Hi to all of you hard working moms out there!
My name is Linsey and I am from Stone Lake, WI. My husband, Matt and I have been married for 14 years. We became adoptive parents to a 14 month old little girl from Kyrgyzstan 10 years ago. It’s been a crazy journey from the initial adoption process through her current pre-teen stage, yikes!
Along with being a mom, I have been told I am a serial entrepreneur. My husband and I own and run several businesses as well as owning a business with my sister and brother in law. So life is chaotic between jobs, family, and running our 12 year old daughter around to different activities.
Besides my family, my greatest passion is my farm! I raise long wool sheep and process their wool into beautiful yarns. My newest venture is remodeling an old delivery truck into a yarn boutique on wheels! Amongst the sheep, we have alpacas, chickens, and goats. When the goats aren’t busy napping, they participate in our goat yoga classes! Yes it is a thing!
Back to adoption….
Here is a brief introduction to how our family came to be.
Our adoption process began in 2005, just a year after getting married. We both decided that adoption would be a good fit for us because there are so many children in the world that need families. After thinking about our options on where to adopt from, we decided to look into international adoption. Cambodia was our first choice, but we came into some road blocks with our age and length of marriage. A lot of countries want you to be at least 26 and married 5+ years. That narrowed our options down to Vietnam only for international adoption. So with Vietnam being our choice, we started working with an agency out of Eau Claire,WI.
The initial steps can be extremely intimidating, especially if you have not been through the whole process before. We started by filling out a basic application, which led to our very first home visit. That’s pretty scary because you hope and pray your first impression and home will feel like the perfect place for a child. Fast forward about six months, several home visits, and your social worker digging into your entire life background, we were approved to start the rest of our journey to finding a child to become a part of our family.
With the Vietnamese adoption process you are asked to fill out a basic questionnaire asking the age range of the child you are interested in and if you would like a boy or girl. You are then matched with a child; now don’t get too excited because this can take several years!
So we finally made it to the referral point of our journey, waiting to be matched with our child. We were on this list for over a year, while waiting we came across a website that posted many children that were in orphanages in the eastern Asian countries. We came across a little girl that was born in May 2006. She was from a country called Kyrgyzstan, never in our lives have we even heard of this country! After some exploration we found it was a country that used to be part of the Soviet Union, but became their own in the 1990’s. It is located between Russia and China. As of October 2006, Matt and I decided to see if we could get some more information on this little girl and if we were still able to move our documents and agency information to try and make this little girl our own.
After several months, we were able to pursue adoption with a new agency and now a completely new country. It was definitely a roller coaster of emotions just to get to this point. Matt and I were now working with an agency in Colorado. We started the new process in October 2006. Things moved quickly and the agency gave us a travel date to pick her up in December. We couldn’t believe that we would be traveling to the other side of the world to pick up our daughter. Now that we knew we were traveling in a few short weeks, our family had a huge baby shower for us in late November and we got her nursery all set up. This was really happening!
December couldn’t come fast enough, we boarded our plane from Minneapolis and in two days we would be in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Filled with so many emotions, we arrived safely to our destination and met up with our adoption coordinator to help us finalize everything in the next 3 weeks before we could head back home. The day after we arrived, a caregiver from the orphanage brought the little girl we had only seen pictures of to our apartment. It was an indescribable feeling of emotions. She was just six months old at this time. We were only able to see her for about an hour and then they took her back. There was still a lot of paperwork to be done, along with a court date on Christmas day to finalize her adoption.
Christmas Day arrived and after a long day in court, our happiness took a sudden turn. The court system did not have their paperwork finished and our judge was not going to allow us to adopt her since she did not agree that Americans should be allowed to adopt children from their country. We were sent home without our child in our arms. Matt and I fought back and forth with the adoption agency and the court system to allow us to bring her to the United States. After almost seven months, we finally got a phone call that we could travel back to Kyrgyzstan to finalize her adoption.
July 2007 we boarded a plane again, excited but guarded because we didn’t want to set ourselves up for disappointment if something went wrong again. This time after landing, we went straight to the orphanage and picked her up. She was now over a year old and in a crib with six other babies. It was heartbreaking. She had bed bugs and they had shaved her head because of lice. Knowing that she had been in the orphanage and needed care was very hard to handle. Matt and I were able to take her back to our apartment and care for her while we waited for our court date. We waited a few days and were able to talk with our judge; she agreed to approve the adoption and signed all of our documents.
We were thinking this was finally the end of the journey and beginning of a new family…wrong! We now have our child that was ours, but now the embassy was not going to issue her a visa to come to the United States. Extending our trip another week to wait for visa documents and her passport, we finally received these an hour before we boarded our plane for a 22 hour flight to come back home. Whew!
There was so much more to our journey that I haven’t shared yet, I look forward to sharing our journey with you on balancing work and family life, navigating the emotions of a pre-teen, and the joys and challenges of adoption from the beginning to now.
Linsey – mom to Asyia age 12