We asked for your family's experiences of adopting internationally. You shared your stories:
Suzanne Lyon, Ottawa:
In October 2007 I arrived back in Canada with my four-year-old son, adopted from Ecuador.
I adopted internationally after trying for nearly two years to adopt through my local CAS. I attended the required CAS courses, submitted myself to a highly invasive home study, sent my fingerprints to Interpol, followed all the required processes and was never presented with a single referral. So I looked elsewhere. It took another two-and-a-half years (and involved much patience, writing a lot of cheques) but on October 10, 2007 I landed in Toronto with my new son. It has been the single best, hardest and most all-consuming experience of my life. I wouldn't trade a second of it. My son is now eight-and-a-half years old... We're a really happy family and I cannot imagine having any other child. But I can't help wondering why domestic adoption isn't easier.
...International adoption is not for the faint-of-heart but in the end, the rewards are priceless.
We are currently in the process of adopting internationally. This will be our first child. The initial stages are difficult to navigate, and there aren't a lot of resources for prospective parents as to where they should begin. However, now that we have completed our homestudy and registered with an agency, the next steps are much more well defined.
We had first thought we might pursue private domestic and international adoptions simultaneously, to see which would happen first, but we now realize the costs involved would be beyond prohibitive. Once all is said and done, for our international adoption, we will be looking at spending almost $40 000 over a period of about two years.
Regardless of the initial financial costs, I think the process is preparing us well for our future as parents, and we can't wait to welcome home our son or daughter at some point in the hopefully not-too-distant future.
My husband and I adopted our son 21 years ago in Hiroshima Japan. He was ours the day he was born. I was able to breast feed him via a supplementer for the first 4 months of his life -- what a wonderful bonding experience for myself as his mother. Bonding was not a problem as we have always been open about his adoption from the beginning. As a small child we told him that he didn't grow in me but with me as his mother and of course his father was there for the loving journey that we have taken. One of the many blessings that we have in our lives.
My wife and I have two adopted children from Thailand. My son is now 12 years old. He was 10 months old when we brought him home. My daughter is nine years old. She was two years old when we brought her home. I don't even know where to begin. The bonding has been seemless. We are very open and matter of fact about the whole adoption process.
We hang pictures of their 'belly' moms on the Christmas tree. The whole adoption process is tough... and only made more difficult by the provincial authorities who I'd like to believe mean well but who are so misinformed regarding international adoption and the process of building a family.