The adventure of raising a family began for my husband and I about 17 years ago. This ride has taken us over many figurative mountains, and down into the valleys, but it has also literally led us around the world to Moldova and China to find the rest of our children. Carolina Adoption Services has been a huge part of building our family, as the younger 3 of our 6 kids are all adopted through their agency.
CAS helped us navigate our first adoption of a little boy from Moldova. We had hoped to complete another adoption through the same international program, but changes in Moldova’s adoption laws prevented us from traveling down that road again. In looking at the other programs CAS offered, the more trodden path of China, with its organized and structured adoption process, was quite appealing, especially considering adoptions from smaller country programs like Moldova are often quite the opposite.
Our first adoption from China was done during the time when US agencies still had partnership orphanages in China, and our first daughter from China was matched to our family through this arrangement. It was nice because we were able to get more information and have more time with medical records.
Our last adoption from China was completed only about 4 months ago, with us bringing home the last of the King Clan in October of 2018. For our last daughter’s adoption, partnerships had been discontinued, so she was matched to us through China’s shared list. Watching the partnerships dissolve, watching waivers disappear, and seeing adoption requirements tighten up made us very nervous about the new matching process. When Lianna Mills came onboard as the China program coordinator in 2018, I was very impressed with the increased communication between our family and CAS. If I e-mailed with a question or concern, she was always quick to respond. She would let us know when shared lists would be coming out, as well as whether or not she was able to secure a match for waiting families. Keeping us notified of how the matching process was going, particularly during the months when we knew she was actively trying to make a match for our family, made us feel more connected to the process, even when there was little for us to do but wait. Our in-country experience with Lianna was also fabulous. There is no better feeling than knowing someone, somewhere, has your back when you find yourself in a foreign country, trying to navigate the foreign process of international adoption. The in-country staff in China were also very knowledgeable and they helped walk us through all the legalities without incident. We were able to stay focused on our child and soak up as much of the experience as we could.
A few months after returning from China, we were able to drop by Carolina Adoption Services. Even though we had not been able to schedule our visit beforehand, many of the staff were on hand to welcome us and meet our last little bundle with open arms. It was very sweet to be greeted so warmly by the many people who helped us find our way down this unexpected path to our kids, and it was especially endearing to see Lianna meet this little girl that was once just a few words on a list, alongside many others. Thank you, CAS for helping us build our family, and for your dedication to helping find families for the many other children in China who are much more than just words on a page!