So this will be our adorable daughter. Or this was her two years ago when we started this process. I’ve been asked by several people to keep a blog since we decided to jump into this crazy process and I finally feel comfortable that I’m not going to jinx it. A few weeks ago, our agency in North Carolina called to tell us that we have been officially matched with Adrianna – the girl who started this process for us. We would of course be happy to adopt any child from Moldova, but we are so relieved it’s her. We’ve been basing our lives around the idea of this little girl for two years – all based on this photo.
Let’s start at the beginning. Way back before I even met my husband, Les, in 2002. I took a month long trip with a college group to Southeast Asia. Amongst many unforgettable experiences, the one that stuck with me was a visit to a Vietnamese orphanage. We brought soccer balls, coloring books, stickers, and balloons, and spent the day playing games and creating art with these children. I was ready to take the little girl in blue home with me – I’m sure it would have been fine as a 21 year old, college student who lived with her parents. Since they weren’t going to let us take the kids with whom we had bonded, I made a vow that I would adopt a child sometime in my life.
So fast forward to meeting my husband Les in 2006, whose father was orphaned at a young age and bounced around orphanages and foster homes until his adult life, had also always thought adoption was something he’d like to do someday as well. That’s not why we got married 5 years later of course, but it’s rare to meet someone with opinions on adopting prior to even knowing if one can have children or not. Just to clear the air – we can have our children as far as we know. We have made a choice to adopt. And our plan has always been to adopt a child and have our own. So in 2013, when we started to feel like we were grownups, we did what any normal American couple would do – we googled “How to Adopt.” We stumbled upon a site called “Rainbow Kids” for children that are difficult to adopt whether it’s because they have very minor to major health problems, from a clef lip to Down’s syndrome or if they are older children. Most people want a healthy baby or toddler, so this site has dedicated itself to finding families for these other children. We looked through a few and it was just too sad to go through. However, my Type A husband later went through every single child (thousands I think) and stumbled upon a 7-year-old at the time. She was from Moldova (which we also had to Google), had been in the orphanage since she was a baby, loved to sing and dance and played well with other children other than being a little bossy. The photo was this…
So, that little spark in her eye says a spoke to him. He told me he couldn’t stop thinking about her and showed me the photo. And I agreed – she looks like a girl with personality. Perfect for us. So we went through the process to get more information about her and found the only adoption agency in the US that currently assists in Moldovan adoptions. We were told that the adoption process varies by state, so we would have to be approved in our state (by the way Colorado has one of the most vigorous adoption processes in the country) and must have a local adoption agency provide our training and home study.
We did a little research and found an agency in Denver called International Adoption Net that was accredited and well versed in International Adoptions. While their primary focus is Ethiopian adoptions, they worked very well with Carolina Adoption Services, our agency in North Carolina.
So years later, after 24 hours of adoption parenting training, millions of signatures and checks and forms, we got approval from the state of Colorado, USCIS (United States Citizens and Immigration Services) and the Country of Moldova. The final wait was to get an official match with Adrianna, which is what we received a few weeks ago. We sent an acceptance letter and are now just waiting for one more letter from Moldova, so we may file another form with USCIS and begin to make our travel plans for Moldova.