We are Steve and Jen. We met in May 1997 and were married July 28, 2001. After a couple years of being married we decided it was time to start a family. After almost a year of trying on our own with no luck we decided to get some help from a fertility specialist. Six IUIs and two IVFs later we decided that starting a family was what was important to us. We planned to try one more IVF and in the meantime look into adoption. The Third IVF did not work, and as much as it hurt we have so much to look forward to in getting our little girl from China.
After all of the heartbreak that we had been through with the failed fertility treatments we decided that domestic adoption was not a good fit for us. We did not feel comfortable with open adoptions where the birth mother still has a role your child's life. The birth mother can also change her mind and decide that she wants the child back after he/she has been in your home and has attached (this seems to happen very often). We've had so much loss lately that we would hate to have an adoption interrupted or wait longer since the wait can sometimes take years.
Through our research we both separately decided that Chinese adoption was really calling out to us. The more research we did, the more Chinese adoption just seemed right. There are hundreds of thousands of infant girls abandoned in China every year. There are many myths surrounding the abandonment of these little girls. It is a complicated issue that has a lot to do with China's population control (one child policy) as well as a cultural bias favoring boys. This bias comes from the fact that when a boy grows up he is expected to care for his elderly parents. A Chinese girl grows up, marries and is expected to care for her husband's parents.
The process of adopting from China should take us about a year if everything goes well. We have found an local agency called China Adoptions with Love that we will be working with. We found this agency through an article we read in the Boston Globe about a couple who used them to adopt from China. Read the article here.
The following are the steps that we will be going through in this process
- Attend Orientation - Done
- Apply to the Agency - Done
- Attend Intake Interview - Done
- Home Study - Social Worker will visit us in our home to decide if we are fit to parent - Done
- Apply to USCIS - This is a US gov't agency that decides if we can bring a child into the country - Done
- Get criminal background checks and fingerprinting- Done
- CAWLI takes the dossier of documentation completed above, authenticates them, translates them to Chinese and sends them off to China- Done
- At this stage we will be considered dossier to China (DTC) and the wait is about 8** months to get a referral- Done
- Referral - we will get a picture and some basic information about our little girl.
Travel to China - 4 - 6 weeks after getting our referral we will travel to China to get Grace. We will be there for about 2 weeks. Usually includes sightseeing, travel to province to get our daughter, travel to Shiamen Island to the consulate to finalize everything and then go home.
We plan to request a six - twelve month old (this is the youngest we can request) but there are no guarantees on the age. In general the Chinese adoptees are in good health and transition well into American families. The process will be a long and bumpy road but having our little Gracie will make it all worthwhile.
**At the time we started this process the wait was about 8 month. By the time we get our referral we will have waited 27 months. More than three times longer than we initially thought.