Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Now don't panic (MOM) this is a good "DONE." Done adding to our family, done with this adoption, done waiting for Phoebe to be home. 

Done worrying that she is in need of things, health care, skin care, eye care, dental care. What her personality is like, if she will blend in well, if she's growing each day without us, her family.

What relief we feel. Our family complete. See how she fits right in?

And a sweeter last addition we could not have asked for.  Phoebe is a sweet girl, sensitive, loving and a joy. She's loving being the baby of this family. 

 Although our "baby" is learning so much this week, our routine, how to do things herself, she really wanted to, she was just so used to everything being done for her. But now she glows in the praise she gets when she tries and we help minimally, most often due to her low vision issue.

She has found Camden's action figures which she quickly threw over the Barbies for. She was sooo tickled when I got her a few of her own at the Dollar Store after the doctor visit today.  She did so well.  One shot and a flu mist. Declared healthy and on our way. We have more to do with a pediatric specialist for her eyes, as well as a huge need for dental work. That's set up as soon as the pediatric dentist is back from vacation, in a couple of weeks.

All in all she is quite healthy.  We obviously have skin and eyes to watch over for her lifetime but over all a very manageable condition for her and us. Not to mention the amazing beauty of her, God made her just perfect:)

So pretty. Everyone marvels over her hair. "Oh, so blond, so beautiful, gorgeous," etc.  Without a doubt, she draws attention and it's not the bad kind that we encountered in China.

But speaking of bad, I did want to put out there, because we did struggle so badly with our agency. Many asked, who in the world were we using? I did not want to do anything to jeopardize our adoption because the person hurt the most would have been Phoebe. We completely trusted God to get this girl home and He did it.

I'm not normally negative, I prefer to focus on the positives in life. But when I found a slip of paper with our "dates" on it-- well the pain of using this agency hit me again and made me realize it's something I need to share. 

These were the dates- 

PA--  April 2011 (after her file ended up with them and they refused to transfer to our former agency:(

DTC-- March 2012- yep, almost a YEAR later, due to agency holding up our HS- the whole time us fearing losing her file

LID-- May 2012- yep, agency did not check on us being logged in and there was an error, costing us a new fee implemented May 1 (of course) and 6 weeks of lost time

LOA--Sept 2012  after 147 days. YEP, again, asked agency if a paperwork issue was going to affect us back in MAY- they ignored my question and lo' and behold, 70+ days in, we had issues I had asked about. Less than thrilled by this time and had not only lost total faith in this agency, but actually cringed when they called, expected problems.

TA- Dec 2012-- Not unreasonable time there, they didn't catch that our clearances were too old by the time we applied for approval for Phoebe's visa through our government so we had that hold us up as well as being told we were not able to get confirmation of Art 5 drop off and pick up because they would not "micromanage" their In China staff. Quite rude if you ask me. 

We also found them to be unreliable, we asked for an update that we had to pay for, we had to ask over and over for it. It took 2 months, which can indeed be typical but with an email error sent to us we learned their in China staff had the update for a whole month and didn't bother to send it on.  Maybe micromanagement SHOULD be done?

At any rate, I am sure for the bad experience we had there is probably plenty of people who have a great experience with this agency. I'm only sharing what WE experienced, and our recommendation from the now 5 agencies we have adopted through.

We do NOT recommend Madison Adoption Associates. At ALL. Would never want to see another family go through what we did. And we went in with experience in adoption and hearing good things about MAA.  We can say they got our child home. That's IT. And we wondered on and off if it would actually even happen. 

When adoption comes with enough ups and downs just doing the steps, it was really hard to deal with the issues we encountered. This is NOT somewhere we think ANY adoptive family should be from their agency:(  In the end I was so disgusted by them it was unbelievable and I am not an unreasonable person. I understand the ups and downs of adoption. I also fully believe in God's timing. 

As I have quite a bit of experience I HIGHLY recommend Chinese Children Adoption International. www.ccaifamily.org for all aspects, the children, the needs, the ease of use, the assistance when needed, the costs, the trip. 

 Best agency, all around. Without a doubt. No fooling around, no trying to make themselves look good. ALL about the KIDS-- getting them HOME.

Now we return to enjoying our kiddos:) And being so thankful we are DONE. (No laughing MOM) 

Now don't think we are DONE caring, no way, we will continue to educate, support, pray and do everything we can in concerns to the  MILLIONS of orphans still needing their own mom and dad. Without-a-doubt.

 They are NEVER far from our minds- never. They are Our Father's children. Treasures. Waiting to be wanted. Cherished. Loved.


Anne Krause said...

Wow, that really surprises me. We used Madison for our second adoption because we were not pleased with the first one we used - Living Hope. Our first adoption took 18 months and LH was very non-supportive (157 day LOA). We switched to Madison and things just sailed through - 35 day LOA and our son was home in nine months. But as you said, the main thing is these agencies helped us get these children home! I think Phoebe is adorable and she sounds as if she has a lot of spunk.....so enjoyed your blog of your trip.
Anne in AZ

Kristen said...

I wanted to also recommend CCAI. We used them for our adoption last July and they were wonderful! Never had any problems with them. And our guides in China were the best. They were there for us 24/7.

Suzanne said...

We used CCAI and I agree too. Someone early on said to use them and not even bother looking elsewhere. I completely trusted this person so I took their advice. Man, I am so glad I did, our interaction with them was a dream. There is a reason they are so big and so highly rated. Congratulations on your family, it's been a joy to watch as you've added to it!

Carla said...

Wow! I've only heard good things about them. We used AWAA for our first, and while I would use them again, I would recommend our 2nd agency more. Our 2nd adoption we use Lifeline. WAAAAAAAAY different experience for the better, and AWAA was NOT bad at all.

MommaT said...

CCAI all the way! So glad miss Phoebe is home and the glory all goes to God and a red haired mom:)

Holly said...

that really IS ridiculous and I think people should know. I have heard nothing but good about CCAI and they are top on my list, you know, just in case we are not DONE :) by the way I was super super impressed by Phoebe's ability to write her name and to draw that amazing picture! wow!!! It's difficult NOT to compare, but I find myself doing it. Just found out that Gwendolyn's best corrected vision is LESS THAN 20/400. She also has CP and cognitive delay, so many challenges for our white haired princess. so happy that you are done :)