Birth Country: Vietnam
Decade of adoption: 1990s
Adopting my children is the best thing I have ever done! At first, it was for purely selfish reasons: I wanted a family, I needed a child or children in my life. But it has turned out to be much more: it was a life-changing experience for all of us. My three kids (adopted from Vietnam and Guatemala) have enriched my life beyond measure! And they have the opportunity to grow up (for better or worse) in the richest country in the world.
The adoption process is at once the most wonderful, frustrating, fabulous, exciting, terrifying experience in the world. I had all these emotions and many more while in the process, sometimes all at the same time!
I began in the summer of 1996 with my first homestudy (not knowing my first son was born at about the same time), and ended with bringing him home a year later, in September 1997. (I worked with New Horizons in Frost, Minnesota, and IMH, International Mission of Hope, in Vietnam.) I had traveled literally around the world for him, and swore "never again."
Well, "never" turned out to be only 18 months! Beth, from IMH, e-mailed a list of waiting kids, and on that list was the little girl who would come home to us in January 2000. The trip to bring her home was delayed a bit by the scare over Y2K, but once I got the approval to go, it was a quick trip. I was only there a week. And I thought my family was complete, for a while. I began to notice that each time I looked at a photo of my two children, I imagined another little one there. But by this time, IMH was no longer facilitating adoptions, and Vietnam had shut down to foreign adoptions.
Surely those were signs that I was done adopting. Everyone knows that two kids should be enough for a single, "older" parent, right? Apparently not! In May 2003, I brought home my almost two-year-old boy from Guatemala. And now, at last, I think we're all here. But I've learned to never say "never."