View Full Version : How did you get started?

03-14-2004, 09:23 AM
Hi my name is Lucia. I have been an avid reader of this board for over a year and just recently started participating. It is so nice to have this section on adoption. My husband and I experienced two years of trying to get pregnant and during that time we started to seriously consider adoption. We were very lucky to get pregnant and now have a beautiful one-year old son. However, I had some very serious complications during the pregnancy and we have made the decision to add to our family through adoption. We are a military family currently living in Japan and just now starting to consider the logistics and the reality of international adoption (which may or may not be complicated by our current overseas assignment.

We have joined a support group and attended our first meeting last night. All of the other participants had already adopted children or were waiting to meet their children in the next few months. It was great to be a part of the group and we came home feeling very excited. We are now in process of requesting information packets from various agencies.

I have few questions for the group:
1) what books, websites or other resources were helpful to you in the early stages of your adoption process?
2) have any of you adopted while living overseas?
3) do you have any agencies that you highly recommend? or those to avoid?

mom to Noah 2/2003

03-14-2004, 09:55 AM
Hi Lucia,

When we were early in the process, I liked one of those "for Dummies" books--not sure if it was Adoption for Dummies? As we get further along, I like the Adoptive Families magazine and the book Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish their Adoptive Parents Knew. Also, when we decided to go international and narrowed things down to Guatamela and China, I joined yahoo groups for those countries. The China group (APC-Adoptive Parents China) is huge and not always super nice, but really informative and worthwhile in my opinion. We're adopting from China so I''ve dropped the G. groups.

We're not overseas, but there are plenty of military familes who have adopted while overseas. (Are you on Okinawa--dh was stationed there a few years ago?) I think there's even a yahoo group for overseas military families adopting from China.

We're pleased with our agency--Wide Horizons for Children. Your support group is probably a great source for recommendations since at least some of them probably adopted while overseas--if I were you I'd want an agency that's handled that situation a few times already.

Wishing you well on your adoption plans!

Catherine (and dh James)
dossier to China Oct. 2003

03-14-2004, 10:02 AM
Thanks for your message with great suggestions! Yes, we are in Okinawa and having a great time. China is one of the countries we feel drawn to right now, but I have to admit the whole process of choosing a country feels strange. How did you narrow your choices to China and Guatamela? I am hoping that as we start to do more research the decision will get easier. Any tips for deciding on a country? Good luck with your adoption journey and thank you again for your kind words and advice.

mom to Noah 2/2003

03-14-2004, 03:08 PM
I found it really helpful to request information from a bunch of agencies, spread it out, look at the different country options, timelines, costs, etc. If you are adopting internationally, a lot of the books aren't too helpful for the specific country information, because it changes so rapidly.

We knew pretty much from the start that we were going to adopt from China. I found some books written by adoptive parents about China very helpful - Passages from the Heart, The Wuhu Diaries come to mind.

We really liked our agency - Holt International.


03-14-2004, 03:56 PM

The country choice was actually the hardest decision for us in the whole process. We spent sometime thinking about what's important to us--and this varies a lot family to family. For instance, we decided pretty early on that it wasn't important to us whether our baby looks like us. So, that broadened our choices. . . .

A lot of countries have age limitations (and sometimes requirements like length of marriage) for the adoptive parents--that didn't narrow things for us . . . .

The things that started narrowing down our choices:
(1) we wanted to be sure we understood where our money was going (with China the money that goes to the Chinese government is actually an orphanage donation and the money goes to help the orphanages),
(2) we wanted as stable a process as you can find in the international adoption world (China's pretty stable--the timelines change a bit, but adoptions keep happening),
(3) we want to be able to take our child(ren) back to visit (this was one reason we chose China over Guatamela--check out the State Department's website for information on the safety of various countries), and
(4) relative health of the children .

And in the end, we just went with what felt right to us. Good luck with this decision and your adoption! And feel free to keep asking questions--I'm happy to help if I can.

Catherine (and dh James)
dossier to China Oct. 2003

03-14-2004, 03:58 PM
It sounds like you are on the right path to me...:)
There is an agency called Yuona that I would highly steer clear from they have about 100 different alias that they hide behind. Instead of a list maybe of bad ones I would zero in on the folks you come into contact with that have GREAT ones to tell you about and follow in their foot steps. We are not using an agency in Ukraine and are doing an independent adoption assuming that the signing of parts of the Hague Convention won't change that by next year...

Just be forewarned as mentioned above some of these adoption Yahoo groups are mean...however the meaner they are it seems those are the ones with the imfo that is most needed to know as you skim thru the battles...be forewarned it has been the hardest part of this for me atleast thus far...

Please keep us posted!!!

AKA "mama2be"-forgot password
and Baby Boy Tristan born @UNC
Feb 25, 2003
Brother to 3 pups "gees" and 2 kitties

03-24-2004, 09:07 PM

As the other posters said you seem to be on the right track already. The only thing I'd add to Catherine's list is to gather as much information about trans-racial adoption up front before deciding if that's right for you. I attended a seminar on trans-racial adoption in my community during our adoption process and it was eye-opening to me the issues these families had to deal with on top of regualr adoption issues. It didn't sway our opinion on trans-racial adoption, but did give us a lot more information on what to expect and what accomodations we might need to make in creating a trans-racial family.

Mom to Jeremiah 2/4/03
and our 'first' Curie (6 year old Golden Retriever)

04-21-2004, 01:10 PM
We had decided early on that we wanted to go to China. We had narrowed it to a few agencies and decided on CCAI (www.chinesechildren.org). I cant say enough good things about them! Im trying to work on DH to adopt through them again, but he isnt budging (yet lol).
The APC list can be very informative, but it can be a bit overwhelming too. Our agency has a list that we used a lot.

Good luck with your adoption pursuit :)

04-21-2004, 08:51 PM
We did a domestic adoption in the US, and so I can't recommend anything regarding overseas, but we did start with an "Adoption for Idiots" book or something like that. I also highly recommend the adoption forums at INCIID -- www.inciid.org There are many ladies there with tons of different experiences.

I'm glad you're part of a support group! Having people there for you is so important.

Best of luck to you as you pursue your adoption journey!

GHS, mom to Bella, 7 mos.

04-22-2004, 12:04 AM
Thanks to all for the great advice and words of encouragement! We have started receiving a flood of glossy packets with personal stories, photos, etc. It is both exciting and a little overwhelming...it reminds of starting to do the college search but this is a much more emotional process for us.

We are giving ourselves plenty of time to consider all options...not going to make any decisions until the fall. I love reading the stories of families that are included in the packets. Does anyone have any recommendations for books that are personal narratives about adoption?

mom to Noah 2/2003

04-22-2004, 12:47 AM
Read "The Lost Daughters of China". It's a personal account but includes a lot of historial and current events type info about China's child policies, etc. It's an excellent book.

That book is what makes me think I still have a daughter waiting for me in China. We are working with Guatemala on our first adoption (in process) for many reasons, but I keep thinking we might really need to work with China for a future one.


04-22-2004, 10:08 AM
We used Small Miracles International for our Guatemalan adoption in 2001. They only deal with Guatemala and do two medical missions a year which is nice to give back to the country. They are a small agency that really cares.

We are now in the process of a China adoption using FTIA. (Families thru International Adoption) They are medium sized but the information they give you as well as your dossier guide is awesome. Very through. You can check out their website, www.ftia.org to compare all the different country's programs.

04-22-2004, 10:17 AM
I really liked Wuhu Diaries.

04-22-2004, 05:26 PM
Passages from the Heart (I think that's the title) is a collection of essays from people who have adopted from China. I really enjoyed it.

04-23-2004, 10:50 AM
We first picked an adoption agency -- America World Adoption Assocation -- www.awaa.org . They are wonderful!!!! We heard about them on K-LOVE (Christian radio) & requested their info. Their video was sooo moving! Everything is done from the perspective that God is in control -- it's awesome!

We wanted to use them & thus had 3 country choices. We decided upon Russia. It wasn't a long decision process for us & I don't have concrete answers why we chose Russia, but we know it's right for us -- and the bottom line is that we prayed about it a lot & felt that Russia is where God was leading us. :)

I still wonder about adopting from China someday, but I don't know a lot about trans-racial adoptions at this point. Also, we're planning to emphasize Russian culture & teach as much of the language as possible...so it might be nice to adopt both children from Russia so they share that common heritage.