Kalene and Art’s Story:
I do not remember exactly when my husband Art and I definitively decided to adopt a baby from China, but I can say it has been a dream of mine since my early twenties. I had read about the situation in China with baby girls at some time, and it had never left me – the thought that so many children could be growing up in orphanages, with less than what should be taken for granted – love, touch, good food, and at least some minimal level of education – really stayed with me, and I wanted to do something about it.
In our late 30’s we started the process, and three days after my 40th birthday, in Yang Chun, China, we received the best present we had ever dreamed about – actually better – Amelia was so very beautiful and perfect. How could we know how much she would change our lives? The fullness and joy we felt with our daughter overflowed, and 18 months later we were back in China picking up #2 daughter – who was just as beautiful and perfect. Annabelle was 12 months old and weighed only 14 pounds. She was just about the size of a peanut, but what she lacked in stature she made up for in attitude. We are now in the process of adopting #3! Although we do not like it, we are used to the waiting period.
The adoption agency we used, AAC Adoption and Family Network out of Berthoud Colorado, was wonderful. They took very good care of us, and we felt everything pulled together nicely while in China. Our facilitator, Morgan Zhao, was very responsible and dependable. He booked us at nice hotels, and managed to get rock bottom prices for the rooms, food, and airfare. All of the adoption appointments we had to make while in Guang Zhou were completed in under a week, and our group was back home in six days.
We, however, stayed on to do a little sightseeing. We both wanted to learn as much about our children’s Chinese heritage as possible. We want to honor our children’s background, and feel it is important to make our family multi-cultural. So much so, that we have spent time at our local community college learning conversational Mandarin – which came in handy in the northern part of China.
We really bonded with the other families that went to China in our groups – but of course we all had something really important in common – our children. To this day, we feel like we have found long lost friends when we meet up at reunions. Seeing the babies the other families adopted grow and change, is extremely rewarding.
The experience of adopting a child from China is hard to express in words. Both my husband and I feel we are accomplishing something very important. By building our wonderful family, we are building a wonderful future. Family life really suits us!
We are now trying hard to wait patiently while our third child’s papers are processed. It seems to take impossibly long. But, since we have done it before, we know our next baby will be here before we know it.