Adoption

We have two sons and three daughters through the miracle of adoption. For a brief overview, read the short story of our first three adoptions. The interesting thing about keeping a blog over so many years is that I get a reminder of how I have changed as a person through the years. This is particularly true in regards to our parenting style. I cringe a bit when I look at posts towards the beginning of this blog, back when I thought I knew it all. As a result of parenting children from trauma backgrounds, our entire parenting paradigm has changed. If you are reading early posts which touch on parenting and what I thought good parenting was, I suggest you take it all with a grain of salt and read these three posts as well.

Adoption 101: Prepare to be humbled
Towards a More Humane Discipline
Humbled Parenting

For blow by blow accounts, I have listed the story of each adoption in order.

Our first adoption was TM's who was adopted at the age of 3 years, 9 months from Danang Vietnam.  His adoption involved a very rocky transition for everyone involved.  We have all come so far.  If you are interested in reading his adoption story, including his and mine subsequent attachment, here are the links in order:

It is required you do awake your faith.
Why is there are three-year-old waiting for us in Vietnam?
Getting closer
There is never a straight line in international adoption
More news and more waiting
Travel approval
T minus 80 (+/-) hours and counting
Chapter 1: Where are J & E now? -- Wherein our travellers learn the meaning of "false start" and make no progress at all.
Chapter 2:  a brief interlude
Chapter 3:  A first encounter
Chapter 3 addendum
Chapter 4:  Humans doing well
Chapter 5:  Miscellanea
Chapter 6:  Counting down again
Chapter 7:  The first 24 hours
Chapter 8:  Bright spots
Chapter 9:  Staggering about punch drunk
Chapter 10:  For every down an up
Chapter 11:  New city, new taxbracket
Chapter whatever:  Some short notes
Chapter 13:  Waiting in Hanoi
Chapter 14:  Into the home stretch
Chapter 15:  Counting down again
Chapter 16:  A touching reunion
Great is Thy Faithfulness
Joy
The good, the bad, and the ugly, or attachment revisted
Home for 10 months
14 months
One and a half years
I love you, Mommy
Fish oil is...
TM's lifebook
Canary in the coal mine
A small parenting success
Attachment revisted
Language and grieving
Equalibrium
Four years
Hunger

Our second adoption was K.  He was adopted from Dong Nai, Vietnam at the age of 2 years three months.  While his transition was very easy, his adoption, particularly the wait to bring him home was excruciating.  About K.:

"24" a la Curry
Update on K.
In for the long haul
Bad dreams
He's not a baby anymore!
Some travel plans
Passports
Tired
Please pray
We have new pictures
One more step down
Adoption is NOT the easier way to add to your family
Finally some news on the adoption front
A quick update
Happy Birthday, K.!
Glory be to the Father... we're going to Vietnam
I'm able to think a bit more clearly now
Bittersweet
We're off!
We're here...
New pictures in the bucket
Meeting K.
Tuesday morning with K.
Travelling companions
On to Hanoi...
More about K.
Miscellanea from Hanoi
Hanoi's deceptive streetscape
Sticky wickets in Hanoi
Motion and stillness
Rain in Hanoi
We can come home anytime...
New pictures and a quick update
Penultimate day in Hanoi
We're home
It's always something
Coming up for air
Answered prayers
One month
Normal, everyday chaos
MAY CAUSE DIZZYNESS
Two months... already?!?
Still here
8 months
Happy Birthday K.!

H. came home at 9 years, 5 months from Henan, China in May 2012.  She is a sweet, sweet girl who has made amazing strides since she has been home.  Posts about H.:

To God be the Glory Great Things He Hath Done!
Overwhelmed and humbled
A special gift for a special girl
Prayer requests for H. and her adoption
Adoption non-update
Care package
Could it really be possible?
It seems fitting
Notary disasters... or why labor is easier
Log-in Date!
But if not
There are just a few reasons why I would post twice in one day...
Why do I think anything with an adoption will be easy?
New picture
Photo vocabulary cards
Indulge me while I do a bit of whining
I'm here... sort of
Weeping may tarry for the night
Joy comes in the morning
She knows!
Details, details
Paper pregnancy
My newest project - picture calendar
My to do list
Humbled
Last post from this side of the world
We made it!
Officially a family of 12
Day 2:  More paperwork and we are officially H.'s parents
Day 3:  A walk in the park
Day 4:  Fish... real and surreal
A quick update
Day 5:  Amusement in the morning and then not so much
Day 6:  That horrible sound you heard?  That was me grinding my teeth in fury
Day 7:  Pandas!!
Day 8:  Guerrilla shopping
Day 9:  Doing the island
How to use the Guangzhou subway system
Day 10:  We go in search of the statue of five goats and I end up talking about food
Day 11:  Mountain climbing
Checking-in
Day 13:  And the gold medal for bravery goes to H... or Help! how did I get stuck with these crazy people?
Back home!!
Day 14 (part 1):  Uncle!
Day 14 (part 2):  A three hour tour
Day 15 (part 1):  Shepherd's Field Children's Village
Day 15 (part 2):  I have the best friends in the world

R. and Y. were adopted in the same adoption trip. R. was 10 (on paper) and Y. was 8. Here are the posts from our adoption trip to bring them home.

Here We Go
We've Arrived
Wow. Just Wow.
Toto, We're Not in Kansas Anymore
We Now Have 11 Children
Welcome to the Silk Road... the land of metal detectors
Unexpected Gifts
Notes From the Road
An Even Dozen
Early Days, or the Universal Language of... Barbies
A New Day and a New Pair of Shoes
Dozens and Dozens of Fish Pictures, and a Few Dumplings
A Subway, a Park, Two Passports, Another Trip to Walmart, and Chinese Take-Out: We Hit Our Stride
An Inauspicious Welcome
Off the Beaten Path for a While Before Being Loaded on the Roller Coaster Once Again
Two Little Fish Eat Hummus in China
And We Still Haven't Found the Statue of the Five Goats
All We Have Left to do is Wait
Ending on a High Note... or Continuing our Tour of China's Dead People
Home Sweet Home

For anyone interested in pursuing adoption, I urge you to do due diligence and research your chosen agency very carefully before committing.  Unfortunately, there is a great deal of corruption in the adoption world, and you want to avoid it at all cost.  A quick google search of 'adoption agency research' should turn up more than enough information as a place to start.

We used Holt International for both of our Vietnam adoptions.  I have no reservations about recommending them as an ethical agency who cares about children... both the children they place and those who remain in their home countries.  For our adoption of H. Y., and R., we used CCAI.  I also feel comfortable recommending them as an ethical agency.  Our guides in China were excellent and knowledgeable.  Feel free to email me with any questions.  See the contact information on the blog.
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