about it at the time. We had two closely-spaced (bio) sons together, and my issues with my back effectively ruled out another pregnancy. We never thought we’d have *only* two children . . . our sons were 4 and 3, and I was so sad at the idea that we might only have two.

    Our church supports two (native) missionaries in India, and they were visiting our church at that time. One Sunday, they talked about a new baby home they’d started to take in infant girls who had been abandoned at birth and left to die, simply because they were girls. My heart began beating wildly — and I spoke with them after service about whether they were seeking families to adopt the girls. My husband and I weren’t sitting together because he was part of the worship team that day . . . but after the service, he told me that *he* had talked to them too, asking whether they were looking for families for the girls! We both felt that God was clearly telling us that our next child or children were waiting in India.

    We found out that they were not, in fact, seeking adoption for their girls at the home . . . but our friends/missionaries Usha and Murli were the starting point for bringing our girls into our family. We started supporting the baby home financially, and began researching adoption agencies that worked with India. Our first daughter joined us in December of 2007, and we’ve been in process for three years for another daughter. During that time we had two possibilities that fell through, but received a referral last August for our next daughter! We are waiting on the court process now, and hope to bring home our two-year-old later this year.

    As for what kind of adoption . . . the orphanage our first daughter was from was all special needs, from mild ones such as low birth weight/prematurity to more pronounced needs such as CP. She had one mild special need, and our next daughter has two special needs that we’ve been getting educated about. There hasn’t been much communication from her caregivers about the severity of her condition, so we are resting in the fact that God has orchestrated this whole journey and will be with us every step of the way. We’re doing what we can (research & education) to prepare to be the best parents we can be for her — and there is another couple at our church who adopted a girl with a similar need.

    I will never forget the day when my sweet husband grabbed my hands in our church lobby, and we both blurted out, “I know I should’ve waited to talk to you first, but . . .” That moment started a journey that we’re still on, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

    We love the people of her birth country, and are fascinated with the culture and history of India — and I love cooking Indian food! All of those things were new for us, and we are so grateful that our world has expanded because of our daughters.

    And on a more painful note, adoption has opened our eyes to the fate of baby girls around the world. Through gender-selective abortion and infanticide, there are nearly 200 million girls “missing” today from different countries. We want to be part of the solution in helping the world see the God-instilled dignity and worth of girls — adoption is part of that picture, and so are things like bringing the film “It’s a Girl” to our city, supporting the baby home, and being part of a ministry to women who work in the sex industry here and abroad.

  21. We planned on adopting a baby from the US. Instead we adopted 3 older children (ages 5, 8, and 12 when they came home) from Ethiopia. Scariest “plan B” of my life, but three of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been entrusted with.

    “Plan B” came about as we learned more about HIV/AIDS and how these orphaned children suffering from the illness had just been granted waivers to be adopted into families in the US. We educated ourselves on everything we could (from their illness to the realities of older child adoption), took a deep breath, fell to our knees in prayer and jumped in with more fear than sense.

  22. Hi Mary,
    I adopted “older” children, my two came home at ages 2yrs and 5yrs. Back-up a number of years, I was the second 10 children, the younger 6 were adopted both internationally and domestically. I grew up loving having younger and couldn’t wait to be a parent. I knew that I would adopt one day.
    At the age of 30 I found myself as a single parent of a rapidly growing 6 year old girl. I wanted her to grow up with siblings as I did. So I started the adoption process.
    I had a well paying job, so knew that I could afford adoption. I also had the full support of my family and friends. I knew the adoption process would take awhile and, as I mentioned earlier, my daughter was growing up quickly. I wanted her to have siblings closer in age her. Though I love babies, I did not want to adopt an infant as that would put too many years between siblings. I also knew there was a great need for families to adopt older children.
    I chose to adopt from Ethiopia for a number of reasons. The agency I worked with had a great Ethiopia program, I did not want to adopt an infant (the agency’s domestic program was mainly infants), I also did not want a child older than 6 years old and the only other domestic program atmy agency was through the state foster care system with children mostly 7 years or older (unless you were already a foster parent). In addition my biological daughter is bi-racial and I wanted her to have siblings that shared some similar racial background.
    I was open to siblings and I was open to male children so I was told that the referral would likely be sooner rather than later. I received a referral of a brother/sister pair just two weeks after finishing my homestudy. I quickly accepted the referral and travelled to Ethiopia a short 3 months later. My son was 5 years old and daughter 2 years old at the time they came home and my oldest was 8years old. They have been home almost 6 years now. They get along like siblings, one minute best friends, the next fighting. I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

  23. My husband and I chose to adopt because we wanted to provide a home for a child who needed one. We also have bio kids, and so while we were eager to give them another sibling, adoption was not our only available means of building our family. So it was very important to us to choose a country with lots of waiting children, and to adopt a child who might be more difficult to place. We were not interested in going on a waiting list or vying for one of the few available children in a certain program. Our only criteria was that we wanted the child we adopted to be younger than our oldest, who was (at the time), three years old. We were open to several different special needs.

    In the end, our adoption took 7 months and we brought home a beautiful 2 year old girl who has Down syndrome. She has been home for two years now. We’ve had some significant challenges and some very difficult months, but all-in-all we feel extremely blessed to have her and wouldn’t change a thing. We look forward to being able to adopt again someday.

  24. Phil Rhodes says:

    We’ve got our dossier in China now for our third adoption. My wife wanted to adopt a little girl from China since before we were married. I think she had a special heart for the plight of Chinese girls under the one child policy. Shortly before I proposed to her, I knew God had called me to adopt too, even though I wasn’t against it earlier.

    We married late (40 and 38), and we wanted a family right away. We initially started in Kyrgyzstan because we could adopt quickly there. We also submitted a dossier to China as soon as we could for a healthy infant. (Around the time we married, they changed the requirements to two years of marriage.)

    The Krygyz adoption failed, and we didn’t want to wait in the quickly growing healthy infant line in China. So we started looking in the waiting child list for a young girl. We found one with minor special needs quickly. (Honestly, we didn’t know at the time what a miracle it was she didn’t disappear off the shared list immediately.)

    Having one from China, we thought they’d benefit from a common heritage. Plus, the China adoption process is relatively smooth and stable. We’ve also grown more and more fond of China, its people, and its culture as we experience it more and learn more.

    We’ve picked minor special needs of various types (minor spina bifida, some missing fingers/toes and repaired clubfoot, and thalassemia minor). But, so far, they just seem to be the kids selected by God for us. Each one has felt “right.”