Dave and I met and fell in love in June of 1995 in Skaneateles, New
York. (How could I resist such a handsome guy with eyes like that and a
smile to match in a wetsuit?) We got married in the summer of 1998 and
much to our delight were pregnant by our first anniversary. Sierra was
born in March of 2000 and has been a continuous source of delight, wonder,
energy, and love ever since. Dave runs a training and development business
Amy stays at home with Sierra. Both of us were born and raised in the East
- Dave in Tennessee and New Jersey, and Amy in New York. Dave is one
of three children and Amy is one of four.
We live in a small community
in the Finger Lakes region of New York
State. Amy grew up here and, while she hadn't necessarily
planned on moving back, we were both attracted to the family roots, beautiful
countryside, excellent school system, and the palpable commitment to family and
Our Decision to Adopt...
After our daughter, Sierra,
two, we started thinking about and "working on" another child.
Over the next two years, we had a lot of ups and downs trying to achieve that
goal. It didn't happen naturally and, not interested in undergoing any
type of fertility treatment, we considered other options. We looked into
adopting domestically, then internationally, perhaps to Guatemala or
Korea. We kept trying to make our family happen and only got more and more
frustrated in the process. The thing about adoption is that you do have a
lot of choices you can make, like what country, sex, age, health, etc. The
possibilities overwhelmed us. Finally, we started surrendering to the fact
that WE weren't going to make our family happen; God was.
the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all
your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Shortly thereafter an "angel" approached us and asked us
if we would consider adopting a child from Kazakhstan. At the time, we
didn't even know where it was. Nonetheless, we researched and read up on
the orphanages and adoption process in Kazakhstan and haven't looked back since!
While we were initially interested
in adopting from a country where the children are looked after by foster moms, we
heard great reports about the emotional and physical health of
babies adopted from Kazakhstan and were intrigued by the wonderful reputation of
Houses. The children are divided into groups
according to their ages with only 8-12 children per group. There is one primary caregiver and 2 nannies
per group to care
for them at all times. Since each child is assigned a primary caregiver
and benefits from frequent opportunities to interact one-on-one, he or she
develops the ability to establish a bond with another person in the early stages of brain
development and attachment. (For more about the children's daily routines
and the specialists that work with them, check out the Baby House link above. It's comforting to know that they are in such capable and loving
The other thing that we like about the way
Kazakhstan does adoptions is the required bonding period. Once we get to
Uralsk, where our baby is, we will be required to visit him at the Baby House
twice a day for two weeks. While conceivably inconvenient in that this
requires parents to stay for extended periods of time in Kazakhstan, we think it
is great that our baby gets to know us in the safety and familiarity of his own
environment. You can imagine how much this bonding period will contribute
to his having a smoother transition as he moves from his current Baby House
family to our family.
Now that we are about to travel half way around the world to
complete this adoption, we can't imagine our family being any different. What a
blessing it will be to bring this precious little baby home!
Why World Partners...
In the process of deciding on a country and looking
into Kazakhstan, we heard rave reviews about World Partners Adoption
both for the
success of their adoptions and for their reputation in country in the eyes of
the US Embassy and local government institutions. The clincher for us,
however, was and continues to be the consistently prompt attention to all of our
questions, the constant yet gentle presence of our assigned coordinator, their
experience, and their passion for finding families for these children.