Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Our Adoption Story- Part 2

If you haven't read part 1 you can find it HERE.

After coming to the conclusion that a local Hong Kong adoption probably wasn't going to happen for us, I madly began researching other options. I e-mailed more than 20 agencies in the states and I was either given confusing or contradicting information or they just couldn't help us because we lived overseas. Just when I would get my hopes up about something, I would do more research and find out it was not an option for us. 

We found ISS {International Social Services} here in Hong Kong was doing adoptions with 5 countries at the time. China, Philippines, Russia, Thailand and India. Russia was too costly, India was only for Indians, Thailand had only boys, and the Philippines does adoptions like Hong Kong {a matching panel, not a list} so we feared we wouldn't be matched. We were most excited about China anyway since we had been envisioning ourselves with a Chinese child the whole time. After meeting with ISS and doing my own research I found out we would need to wait until I was 30 to file an adoption application with China.

We decided to try and get pregnant again while we waited for this time. We were blessed with conceiving in only a few months the second time around and Max was born in Sept. 2010, I was 29 years old. When he was just a few weeks old I took both boys with me to get the adoption application from ISS. We could begin the paper work, but not submit until I was old enough. We began the long and confusing process that is China adoption paperwork... Adoption classes, ordering new birth certificates and marriage license. Getting papers, notarized, authenticated, and approved by the Chinese consulate in the US for this purpose. References, background checks {in all the countries/counties your have lived since 18!!} interviews, and lots of paperwork!! By the next summer we had filed our application with the US government to be approved to adopt and by fall we had sent everything off to China.. and end of Nov. 2011 we were officially waiting! 

ISS had said at the time that it was around 2 years 10 months for a "normal" child and around 18 mths for a special needs child. We happily filled out out special needs profile list and expected that by the time Max was 3 we would have another child. 

You have to renew your US approval paperwork ever 15 months... which we have... several times now..

After the 18 mth mark of waiting with NO WORD I checked in with ISS. At this time, when I pressed for details it became clear that they hadn't even actually done a special needs adoption and told us that actually there aren't really any girls under 2 {our preference} on the list... We were devastated, but also knew that several friends in the US had gotten girls until 2 with special needs we would consider... so we weren't sure what was up.  ISS encouraged us to keep waiting and said that now with a 4 year wait we could get a "normal" child.  This was NOT what we wanted to hear.

Around the same time we had the opportunity to foster a baby girl through Christian Action. We had "chen chen" for three months and loved taking care of her while she was in Hong Kong. I felt such a strong love and connection with her, it only deepened my desire to adopt. We wrestled with the idea of trying to adopt her, but with her special needs and our two wild and active boys we just didn't think it was something we could take on.

A friend of a friend heard we were fostering though, and presented us with another opportunity...

to be continued...

Official Foster parents?

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