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Category Archives: Adoption Across America

Blessings – Adoption Across America Photography Project


As a college student, I (Mara) remember going to concerts and listening to Stephen Curtis and Marybeth Chapman’s China adoption story and just crying.  I told my best friend all the time that I hoped I could adopt some day.  When Jeremy and I met, I remember we had a more than one conversation about the fact that we wanted biological children but that we both had always felt that we would love to become a home and a family to a child in need through adoption, as well.  I was excited that he shared the desire to adopt!

Not quite a year after we were married, we found out we were expecting our first child and we couldn’t have been more excited.  Maryn joined our family in March and when she was 9 months old, we were surprised to find out that our next little bundle was on the way!  When Brynlee arrived, being parents to an 18 month old firecracker as well as a precious but colicky newborn sent us into an overwhelmed period of our lives during which we questioned whether the dream of someday adopting was actually going to come true.  We both felt DONE.  Two beautiful girls…  Our family was complete…  Right?

When Brynlee was about a year old, we felt like we had come up for air.  And… we had started to consider that maybe we weren’t DONE…  We had a conversation around the fact that maybe now we should start to consider that adoption we had discussed a few years back before we got married.  Jeremy was on board but then the fear set in on my end of all the unknowns that come with adoption.  The financial aspect, especially, just felt like an insurmountable obstacle for our family. Would I feel different about a child I had adopted than a child I had given birth to?  I told Jeremy I just didn’t know if I could say, “Yes”.

But, God knew the plans he had for our family and He didn’t let up.  I worried and fought with Him for months – just so afraid and unsure of how we would make it happen and whether I would be a good adoptive parent.  Meanwhile, the Lord found a way to bring adoption to the forefront in so many different ways.  Nearly every Sunday at church had me in tears because it ALL was about adoption (whether it really was or not).  Jeremy, through all this, was patient and chill (ever the laid back and go-with-the-flow guy that he is).  One night, about 6 months after we first felt the nudge from God to reconsider adoption, I was up late, late into the night working on a birthday cake for my daughter.  I felt God tell me that I needed to, right then, send an email to a friend who had adopted from China and ask her if her family could meet with our family and help us answer some questions and some fears.  I went to bed that night still nervous as heck but, knowing that this. was. happening.  I told Jeremy the next morning that I felt ready to go forward and he said, “Let’s do it”.

God showed up big time throughout our process in so many ways.  He showed us again and again that if we trusted in Him, we had nothing to fear.  We had family and friends, classmates we hadn’t spoken to since high school, and strangers we had never met come alongside us to support us and to help us emotionally, spiritually, and financially.  About 10 months after the day we decided to begin the adoption process, we were matched with a precious 13 month old little boy who had a heart condition for which he had had surgery in China as a tiny baby.  We decided to name him Kai which means “Triumphant” in Chinese.  We knew that God had already begun the process of allowing him to triumph over the circumstances of his birth as a very tiny, very sickly baby whose family was forced to leave him an orphan in order to get him the surgery he needed to live.

The day we met Kai in China, he came to us sound asleep.  He slept through being handed over to us, slept through the paperwork, and finally, he slept through the only familiar face he had left in the world leaving to head back to the orphanage.  As we sat looking at the little boy lying in the little white crib in our hotel room, we worried about how terrified he was going to feel when he woke up in a strange place looking at two strangers that looked so different from the people he was used to.  God used this moment as one more way to reassure us in our fears. When our Kai-Kai finally stirred and blinked his eyes open at us from the fluffy pink Winnie the Pooh bedding, he took one look at us and shot us one of his prize-winning smiles.  He then began to giggle and play peek-a-boo with us with his blanket.  He has been a perfect fit for our family.  His sisters just love their wild and crazy little brother and we can’t imagine life without him.  We hope to make Kai a big brother sometime soon to another little boy waiting in China for a family to love him.

J came home to our family in February 2015. He was almost 6 1/2 years old And, we were first time parents. When we started the adoption process two years earlier, we wouldn’t have imagined that our story would lead us here.

Adoption has always been at the heart of our family. Before we were married, we talked of growing our family through adoption. When we first began to consider adoption, our thought was to adopt a younger child. It seemed to make the most sense in being first time parents. But as the process went on and the longer we waited, our hearts began to change toward those children who were waiting and some who had waited a long time for a family.

We didn’t set out to adopt an older child. In short, out hearts were changed to see them as they are….children. Children waiting to experience opportunities and to thrive in life. Children waiting for a chance for someone to make a choice to love them, to care for them, to be there-forever. Children waiting for a family.

We made that choice to be Josiah’s family in October 2014. Three short months later, we were on the plan making it a reality. Being a first time parent to an older child comes with it challenges (just as all parenting really does), but it also comes with it’s greatest joys. The joy of laughter. The joy of hope. The joy of love. Forever.

A Journey of a Thousand Miles – Adoption Across America Photography Project



A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”~Confucius

Our adoption journey began on January 1, 2015.  Our hearts were open to a little girl with special needs, as identified on our MCC (Medical Conditions Checklist) with our agency, CCAI.  With guidance from above and the support of family and friends, we tackled through all of the necessary paperwork to start up the adoption process with China.  We knew that it was just a matter of time before we would be matched and see our daughter’s face for the first and forever time.
On September 22nd, I came home from work and saw a new little girl in a pink gingham dress posted on our agency’s home page. Dane and I watched her video and sent an email to our agency contact requesting to be put on this little girl’s waiting list to possibly review her file. We had requested four other little girl files prior, but families accepted the files before us on the list. We just kept telling ourselves that it is “all in God’s timing.” Friday, October 9th, we kicked off my birthday weekend by heading out for a two-night camping trip. We arrived at the camp site around 4:30, started to unload the truck, and began setting up our tent. Once our tent was up and ready, we proceeded to put up our netted kitchen tent. All of a sudden, it started to drizzle and then just poured down rain! So, we quickly finished getting the kitchen tent secured and went into our regular tent. We sat there for about 10 minutes, and the rain finally stopped. By now, it was closer to 6:00. Dane brought our kitchen table, chairs, pop-up kitchen, and other food necessities into the kitchen tent for me to set up. Just as I finished putting the table cloth on our table, I heard Dane say, “Tava, come here.” I looked at him and noticed that he was standing by the side of his truck looking at his phone. I then started putting the weighted hooks on the tablecloth, when again, he said, “Tava, Come Here!” I saw him look away from his phone and then back down at it. Right away, my heart sank, thinking something was wrong. Something had happened and we were going to have to pack up and head home right away. I ran over to the truck and asking him “What is it? “Is everything ok?” He began reading an email to me: Dear Dane and Tava, I left you a message on the phone as we are able to share the file of little _____ with your family today. Her name is _________________ and she was born on 7.21.2014. We looked at our phones for missed calls. Dane didn’t have any, but I did! I had two missed calls from our agency rep, one at 5:55 and again at 5:56! As you can imagine, our eyes welled up with tears which began to fall as Dane continued to read. She was born the day after our wedding anniversary (7-20)! She was 14 months old, and would be closer to two years of age by the time we would get her. We opened several attachments with pictures, medical information, and a video, etc. Oh my sweetness! Then and there we realized that she was just the perfect fit for our family! However, we needed to consult medical professionals to be sure that we could meet her needs. It was 7:00 by the time we came to the realization that this was happening, and we were losing daylight. We debated about whether or not we should head back home. After much discussion, we realized that with it being the weekend, there wasn’t anything we could do until Monday. So, we finished setting up our campsite and stayed. We went to the little gift shop on Saturday, and they had this little Panda on a key ring. The Panda’s name ironically rhymes with our little girl’s Chinese given name. So, we bought it as a souvenir to remember receiving the best email and news ever!
We returned home on Sunday, and told our families about how we were in the process of reviewing a little girl’s file. We didn’t give them much detail, as we wanted to check with doctors first on medical conditions listed for this little girl. So, during the week of October 12th, we were busy sending her file to medical experts: a nurse friend, a neighbor pediatrician, and the doctors at the International Adoption Center at Children’s. We just had a week to give our final decision-if we accepted, she was ours; if not, she would be passed onto the next family on her list. First and foremost, we agreed that we needed to make sure that we could meet this little girl’s needs. Thursday at 4:00 we had a conference call with the head doctor at Children’s. She told us that the doctor who invented the one procedure that this little girl would need was at our Children’s Hospital!!! We could not be in a better area for helping this little girl!!! That pretty much made our final decision-she was just meant to be our daughter! Thursday night, we went and told our families our decision! Friday morning, Dane and I called our agency and left a message for our agency rep, telling her that this little girl is our daughter!!!
Our sweet little Eowynn Meiping (A-O-WIN MAY-PING) has been with us now since January 4th of this year.  Our entire adoption process was a year-long process from start to finish.  Eowynn will undergo two surgeries this fall to take care of her medical needs. She is definitely the missing piece to our family!  We love her to the moon and back! 

Our family – Adoption Across America Photography Project

We thought our family was complete with two adoptions from foster care (in the 1980s) and six biological children. There are also eleven grandchildren in the mix. Our youngest bio was approaching her teen years.  But then we dared to remember the dream of “someday” adopting a little girl from China.  We ended up with approval for two, and since we were going to do this ONLY ONCE, why not?  Soooo Abigail and Jennifer came home in the spring of 2013.

Shortly after the girls came home our heart was called to an eleven year old boy who just sounded so sweet – and indeed he is.  Isaac came home in the spring of 2014.

We attended a reunion picnic to meet children adopted from the same orphanage as our girls but also met a child who was being hosted in the states – he had grown up with our girls.  Patrick came home in the spring of 2015.

At this point I was telling God and everyone else who would listen that I was DONE!  But my heart hadn’t counted on the little girl I’d advocated for over the period of nearly two years being stuck tight.  Our Sonnet came home in July of 2016.

Had anyone told me that well into my fifties I would again have six children of my own at home I would have laughed at them.  It wasn’t my plan.  But I’m thankful that God’s ways are not our ways and His plans are not our plans. These children in my “old age” have been worth all the sleepless nights, the paperwork, the hassle and the worry.  If you too are a “seasoned parent” I encourage you to take that leap and allow an awesome child who just needs a chance to change your life.  I am one truly blessed mama and having the time of my life!

You and Me – Adoption Across America Project



By Vicky D.

Once upon a time, a little girl born on the other side of the world said to me…”You and Me” as she pointed to herself then to me. Now, I knew and felt so much love for her the moment I saw her referral picture. I also knew pretty quickly in China, that my daughter had started to bond and attach to me. Well, it wasn’t until that moment, which was nearly a year after coming home, I realized she both loved me AND trusted me…that she understood the meaning of family and love. This is the true miracle and beauty of adoption orchestrated by the loving hand of God-two strangers from different sides of the world would become “You and Me”, forever mother and daughter, forever a family. This is our story…

As long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a mom. When I dreamt of my future, I always saw myself loving and raising a house full of kids. As the years went by, I bought my parents house, took fabulous trips around the world, finished two master degrees, and my career blossomed. But the dreams of being a mom started to fade. I watched many of my dear friends and family members marry and start their own families. As I happily celebrated their joys with them, there was a sadness in my heart. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my life and was blessed with a wonderful family and friends plus I was blessed to be “Auntie” to my cousins’ kids-all of whom are amazing. I have even been honored to be Godmother to a couple of them! But I have to admit, my heart was still aching for a child of my own.


After all, my own mom was the best mom in the world…a woman who loved her girls unconditionally and fiercely. I always wanted to be just like her. As most of us know, life isn’t always how you wish it would be. Then I found myself approaching my mid-40’s and single. The dreams of being a mom in the traditional way started to feel out of reach. Then one evening after work, I spent some time catching up with a dear friend and colleague, and suddenly the words came out…I want to be a mom and that I was thinking about adoption. I think we may have been talking about future goals related to our jobs, but the one and only goal that felt real at the moment, was that I wanted to be a mom. So, with those words, my adoption journey began.

Now it took a few more months for me to plunge into the whirlwind that is international adoption, but with those words I took a leap of faith and decided to pursue life as a single parent. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the best decision I have ever made.

Over the next year, I did my research on adoption-domestic or international?, what country program?, what agency?, how did other working moms, especially single moms adopt and survive?, “yikes, could I really do this and be enough for any child?”

I did talk to friends who had adopted, including another single mom (of three internationally adopted children). I prayed and prayed about proceeding and sought out the support of my family and friends. I “interviewed” several agencies and consulted with an international adoption pediatrician. I decided on and applied to an agency in December of 2011-All God’s Children International or AGCI. Pulling all this information together and saying more prayers, I decided that the China special needs/special focus program was right for me. Of course I was apprehensive about the term “special needs” until I learned what that really meant in the adoption world. I was somewhat relieved that “special needs” in another country were often manageable needs in the US.

So in the summer of 2012,I started working on the medical conditions adoption forms to determine what conditions I was open to. CP or Cerebral Palsy was a condition I was very familiar with. As a neonatal nurse for over 20 years, I was well aware of the medical aspects of CP and the ongoing care and management families and children faced for years to come. I understood that CP was the result of irreversible brain damage and that often it is years before a family knew exactly how the damage impacted their child. I knew CP is not curable, yet is not fatal or progressive, and that with the right balance of therapy and treatments, a child with CP could thrive, regardless of the severity. I knew the resources to access and the services that were needed. I had trusted friends and colleagues at a top pediatric hospital to consult with and to answer any of my questions. I also had good people surrounding me to be my honest sounding board to help support me during my decision making process. Because of all this background and support, I felt very well-prepared and comfortable with adopting a child with mild to moderate CP.

So fast forward a few months and several approvals later…in mid to late November, a sweet little face of this cute little girl caught my eye on the waiting child list. Then December 5, 2012, I said “yes” to a seemingly feisty and beautiful little girl with right sided hemiplegia. This meant her muscle control and strength on the right side of her body was impacted. I also learned that she was abandoned at an estimated 6 months of age, very tiny for her age and had grieved heavily when she was first at the orphanage. This told me she was loved and loved back, because of the sadness she felt at such a young age. As time went on, she began to trust her caregivers, ate well, built attachments to her nannies, grew in height and weight, and tended to cause a ruckus until she got what the attention she wanted or she didn’t get what she wanted. My girl was a strong, fierce survivor. From her records, she was able to walk and say a few words, had ongoing weakness in her right arm/hand and leg, and ate and slept well. I was lucky to receive videos of her, she indeed was mobile, but dragged her leg, and there was little movement of her right arm/hand. Yet in her eyes and in her smile, I could see her funny, feisty personality.

On June 17, 2013, I met a scared and sullen little girl in a hot civil affairs office in Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. Along with my sister and now super A’Yi, we welcomed Mila Rose Huimin deCastro into our family and hearts. But “Min Min” as she was called by the orphanage nannies and staff-the only people she has known for two years-was so sad and so uncertain about what was happening. She took the cookies we offered and went through the motions, then reluctantly left with two strangers and one sweet lady (our guide Melody) who could actually speak to her. It took a few hours and discovery of some toys that finally made her smile back and hold eye contact with me…but it was the beginning of a beautiful journey, when an orphan from Jiangsu province became a daughter, a niece, a granddaughter, a cousin, and a little girl soon to call Kentucky her home, so loved and so celebrated.

Three years later, Mila Rose (and she will correct anyone who calls her anything but Mila or Mila Rose) continues to be funny and feisty. She is also stubborn, tenacious, strong-willed, quirky, goofy, loving, energetic, and dramatic. This girl has accomplished so much in three years…learned a new language, learned to walk, talk, use her hands and arms all differently, endured “yucky” injections to help her muscles move better, learned adaptive skills to accomplish daily activities, “graduated” from pre-K to Kindergarten, learned to take the bus, learned to swim, ski, tap dance, and ballet dance, learned to be a daughter and friend, learned to love and trust…just to name a few things. She has also taught me to love beyond what I ever thought was possible, to be a mom first and foremost, to work less and to be present in life more, to always say yes to “one more hug and one more kiss each morning”, and to witness what real courage it takes to open up your heart to love and trust another person.

Three years of our story unfolded…and so much more to come. I can’t wait!

Adoption Across America – A Leap of Faith

_MG_1573 (Medium) _MG_1573 (Medium) Sometimes our greatest blessings in life come from the biggest leaps of faith.  As a 35 year old single woman, I had felt God calling me toward adoption for some time.  But I drug my feet.  I had a comfortable, “predictable” life, and the idea of becoming a single mother was scary.  Becoming a single mother to a child with unknown special needs was even scarier.  I prayed about it and researched my options, but I wasn’t ready to make any commitments.

In January 2013, I woke up in the middle of the night with a feeling so strong from God that it was time to take action.  The next day, I submitted my application to adopt.  For months, I met with my social worker and worked on gathering the appropriate documents.  All while praying that, when the time was right, God would reveal to me the child I was supposed to pursue.  And on October 1, 2013, I saw her face for the first time.  I knew from the second I saw her picture that this was the child I had been praying for.

The next 6 months seemed to drag on forever as I finished preparations to bring her home.  And on March 23, 2014, A….. G….. Chunyi was placed in my arms to begin her forever life with me.  She was quiet, calm, and stoic the day we met.  But as our days together continued, her personality began to emerge, and it was evident that I had been entrusted with a spunky, spirited, determined, firecracker of a little girl!  My “new mom” skills were put to quite the test as I tried to navigate the seas of toddlerhood with a child who often seemed to be smarter than me!  And a child who had more energy than should be humanly possible!

Her and I eventually settled into a nice routine with our little duo.  She was figuring out what it meant to have a family, and I was figuring out how to manage life as a single mom.  But once she had been home for about a year, I started to get the feeling that I was supposed to adopt another child.  I put my brakes on again and wrestled with God.  Surely He couldn’t be calling me to take another leap of faith and add another child to my family.  I was just figuring out how to make it with one!  And the one I had was a dynamo!  But the feeling persisted, and my conversations with God always left me thinking about the possibility of adopting again.  I prayed about this for another 6 months, and when AG had been home for about 18 months, I started the process to bring home a little sister.

Right before Christmas (2015), my social worker sent me some possible files to review.  There was one little face that grabbed me.  Her special need was not something that I was readily considering.  In fact, it was on my list of “I would need to seriously pray about this.”  As I was praying about moving forward to pursue this child, God connected me with several people who had met her on trips to China, and I felt like their words to me were like whispers from God that I needed to cast my fears aside and take this leap of faith to bring her home.  Despite the unknowns about her future and development.  Despite my deepest fears.  He told me to trust Him.  Several days after Christmas, I was officially matched with E…. H…., and she became part of our family on June 6, 2016.

E’s transition into our family was nothing short of traumatic.  She had been well loved at a foster center, and it was heart wrenching to hear her cries as she was taken from her nannies and placed (arching and screaming) into my arms.  During our two weeks in China, E completely rejected me.  If I so much as looked at her, it would often trigger intense crying.  She was scared, depressed, and broken.  As her new mama, I just wanted to hold her and love her and help her realize that everything was going to be okay.  But I was the last person she wanted to receive comfort from.  So I had to sit by and watch as my mother (bless her extreme heart!) took on all the care giving duties for my new daughter.

Once we returned to the US and started getting settled into our new lives, things slowly improved.  E began allowing me to hold her and care for her, and we started seeing occasional smiles.  We have now been home for 10 weeks, and the broken little girl we met in China is now a (mostly) happy little girl who ADORES her big sister.  She is still very quiet and serious, but she is also observant and sensitive.  People who meet her often comment that she seems like an “old soul” inside her little body.  The past 12 weeks have probably been the hardest 12 weeks of my life.  But the hardship and heartache is worth it to see the life of my daughter being redeemed.  She is blossoming with the love and stability of a family.

When God called me to take the leap of faith to adopt, I’m so thankful that I didn’t let fear keep my feet firmly rooted to the ground.  Because if I hadn’t jumped when He said “go”, I would’ve missed the two greatest blessings in my life!



Adoption Across America – Massachusetts

Our first son, A was adopted in 2011 from China. He was 8.5 yrs old when he came home. His adoption was special needs r/t spina bifida. In January 17, 2008, a friend, posted a plea on her blog about this little boy because his sisters, who were his orphanage friends, would name their friends from the orphanage and beg them to find them a mommy and daddy in the USA.  After reviewing her blog post and his file we decided we wanted to pursue his adoption.  This is where the story becomes complicated but extraordinary!!!!

After ensuring we met China’s pre-approval with WACAP, we began working on the paperwork.  I contacted the case worker at WACAP about our current international living situation. We were planning to  transition back to the states in the summer of 2008 and I wanted to make sure that would work with the adoption. Upon notification of this, they discouraged us from proceeding with his adoption due to our current situation (living abroad). They felt his adoption would need to be finalized during our transition back to the states and they didn’t want any delays in our paperwork or process.  Here’s their response: “Unfortunately I would suggest that you wait. Even though pre-approval can take 4-6 weeks I have now had some families approved in less than 2 weeks. That means you could be approved a couple weeks from now and then we would be awaiting your homestudy and you should be working on your dossier. In order to submit your dossier you need to submit the homestudy and you have to have a permanent home (the home where you will reside with the child). Depending on the social worker writing the homestudy it can take anywhere to 4-6 weeks and sometimes they come out to visit you 2-3 times. It just doesn’t seem like perfect timing right now. If it were closer to June and your husband were in your new home it might be doable. I know you became attached to him but it is our hope that we bring him home to a family as quickly as possible. If for some reason he is still on the list later (and I hope he is not for his sake), I would advise you to begin the process closer to when you are due home. I will definitely keep you in mind if he has not found a family by then.” We were devastated.  Through the “grapevine”, we heard this same individual at WACAP sent out an email a week later stating that his file was being sent back to China due to lack of interest.  (If a child’s file is sent back to China it’s known that their file becomes inactivated and their opportunity for adoption is gone). We were so upset and shocked that they would send his file back when we wanted to adopt him even if it meant there would be delays.  I was so heartbroken as I really felt this was my SON!!! That night after I cried myself to sleep, I literally woke up the next morning and told my husband, I know it sounds crazy, but A is our son, God told me. My husband tried to reassure me that we would find the right child but this adoption was highly unlikely to happen.

Upon contacting the agency concerning this, we were notified that a family who had completed prior China adoptions was paper ready and was interested in adopting him.  We were so heartbroken and crushed that he was not able to be adopted by us, but we fully supported this family with their adoption of him.  I stayed in contact with the adoptive family throughout their adoption process.  In July 2008, we were notified by the adoptive family that he wanted to be taken off the adoption list and did not want to meet the family approved to adopt him, nor did he wish to go to the USA for his new life.  We all could not believe the officials would let a 6 year old make that kind of decision, but they did.

At this point, we thought the door for adoption of this little boy had officially closed, so we sent in our initial online application fee to CWA agency. We wanted to pursue the Kazakhstan program, but in July 2008, CWA was not taking applications for Kazakhstan, so we decided on the Bulgaria program. As the months passed, we just felt like we were stuck in limbo. We never felt as strong about any particular country or child outside of  that little boy.   We started the process of gathering stuff for our home study but really did not have a sense of urgency.

On May 27th, 2009,  our faith that God paid off.  My friend sent me an email saying (her contact in China, W) wanted to know if anyone was interested in that little boy. W told her  he had stated  he wanted a family and surgical correction of his back. W spoke with him about what had happened previously and he assured her he was ready for a family. So she advocated to the CCAA and orphanage directors to get his adoption file up to date and available again for adoption. I have been told the fact that CCAA and the orphanage resubmitted his paperwork again at the age of 7 years old is a miracle in itself.  We quickly emailed W and explained our story and told her we have wanted him since January 2008!!! We had been waiting for him!! W explained to us that Holt International could do a pre-ID adoption and would it be possible for us to use Holt as an adoption agency. Amazingly, we just moved to Kansas City, Missouri where a  local Holt International office was!!!  After the initial contact, we heard very little back from China or Holt concerning whether  his adoption was going to be completed. Finally one year later on  May 5, 2010,  Holt notified us that his file was reactivated and was soon to be released to the CCAA shared files so we needed to update our Homestudy paperwork ready to go  and start working towards completing our Dossier.!!!!

As excited as we were, we were concerned he might back out again, so we contact W and asked if it would be possible to prepare him for the adoption by teaching him English or placing him with an English expat foster family.  On August 9, 2010, we got the miracle we prayed for, he left the orphanage forever!!! W was able to find him a foster home with an Australian expat family with 2 children.  His foster mother was a teacher at BCIS and he began 2nd grade at BCIS, (private english expat school). A generous donation by a local Chinese businessman provided him a 25k scholarship to offset the costs to attend the school and stay in the foster home. While he was living with his foster family, we were able to send  pictures, clothes, birthday and Christmas gifts,  videos, and emails to him frequently, which has really helped us all to bond and be well prepared for his adoption.  W and his foster family did a WONDERFUL job explaining his story to him while answering his questions about us, what a family means, and adoption.

How long did it take? Jan 17, 2008-Feb 13,2011: (1123 days) 3 years and 27 days.



Our second son, B’s adoption was totally unplanned and unexpected!!! In the fall of 2013, I started to have a yearning in my heart for another child. My husband and I briefly discussed expanding our family again, but we wers really unsure which path we would take to bring home our next child. We did not have a specific age group, sex, race or foster care/domestic/ international adoption route we would take. I prayed and hoped God would bring me a miracle just like what had happened with A.

Here’s what happened. I am an anesthesiologist. In a complete and utter surprise on 11/24/13, Iwent into work and covered OB call , ( which I had ended up swapping with another physician). On that Sunday morning we had been busy in the early morning then had some down time. During that down time, I was sitting around at the nurses desk talking with the team about a variety of topics including my adoption of A. During the discussion, we talked about A’s adoption story and whether or not we would adopt again.  “Of course” I stated, ” I would love to as we are getting older but just did not know which direction to go: foster, domestic or international or when to start the process again”

As we were wrapping up our discussion, the team was notified there was a a new triage patient. One of the nurses went to check on the patient and came back very quickly stating, this lady is about to deliver and she is not keeping the baby and has no adoption plan. Shortly thereafter, I was called to her room to place her epidural. I only spoke to her concerning her medical history and the procedure I was performing. After she delivered, the nurse paged me to remove her epidural. As I was walking down the hall, the RN pulled me to the side and informed me that the mom wanted me to adopt her child. I was in complete shock.

She said from the moment she arrived in triage, she begged the RN for a solution for her baby. After a few hours of begging the nurse what she can do to make sure her baby will be safe, the nurse told her, ” the doctor who placed your epidural has adopted before and might be willing to adopt the baby” ( she remembered our conversation from earlier that day). As I walked into that room, to remove that epidural, the patient asked me to adopt her child. She stated the baby’s father was not involved and had no desire to parent the child and her relationship with him was extremely brief. She was older mature single mother who knew she could not raise this child. She told me from the beginning of the pregnancy, she had no intentions of ever keeping the baby. She was planning on an abortion but the time and funds alluded that option for her. In her current situation, her plan was just to abandon at the hospital but as she went through labor, she started to feel concern about his future and well-being/safety. She was adamant that foster care was a poor choice and did not want him to be “lost in the foster care system”. She did not want an open adoption but wanted to make sure she placed him with a loving safe forever family. She requested updates by email when convenient. I spoke to her about her rights and told her she needed to sleep on it and let the proper people speak with her the next day what options were for her and her baby (with it being a Sunday, I knew getting legal assistance would impossible) because this was a serious issue and we needed to do this the right and legal way. The next day, the hospital social worker and an adoption attorney spoke to her, counseling her. In addition, the hospital risk management spoke with the patient, myself, and nurse to make sure no ethical/professional boundaries were crossed.

At 5 pm that Monday night, I received the call that changed our lives forever. I was told the mother had signed over temporary custody to us, and that the papers are on the chart, and we could take our son home the next day!!! We finalized our adoption on Sept 24th, 2014 on his 10th month old bday. His name means gift from God.


Adoption Across America – More in North Carolina

The story of redemption is powerful. One that speaks to the heart of all men and begs the question, “why me?” Yet in the life and very death of Jesus Christ – we see the act of redemption, reaching out to the poor and desperate, seeking those who needed to be found, healing those who were sick, sinful, and hopelessly lost. Ultimately Christ gave the ultimate gift, His very life, to redeem all people from sin and He continues to give the gift of eternal life to all who believe. The theme of redemption echoes in our very souls, moving us forward to show the love of God to others – just as Jesus did for us. In Hebrews we are commanded, “And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:16.

Our eyes were opened to the plight of orphans who have Down syndrome. These sweet children are not seen as blessings. They are left in orphanages, condemned to life in mental institutions if not adopted. They never know the goodnight kiss of a mother, the playful hug of a father, the thrill of being appreciated and known for all that they can do. Down syndrome is near to our heart, because God blessed us with a baby nine years ago who happens to have it. The call to adoption became irresistible. When we first saw our adopted daughter’s picture on Reece’s Rainbow, an adoption advocacy site, we were taken aback by how much she resembled our biological daughter. We immediately made a connection. After months of praying and research, we began with a phone call that would change our lives. We contacted the adoption agency representing this precious little girl. From then on, our year consisted of piles of paperwork, anxious waiting, fundraising and praying. We couldn’t wait to go meet our new little one, to hold her in our arms, and welcome her to her very own family.

Rosie joined our family in July, 2015 through adoption. The joy she has brought, the redemptive love we now understand, the work of the Lord, all these through adoption, are experiences every family should want.

Choose life. Choose adoption.


Adoption Across America – North Carolina

When love takes you in…

Adoption has impacted my life in many different ways. I was adopted from Romania in 1991 at 3 weeks old. The night before my parents were supposed to fly to Romania the adoption agency called and said the Romanian judge was not granting adoptions. They stepped out on faith and on their court date a new judge was presiding who did grant the adoption. After 3 weeks of trying to get back to the USA, visas were not issued, but God worked a miracle and I was granted a Humanitarian Parole. Flash forward 25 years and I am now a nanny for 2 precious girls as I pursue a degree in children’s ministry.

Riayn was 4 months old when I got to meet her, she had the chubbiest cheeks and eyes that disappeared when she smiled. She was adopted from Alaska as a newborn and is now an active 3 year old. I have had the honor of watching her during the week and seeing her grow. Her eyes still disappear when she smiles, her laughter is contagious, and I love how she skips instead of walking.
Samantha Jean(SJ) will be 1 in July, and I have been her nanny since she was 3 weeks old.

SJ was also adopted as a newborn. She was so tiny and weighed nothing, now she is walking and too big to snuggle in a wrap. The first time she laughed I cried, the way she now scrunches her nose when grinning, or when her little hands touch my legs when she wants to be held melt my heart.

People often assume I am their mother, but 99.9% of the time I proudly say “I’m just the nanny.” People are surprised, but it gives me the opportunity to share how we are all adopted. Adoption is not only a physical act their couples do to grow their family, but it’s a spiritual act that God uses to grow His family. When we accept Christ, we are adopted into His forever family. And by sharing our adoption, I have an open door to share His amazing sovereignty. Just as Riayn, SJ and I are adopted into our forever families, my prayer is that one day they will acknowledge their Savior and become part of God’s forever family.

…When love takes you in, it takes you in for good.
*When Love Takes You In by Steven Curtis Chapman


Adoption Across America Project

It is with great excitement I announce our final dates for an amazing photography project we are calling “Adoption Across America”. For the next couple months we are traveling across the nation to share stories of adoptive families for the purpose of encouraging others to consider adoption for themselves. If you’ve been following our personal story you already know that 8 months ago my husband, oldest son and I traveled to China to bring our little boy home. The last year or so has been the most difficult but most amazing time for our family. Just about a month ago we submitted our application to go back and bring another child home. As we wait for the day we are to be united with our child I wanted to take the time to encourage and share the amazing stories of adoption across the country. We will be driving from Pennsvylvania all the way to Southern California along the route listed below. If you’re near one of the cities (or in between) and would like to be included in the project please contact us at studio@aforgetmenotmoment.com