Our international adoption journey took nearly two years, but on January 4th, 2014, we brought our son William Xing Hui home from China! Without a doubt the process was long, but we can say with confidence, “It was worth it!”
Our story began in 2011. We often take trips to China, and on this trip, we visited the orphanage where William lived at the time. Upon meeting him, we learned that he had medical needs that could not be adequately met in China. When we came home, we began to advocate for him medically and sought to provide the resources that were necessary for his care. The following summer we returned to China and once again helped at the orphanage. On this trip, the Lord made it clear to us that William was our son and that we were to begin the process of adoption.
International adoption fees range anywhere from $25,000-$40,000, so we knew we would face the daunting task of fundraising. However, once we arrived back home from China in May 2012, there was a letter waiting for us. A couple wrote that the Lord had led them to partner with us. They went on to say that they had been making some investments and the Lord led them to set this money aside. As we opened up the check, we were blessed and humbled to find that the check was written for the exact amount needed for the adoption! God is faithful! He is a father to the fatherless.
Next we began investigating adoption agencies. We chose CCAI because they are known for Chinese adoptions and they have a special partnership with the orphanages in the Henan province, which was William’s home province. This partnership proved to be invaluable because when we began the process, William had no official paperwork and his file was incomplete.
Many people don’t realize just how difficult the process of adoption is for parents. It all begins with a home study. A local social worker visits several times for interviews, tours your home, and writes a report explaining that you are a fit parent. The next step is compiling a dossier, which is just a fancy word for a big stack of paperwork! The dossier includes things like birth certificates, medical exams, and more. The dossier takes at least 3-6 months to compile. We drove to Washington DC to be fingerprinted. We filled out, notarized, and authenticated countless documents to establish our dossier. Sending it off to China is a day of celebration. Once your dossier is processed, you are given a log-in date.
From your LID, the process varies depending on whether you are adopting a healthy or special needs child. The current wait time for healthy children from China is about 6 years from your log-in date. Since William has a medical condition, he is considered a special needs child. It is verrrry important to point out that often “special needs” refers to very minor cosmetic medical problems. Again, children suffer from all kinds of things, but God formed each of them in their mothers’ wombs and created them in His image. These children are simply waiting for a forever family to care for and love them. For special needs children, often they are matched with families before their dossier is even complete or very soon after. Being open to special needs adoptions drastically reduces the wait time!
For our situation, the wait was longer because we needed to wait on William’s paperwork to be finalized so that we could officially be matched as his adoptive parents. In August 2013, we finally got the call saying that his file came through and that we were matched!
Once your dossier is logged in and you are matched with a child, things start moving quickly. As you might expect, there is still a lot of paperwork and communication necessary for everything to become official. We were so blessed that within 3.5 months of being matched, we were on a plane to go to China! Some countries require you to visit multiple times, but for China you simply go one time for roughly 2 weeks in order to meet, pick up, and bring home your child.
We received the greatest Christmas present this year. We were reunited with William on December 23rd, and the adoption was finalized on Christmas Eve. The trip itself was quite challenging and long, but in the end we came home with our son. God has done and continues to do the impossible with William! Now that we are home, He is orchestrating all the steps for his medical care and continuing to provide for our needs. We would love to talk with anyone that has questions regarding adoption or would like to meet our 5-year old little boy. He is a precious gift and a picture of the gospel. You can follow our blog.
James and Samantha McNeill
Posted on Tue, February 18, 2014
by James & Samantha McNeill filed under