Mar 24, 2018

Cleveland Adoption Story


My wife and I were married in 2001 and I think from the start we wanted to adoption. We were really intrigued with International adoption specifically China. So we started the gathering up all the paperwork, background checks, financial, answering every inconceivable question to put together our dossier which we then to sent of to China. We had an added wrinkle being married in Jamaica it took extra time to write/call to get copies of the marrage license. China was very strict in that they wanted official original and notarized copies of EVERYTHING. Then the waiting began for most of 2003, or as others have described as the paper pregnancy. After some time told us they had recieved and accepted our dossier. Around 9 months later they notified us of a matched with a child and to prepare to travel within 6 weeks. In 2004 we spent 3 weeks in country, taking in some sights before going to her province, and finally through the US Consulate to finish her paperwork to become a US citizen. So are first adoption was Aubree and she was 14 months old. After some time adjusting we knew we weren’t stopping at 1, we kept our paperwork up to date and starting looking at waiting child lists through other agencies. For folks that don’t know waiting child lists are child that are available for adoption but that for various reasons have been designated to have a “special need”. In our case we choose to bring home a would be 7 year old girl with albinism. She had pure white hair and bright blue eyes. Within another 6 months in 2006 we brought her home after 2 weeks in country. Again for various reasons the children go into the orphanages with basic zero history so birthdays and even ages are often guessed. We figured out later our beautiful daughter was actually 5 not 7, but other than not seeing very well and needing lots of sunscreen she was ours!!

Finally we caught the itch again in 2008 and bought home a 4 year old boy also with albinism. This time he had strawberry blonde hair and hazel eyes. Again we spent a number of weeks required for more paperwork and saw a few sights before going home.

The adoption didn’t stop there, most do there were 2 more adoptions for 2 other provinces in China that my wife’s sister also did in 2005 and 2007. So at least one of us jumped the pond every year for 5 years.


Today we have 14, 15, and 17 year old children that continue to amaze us everyday.

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  • My husband Travis and I were married in 2009 and wanted to start a family right away. After years of infertility and two miscarriages, we decided to take some time to really enjoy some time together. We travelled, camped, gardened, etc. A year later, we both had a strong feeling that adoption was the path we were meant for. We began researching the process and different agencies around the country. We finally decided to go with an agency that another adoptive family in our area had success with. By August of 2016, we had completed the home study process, signed a contract and were officially an adoptive couple in waiting! Waiting was HARD to say the least. Time seemed to crawl and fly by at the same time. Days, weeks, months passed without any indication of a match. In March of 2017, we received a phone call from the local agency that completed our home study. They had been working with a birth mother from Oklahoma that was interested in us and wanted to get to know us better. After making sure that it was allowed to adopt outside of our contracted agency in California, we were thrilled to start a relationship and were matched shortly after. Unfortunately, we were not matched for long. We were absolutely heartbroken, but did our best to stay positive about the future. At the end of May 2017, we received another phone call from the local agency that completed our home study. There was a local birth mother who really wanted to be matched with a family in the same area as her so she could get to know them before placing her child with them. We were so excited for this opportunity and set up a meeting right away. After a couple weeks of getting to know each other, we were once again matched for an adoption. Over the next three months, we spent a lot of time building a relationship and soon became great friends. We were able to attend all doctor appointments in the third trimester, spend quality time with our birth mother and her nine year old daughter, and be a part of the birth plan. On September 27 2018, our birth mother gave birth to a beautiful baby boy that we named Benjamin. We were blessed to be able to be in the room when he was born. After two days in the hospital we were able to bring Benjamin home from the hospital and have been blessed ever since. After six months and completing all adoption requirements, we were able to finalize the adoption and officially be a family of three—even though we felt that way immediately. We continue to have contact with Benjamin's birth mother. Most often through text message with an occasional visit.
  • Ever since we started dating, we had talked about pursuing adoption, some day. But in 2014, we started thinking about starting a family. We started praying, asking God what He wanted us to do. We both felt a strong sense that we were to pursue adoption as our first route. Our family had ties to Africa, so we knew we wanted to pursue an international adoption, with no specific country in mind yet. We decided on Uganda and made our way through not one, not two, but three different agencies before completing our adoption. The first one closed down due to corruption (which we found out is unfortunately, very common), and while we were happy with our second agency, our wait time was still at about 3 years. A friend from church (who was also working with the small agency they adopted through) had just brought home two kids from Uganda reached out and asked us why things were taking so long, since she knew that there were kids available to be adopted. Because this was a smaller agency, the cost to start with this agency was about the same as it would be for us to finish with the larger one. We made the switch and about a month later we got our referral for two sisters. We were over the moon, so excited about picturing our lives with these two. After a few weeks, the final investigation was done and we found out the girls were not adoptable. We were crushed. A few weeks later, we received another referral for a brother and sister. We guarded our hearts this time and waited for the investigation to complete. Through that investigation, an uncle of the kids came forward and said he didn't want them to be adopted (but wouldn't take care of them himself). Again, we were waiting. A few weeks later, we received another referral. A brother and sister, we guarded our hearts through the investigation. When that came back clear, we chose to do another investigation. All came back clear and we began moving forward, registering with the high courts in Uganda. We had a court date for May 2016, which got moved to June. The day before we left Uganda passed a law that said you had to live in Uganda before you could adopt. We had no idea where that left us, so we boarded the plane to the unknown. We spent three weeks in Uganda, and went to court for legal guardianship. We had to leave the kids behind, for what was much longer than we anticipated. Fortunately, we had been grandfathered into the old law, and did not need to move to Uganda. Eight months later after our court date, in February 2017, we were headed back to Uganda on one-way tickets, with legal guardianship and permission from the U.S. Embassy to proceed with obtaining visas for the kids. For three weeks, we went back and forth, waiting for the Embassy to approve us. It was hard. Living and (first time) parenting in a foreign country was hard. Three weeks later, we obtained visas and boarded a plane home. We arrived home on March 2, 2017 and just celebrated our "one-year here"! It has been the most wonderful and challenging year and we wouldn't trade it for anything. Saul is 9 (almost 10) and Peruth is 7. The first photo is from our trip to Uganda in February 2017 and the second is last fall.
  • In 2014, my husband and I decided we were ready to grow our family. We knew adoption was in our hearts and we were ready to pursue it. We completed the home study, did the physicals, the interviews, put together our family profile books and then we waited. We were matched by May of 2015. We had 48 hours notice as the birth mother was already showing signs of labor. We ran to Target and  Buy Buy Baby and bought everything we needed to bring home our new baby. We bought plane tickets, booked a hotel and rental car and flew to Nevada.  Once we landed we went straight to the hospital to meet our birth mother and newborn son. The social worker met us there and told us she wanted 24 hours with him first and to come back the next day. Our hearts sunk but we remained optimistic. The next day we returned to the hospital and finally met her. We answered all her questions and tried to make her feel comfortable. It was such a whirlwind. We left feeling so positive, that meeting went well. We were going to meet the baby soon. After we got back to the hotel, the social worker called. I know she said a lot of things but all I heard was “decided to not place the baby for adoption.”  We were heart broken. I couldn’t bear to go home without a baby so we spent a few days traveling talking and praying if adoption was what we should be pursuing.  When we did come home, we packed up all the baby items we had ordered and returned them. We went back to waiting. In July of 2015 we were contacted by a family member. They knew of a family that had recently had a baby and were considering an adoption plan as their current situation was not conducive to raising a child. We sent over our family profile book and spoke with family to pass along our details and convey how excited we were to be considered to adopt their son. Ultimately, the parents also decided to parent so we were back at square 1 for the 2nd time in 3 months. ​ September 4th, I received a call from our agency. They had a new match for us and gave me a little bit of background information including some medical history. I called Ryan at work and told him we were going to be parents, this was it. I felt it. He raced home and we called our agency back and formally "accepted" the match. On September 27th, we got the call our birth mother went into labor. We booked our flights and raced to CA. We met our sweet baby Grayson when he was 12 hours old. We spent 5 days in the NICU for some birth complications and utero drug exposure but ultimately he was happy and healthy and he was OURS! We spent 3 more weeks in a hotel room in CA until we were given word that our paperwork had been processed and we were able to come home. On May 24th, 2016 Grayson's adoption was finalized and we now celebrate his "Gotcha Day!"

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