Category Archives: Children

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.

 

Bathed in Innocence and Light – San Diego Children’s Photographer

There is something very magical about a boy and his horse. It may be because I grew up hearing Narnia stories and if you know anything about the wonderful world of Narnia you’ll remember the story of Brie and his rider Shasta who are escaping to the North, to the free land of Narnia. At first the two are strangers and by the end of the story they become the best of friends. Animals and children both of them pure. Maybe that is why I love this image so much. The beautiful light just bathing them in this sweet and tender moment, strangers when they meet, but now bonded together as the best of friends.

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The End to Summer – Poconos Children’s Photographer

Pennsylvania is such a beautiful state. The Poconos especially are a refreshing, stunning environment to build a family and harness creativity. There isn’t a morning in the summer we don’t see at least a woodpecker, squirrel, hummingbird, or deer out our backdoor. The caterpillars are turning into butterflies as the season draws to a close and I reflect upon how every season our children grow as they blossom into the adults they will soon become. I try to cherish the little moments everyday but I know it won’t be long before they are walking away to build their own lives, to have their own children, and to walk their own path. I pray that they will walk that path holding the Lord’s hand. That they will always set their eyes to the light. And that the days of summer will slow down because the faster they go, the faster the days and the years seem to fade. Oh how I cherish the forget me not moments we are having as the last days of summer this year come to an end. I hope your family is as well.

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Dance away the days – Greensboro Children’s Photographer

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Summer in California – San Diego Children’s Photographer

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Little Bunny Foo Foo – San Diego Children’s Photographer

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Happy 4th of July – Poconos Children’s Photographer

From my crazy, ridiculously energetic, silly as all silly can be family to yours.. Happy 4th!

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Celebrate America!

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Celebration! – Poconos Children’s Photographer

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Farm Boy – San Diego Children’s Photographer

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