For many families, the idea of adopting a child from another country and culture can seen intimidating, complicated, and even impractical. There is no denying that adoption is complex and requires a great deal of involvement and commitment on the family's part; however, research indicates that children who are adopted generally fare just as well as biological children, despite the unique challenges that they start off with in life (Barth et al., 2005). 

A family who adopted their daughter from Kazakhstan through KidsFirst nearly 13 years ago reached out to us recently and wanted to share their story with other families who may be considering international adoption. They shared a truly creative idea about incorporating their child's culture into their family that may inspire other families who are looking for ways to make their child's native culture a part of their family life.

This is Addisen. We call her Addi. She is from Kazakhstan and we adopted her when she was 16 months old and she is now 14. We had a wonderful adoption experience. My husband had to travel alone because after we got the call to go get Addi my grandfather became very ill and passed away. Inna and her husband were wonderful to work out all the details during that exciting but difficult time in our life. My husband TJ made the trip just days after the airline ban from 9-11.

Addi made the transition into our home very well. She was barely walking and speaking slightly. She picked up the language and adjusted very well. Addi is in the 9th grade and enjoys playing volleyball and is very creative and enjoys drawing. Addi also enjoys animals and being outdoors. Addi does suffer from ADHD but is learning to cope and manage her struggles. My husband enjoyed very much the trip and enjoyed the people. We still keep in contact with two of the interpreters and one of them has moved to the U.S. and has been to our home. Each year we celebrate Addi’s adoption day. My husband purchased 18 small gifts when he was in Kazakhstan and each year we celebrate and give Addi a special gift from her birth country. We also have a biological son that is five years older than Addi and we call her special day her Adoption Day and Big Brother Day. He gets a gift as well. Our experience has been difficult at times, but very rewarding too. It is a journey we would do all over again!!

AuthorSteven Pecar