What led you to adoption and international adoption?
We wanted a child to love and we both felt growing up that adoption was something that we wanted to do one day. We felt international adoption was the way to go as it seemed adoptive parent driven rather than birth mother driven.
What country did you choose to adopt from and why did you choose that country?
We adopted from Bulgaria. We felt that the Hague Convention countries gave us some peace of mind regarding inter-country legalities of adoption. George also has two co-workers from Bulgaria that were supportive during the process as well.
Why did you choose to work with MLJ through your international adoption process?
They are local to where we live and they provide additional resources for adoptive families.
How long did the adoption take you?
From the point at which we decided to adopt, to the point that we were home with Maya took us roughly 3 years.
How has international adoption been different than you expected?
We felt the language barrier would be more difficult than it was. They say in the education classes that they will learn English fast. This is true! There were some cultural differences that took awhile for us to get use to. For instance, nodding your head means no in Bulgaria and shaking means yes and that took her a some time to understand. It has been the hardest but most rewarding thing we have ever done.
How has international adoption impacted your family?
We’ve joined an adoption small group at church so we’ve made friends that we wouldn’t have otherwise. We’ve had more support from family and brought us closer than we were.
What was adjustment like for your family?
It was difficult (but worth it). While the language barrier didn’t exist for long it was difficult (particular in the time period in which we were together with her in Bulgaria) to understand her, and understand those around her.
What do you wish you could tell other families that are adopting or considering international adoption?
It’s a process and you need to be patient. Far more patient than you would think you would need to be. Have faith that it will work out. For those that are adopting internationally, on a practical level remember to pack your international power converter. For Bulgaria specifically be sure to do a lot of sight seeing on your first trip during the down times (if there are any) as the second trip is a lot busier with appointments. Also pack a Kindle or iPad with appropriate children games that you can play with them.
Is there a special story about your adoption that you would like to share?
It was interesting that the referral came to us on Denise’s birthday and we met Maya the week of Mother’s Day. Also a funny sort of story (and a reason to bring a Kindle/iPad/laptop) was that while Maya was taking her TB test the doctor noticed she had a cold and gave us a prescription for cold medicine. Of course the directions were in Bulgarian and we could not read them, we couldn’t type them into our Kindle either as the Bulgarian alphabet is different than the US one. So we had to go on the manufacturers website and it was in German with no English translations, we then had to find the medicine and the German directions and then type those into a German-English translator. It’s the little things we found humor in during that trip.
If your child is home and you would like to share your story with us, please email Sheri.