At a cousin's wedding in Santa Barbara, CA. This shows our daughter's general attitude.
Simi Valley, CA
Birth Country: CN
Decade of adoption: 2000 or later
We decided to adopt very late in life. We were looking for ways to adopt, and international adoption was, at first, just one of the options. It was, however, one of the strong contenders, inasmuch as we were both older and did not want to have to deal with reticent birth parents.
After considerable research, we discovered a friend who had used a local agency to adopt from China. She had nothing but praise for the agency, and for the process. Based on her recommendation, we contacted the agency and began a home study.
Actually, it's incorrect to say, "We" in this context. We were not married at the time, and China requires couples be married at least one year prior to adopting. This was unacceptable to us, once again taking into consideration our ages (I was 53 when we started the process; my wife is almost seven years my junior). Therefore, we determined the best thing was to have her adopt as a single parent. As a result, the home study was about her, although I was the ever present roommate, included as a marginal player in the final report.
We traveled to China in September 2002. Our experience with our agency, and with CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) was excellent. Our agency almost literally held our hands in China, ensuring that every detail was taken care of. As a result of their efforts (and because we believe our daughter needs a sibling and we'd like another child), we are returning next year and using them again.
Being a father is the greatest experience of my life. It is an enormous challenge, and an incredible thrill ride. I thought I knew what love was, but this is something that I may have dreamed about, but never fully understood.
I would like to add that, in a perfect world, there would be no necessity for international adoption. However, I'm glad we were able to find our daughter and that we will be able to return for a second child.
I could go on and on, but my wife wants the computer back.