Being home with my son is great! Every day is a new adventure and hearing him talk and seeing him learn new things each day is so wonderful.
It is our immense pleasure to introduce you to Tiffany and Liam! Tiffany adopted Liam through our Samoa International Adoption program. Liam came home from Samoa in January of 2014 at one year old.
I didn’t want to wait any longer I was not married yet, but, I was reaching my forties, and I decided I did not want to wait any longer to become a mom. I was ready to pursue my dream of starting a family. I did lots of research on both domestic and international adoption and decided international adoption was the right choice for me.
I chose Samoa after doing a lot of research and then attending the MLJ Adoptions’ Crossroads of America conference. I talked to the Program Directors from the different countries and knew with certainty that Samoa was the country I wanted to adopt from.
I liked MLJ Adoptions because not only were they approved and listed as one of the suggested adoption agencies with the state of Indiana, but because they had a small business feel. I knew that I wanted an agency that would be with me through the long and hard wait. They offered classes, support groups and other communication tools to help you prepare for your adoption and to ease some of the worries etc. that come along with the process while you are waiting for your child.
I decided to adopt as a single parent because I was still single, but very ready to be a mom and have a child in my life regardless of my marital status. I think the biggest challenge was not having someone to help handle certain parts of the process with, along with helping with the financing of the adoption and, of course, sharing some of the emotional aspects of the wait and process. I did have my family to help though!
My biggest surprise about international adoption was how close you become and feel to another culture by adopting a child internationally. My experience in Samoa was amazing. I did not get to visit the children’s home. Instead, I met my son for the first time at the hotel. I sat in the lobby and waited for the shelter staff to pull up. There are no words to describe how incredible it was to meet him for the first time and to hold him in my arms. The staff was great. The shelter staff and lawyer returned to the hotel at different times just to offer help if needed. They also gave me contact numbers and suggestions for things to do during our stay. In Samoa, we took a taxi around the island to see the sites and the scenery was breathtaking. The plane trip home was challenging. I think we kept everyone on those flights awake on the long, long flight home, but we made it safe and sound and that’s what matters. In Auckland, we were fortunate to be there at the same time as two other families who just completed their adoptions. We all met for dinner one evening with the three newly adopted babes. I think we were the loudest, messiest table there, but it is a wonderful memory!
Being home with my son is great! Every day is a new adventure and hearing him talk and seeing him learn new things each day is so wonderful. I love to write down cute things he says or does so I will always remember. This morning already he said “bye, new house, see you Monday!” He just heard someone on Friday say “see you Monday,” so now he says see you Monday on any day! He loves to sing songs, swim, play with trucks and color. After we arrived home, it did take a little while for him to get adjusted and for him to sleep well etc. He loves eating and isn’t fussy at all.
All of my relatives were so supportive during the adoption process. They couldn’t wait for him to get home. When he first came home, we only saw immediate family so that we could spend time bonding. They all got to meet him a few months after we arrived home at his baptism, and it was wonderful. Now he is close with his other cousins that are around his age, and they had a blast this past Christmas, our first Christmas together.
It’s very important for me as a single mom to have a strong support system. I think before my son came home, I didn’t realize just how important having support from my family is. There were days that I didn’t feel well that my parents or brother helped me. Even to catch up on a little sleep or have dinners brought over. Also, being single, I need to work full-time, so having a close family that helps with child care during work is great not only for me but for my son so that he only has to be in daycare part time.
My family has been the best resource. I also think the book The Connected Child was extremely helpful. Keeping in touch with the other families that adopted at the same time from Samoa was helpful as well. Some things we were experiencing when we first arrived home were similar and it helped to share the stories or information.
Be strong, don’t give up hope and keep busy during the wait. If you have a family that you can ask for help, ask! If not, friends can be a great support also. You need the financing in increments, so at least it’s not all at once. I found that the classes at MLJ Adoptions and the monthly support groups that they offered were very helpful as well. Also, the more open you can be to age, gender etc. will make a difference in how long your wait is.
Having my son home is better than I could have ever dreamed. During the adoption process there were times when I wondered “would this ever happen” and it did!!
MLJ Adoptions has several programs suitable for single prospective parents. Contact us to see which programs might be right for you.