Thursday, April 30, 2009

Quick update!

I don't tend to update this blog on a daily basis. So as not to make this a linear story, I'll get you caught up...

We are hoping to travel to Kunming very soon to bring home our daughter, Elyssa Li. We are just about complete with our adoption dossier. This dossier needs to be sent to the Chinese authorities who will review it and then, God willing, grant us permission to travel to China. We are awaiting and expecting a document from Homeland Security that allows up to bring Elyssa back to the States with us. This document will complete the dossier.

For those who are interested, here is a link to a very interesting article about the current state of international adoption in China:

What to do....?

The decision to adopt led Nancy and I on a journey to choose the "right" adoption agency. Foremost on our minds was the welfare of the children and families involved in the country that we would eventually choose for our adoption. We wanted to avoid any kind of corruption, human trafficking, or servitude. Popular media abounds with stories of young women in impoverished regions of the world serving as surrogates for western couples willing to pay thousands for their children. Although there may be legitimate agencies that perform these kinds of services, neither Nancy nor I could ever be sure that any surrogate we choose would have been doing so of her own free will, free from familial or societal pressures. As a result,we chose to adopt a child from an orphanage who may not have otherwise had a chance at finding her forever home.

Upon doing some research on the internet, we narrowed our search down to a few agencies. Brian had done some preliminary research while he was living in Korea in 2007. We were interested in the prospects of adopting a girl from one of the many orphanages in the Seoul area. Unfortunately, Korean law requires foreign couples to be married for at least five years before they can be considered for adoption. As we had only been married for four years at that time, we decided to hold off and look into the adoption process upon Brian's return home in July of that year.

After a few months of trying for our own baby, we finally decided to move the adoption process from the "let's think about it" phase to the "mission execution phase." The information provided by Holt International out of Eugene, Oregon really seemed to fall into line with what we were trying to accomplish. The agency was born after the Korean War. A couple from Sweethome, Oregon started Holt after they worked to bring back orphans from the many Korean orphanages overflowing with children following the bloody Korean War. Both Nancy and I were drawn to Holt's child centered approach to adoption. You can read more about Holt at their website ( We were convinced that we made the right choice after our friends told us that they had used Holt to adopt their beautiful little girl.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Welcome to Our Journey!

Welcome to all!  Nancy and I are starting this blog to let our friends and family join us in our journey to bring our precious daughter, Elyssa Li Forn, to her new home.  Many of you are already aware that we are in the process of adopting this little miracle from Kunming City, Yunnan, People's Republic of China. 

Nancy and I began this journey last May when we finally decided to adopt a child.  The amount of paperwork has been, at times, daunting.  However, we subscribed to the mantra of "Divide and Concur" and have completed most of the pre-requisites for the adoption.  

The first steps were to choose what agency to use for the adoption.  We chose to go with an international adoption for a number of reasons.  Most importantly, it is very difficult, and expensive, to adopt an infant in the states.  Since we wanted a little girl, we were interested in the Far East.  Brian has spent two years in Korea while serving in the Army, so we were very interested in children from the many Korean orphanages.  Unfortunately, Korean laws precluded us from adopting while Brian was recently serving in Ueijeongbu, just north of Seoul.  As a result, we decided to adopt from China.  As most of the children adopted from China are girls, this seemed a perfect fit.  The next step was choosing an adoption agency.

In our next blog, we'll tell the story of choosing an agency and the avalanche of paperwork (and bills) that came with the process.  Until then, God bless you all!

Nancy and Brian