It seems as if my husband and I just picked up our daughter from an orphanage in Asia, but time has flown so fast that it has actually been more than a year since that time. After taking our daughter home with us to the United States, we went through a six-month post-placement period before we were able to finalize her adoption. During this period, our social worker visited us three times to see how our family was doing, to offer support if needed, and to evaluate our capacity to parent our child. Everything went well and as soon as we got a favorable evaluation, we started the legal adoption procedure. Our daughter’s adoption was legalized just before her one-year anniversary coming to the United States.
The First Year
The past year marked the many “firsts” in Jean’s life with us such as celebrating the holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and Easter. Her third birthday was her first time to celebrate without her friends from the orphanage. It didn’t take her long to gain new friends because of her outgoing personality. She was able to speak English in just a few months and is now able to express herself well when communicating. I admit that before we took her home, I had some uncertainties about her transitioning and adjusting from being an orphan to having a permanent family. Fortunately, everything went smoothly as she bonded with us right away.
Knowing Each Other
Michael and I decided to spend our first month with Jean alone. We knew how excited our friends and respective families were to meet her, but we thought it would be better if we gave her time to know us first. We didn’t want her to get overwhelmed because everything during that time was new to her. We wanted her to adjust smoothly with her new family, environment, language, weather, and other things that she had to get used to. We first focused on building our relationship with her as her immediate family, and then gradually introduced her to things outside of the family circle.
Michael and I cherish each moment being with Jean. We make sure that we do things together as a family. Each little thing we do together makes her feel loved and cared for. We have had so many precious moments with her ever since she came to our life. I remember the beautiful smile she had on her face when she first experienced winter. She enjoyed playing with us, building a snowman, and snowball fighting. She loved helping us decorate for Christmas especially hanging ornaments on the tree. Loving, caring, and being kind hearted are some of her best traits. One time when she saw the burn on my hand I got from ironing, she kissed it many times. That gesture melted my heart. Each time I don’t feel well, she pretends to be a doctor and takes care of me assuring me that I would soon feel better.
Michael and I consider adopting her as one of the best decisions we have done in life. It took us so long to fulfill our dream considering the many requirements and length of time being in the waiting list. Having gone through a tedious process, we can say that everything is very much worth it. We do our best to give her a bright future.