International adoption



Diary of an Intercountry Adoptive Mom #2

Focus on Adoption magazine

In the second of our series, we present the edited diary of Mary Ella who is in Korea with her husband Wayne, only hours away from meeting their long-awaited daughter, Leelee—at least that’s what they think…

Day #3, June 28

Well, today is the big day! I am trying really hard to keep my excitement at bay. We don’t know exactly what will happen, but Wayne feels they won’t let us have Leelee until tomorrow. I agree, but I had better be prepared. I figure the office will be open around 8am, so I probably have a couple of hours. Ugh!

The adoption

Focus on Adoption magazine

A childless couple
An orphaned, young lad
A hope for a family
Was all that they had

Mountains of paperwork
And countless tears
This road never easy
And financially dear

Waiting by the phone
Praying for the call
They relied on each other
So neither would fall

That phone call did come
They were Africa bound
That message, still fresh
The most beautiful sound

James was his name
A boy, almost done
He’d meet us in Ghana
And become our new son

From Haiti to here

Focus on Adoption magazine

A timeline of one youth’s life from adoption, through foster care, and into independence, as told to Mary Caros.

Author’s note: This account started out as an interview with a youth as a way to allow her to give voice to her life experience. There is more to this story—and more to all of our life histories— than one person’s subjective experience. Our recollection of life events are often affected by the time and space in which we remember them. This young woman may tell her story quite differently five years from now.

Opening hearts through film

Focus on Adoption magazine

Making documentaries on adoption is more than just making movies.

After the film is completed, the complexities of adoption continue. In documenting adoption and orphan  experiences, we saw many opportunities to get involved.

Finding Lucan

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Most days, as I push our stroller up a hill loaded with my son and a week’s supply of groceries and feel the muscles in my arms and legs working, I am reminded of the total body workouts I used to enjoy at my local gym.

Not that long ago I lived a very different life, one that included a husband, and a charming little house that we  owned on a tree-lined street, a fulfilling full-time job, a fun fashion part-time job, volunteer work as a board director for two companies, four weekly gym workouts, and a circle of friends for dinner parties and occasional travel.

Five days in Xi'an

Focus on Adoption magazine

Our son, River, was three weeks old when he was taken from the Xi’an Social Welfare Institute (SWI) in China and given a new start at the Starfish Foster Home.

Starfish cared for Xi’an’s most sick and vulnerable children, and was started in 2005 by Amanda de Lange, a native  of South Africa. River was there until we came to adopt him on June 20, 2011; although, for the most part, he lived  at night with foster parents, Zhou and BaoRong Zhang, and their daughter Christy.

Puppy love

Focus on Adoption magazine

Before our daughter joined our family, we had a beautiful dog named Forrest.

This isn’t really a story about Forrest, but I feel we can’t adequately tell the story of our daughter and our dog  Stella without also sharing the story of our first dog.

Financing your adoption

Focus on Adoption magazine

Earlier this year, my wife and I started getting serious about the adoption process. My first question was, “How long will the adoption process take?” As a financial advisor, my next question was, “What are the associated costs?”

Each family’s cost will vary depending on their adoption path (international, domestic newborn, or Ministry of  Children and Family Development). No matter which path you take, there will be some costs. The reality of  children, and adoption, is that the costs associated with the process are only a small portion of the total funds needed to raise a child.

Everyone has a story: Meet the Singers

Focus on Adoption magazine

The Singer family household–-home to Leo Andriy, eight, and Jack Bogdan, six-–is full of life. And that’s an understatement.

Parents Aaron and Melissa frequently have to raise their voices to be heard over the chaos of the boys’ shouts and laughter. Born in Ukraine, Jack and Leo’s raucous exuberance and impulsive energy has defined the family’s new normal since they were adopted as toddlers four years ago.

Inter-country adoption and Canadian immigration

Focus on Adoption magazine

Many adoptive parents incorrectly assume that once they have been granted a legal adoption order, obtaining citizenship or permanent resident status in Canada for their child is a mere formality.

After all, the adoption has been legalized in the foreign country. Isn't it now legal in Canada too? Isn't it my right as a Canadian citizen to have my child granted status?


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