Adoptive mom, Melanie, has answered these questions many times over the years. She is happy to share her insights into some of the most common adoption-related questions.
Why international vs. domestic adoption? We talked to several families, read a few books, and followed many a blog to learn that birth parents often change their minds after the child’s born. We couldn’t bear the thought of that happening so international adoption seemed like the safer choice for us. While I think every state’s rules vary somewhat on parental rights post placement, my husband and I knew we’d never be able to detach ourselves from a child once that decision had been made.
Why did you select Little Miracles? Outside of being caring, open and knowledgeable and working with an outstanding coordinator, Little Miracles is licensed in our state and works directly with many countries. If the country we’d been adopting from decided to close adoptions to the U.S., we knew that working with an agency that had relationships with multiple countries would ensure we could more easily switch if needed. Their direct in-country relationships were also incredibly important in shortening the length of the adoption process. Many agencies work through other agencies adding as much as a year or two to the timing of an adoption.
Why did you choose Kazakhstan? We explored every country open to the U.S. at the time we were pursuing adoption, and interestingly enough Kazakhstan wasn’t our first choice. But the two places we were interested in were closed or presented years of waiting. After much research, we finally landed on Kazakhstan based on the care of the children, their general health, and the shorter duration (approx. 10 -12 months in 2007 and 2010) of the process from start to finish. My husband and I will be forever grateful to the country of Kazakhstan for the two incredible children it led us to.
Would you adopt from Kazakhstan again? Yes, we adopted from Kazakhstan again last year. It was the easier choice for many reasons, but mainly because it was so familiar. My husband and I both have had a longing to return to the place and the people, and relive our experience all over again. It’s also nice to know that both of our girls share a Kazakh heritage and we can return someday to their birthplace as a family.
What was the most challenging part about adopting from Kazakhstan? The in-country adoption process is longer and a little more unpredictable than some of the other international options. There’s a 14-day bonding period followed by a 1-2 week wait for the court hearing. During our first trip, we lived in Kazakhstan for 32 days for both adoptions. Then there’s a return 5-7 day trip about a month after the first visit. If there’s a delay because the judge decides to take vacation or your trip coincides with a holiday, then you might wait a little longer to finalize the process. Stuff happens and you have to be flexible enough to deal with it.
What was the most challenging part of adopting? The wait. Always the wait. On the front end and then again on the backend as we waited to bring our children home. That part was excruciating. The paperwork was time-consuming, but nowhere near as challenging. Before we actually met our child, fear of the unknown also ranked pretty high up there. We’d traveled across the globe many times, but Kazakhstan was completely unfamiliar to us. Add to that foreigner feeling becoming parents for the first time and the natural fear and raw emotion that comes with it, and you have a challenged pair. Nothing that wasn’t easily overcome and forgotten once our children were home with us. All challenges aside, we’d do it all over again for our girls.
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