Family Stories

Sharing stories allows families to hear and learn from the experiences of others. Would you like to share your experience? Tell us your story

L's Story (Congenital Heart Disease - Tetralogy of Fallot)

L's Story (Congenital Heart Disease - Tetralogy of Fallot)
Both my husband and I work in the medical field, have traveled extensively, and had long wanted to adopt internationally and provide a home for a child who needed one. In 2011 we decided that the China Special needs program was a good fit for our family, and we were able to bring home L from China in 2012 at the age of 3 1/2.  She had been diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot when she was an infant. This typically involves four defects of the heart... Read More

TJ's Story (Missing Limb)

TJ's Story (Missing Limb)
I actually met my son in his orphanage months before I considered adoption. I saw this adorable little boy sitting in a little bamboo walker in the corner, and I went right over to pick him up. His nanny ran over and began rolling up his sleeve to show me he was missing his lower arm and hand. Physical birth defects in many countries carry such a huge stigma, and his orphanage director told me that most likely his only chance at finding a family was through international adoption. Read More

Alai's Story (Congenital Nevus Birthmark)

Alai's Story (Congenital Nevus Birthmark)
I wanted to share my experience because I know that when a family considers adopting a child with Giant Congenital Nevus, it can be scary. What my doctor told me was that most of the studies have been done in western countries, with Caucasian participants and Caucasian skin type and color, with obvious consequences in relation with melanomas.There are very few studies done in other countries. I found one study about giant nevus on southeast Asian participants. Read More

Vivianne's Story (Lymphedema)

Vivianne's Story (Lymphedema)
In 2008 Vivianne was initially diagnosed with a congenital in-step tumor in her left foot. Her foot and toes were both swollen and hard to the touch. The next year Vivianne was adopted and brought home to the United States. At her initial medical examination, her physician stated that she had congenital lymphedema, not a tumor. From there she was seen by a pediatric orthopedist, dermatologist, and lymphedema therapist. Her therapist taught me how to massage and bandage her foot... Read More

(Visual Impairment)

(Visual Impairment)
"What is it like to parent a child with a visual impairment?" As a mother of three internationally adopted daughters with visual impairment (VI), I get asked this question a lot. One of my daughters is totally blind in one eye (no eye tissue or optic nerve) and has about 20/70 corrected vision and nystagmus (uncontrolled movement of the eye) in her other eye. She is considered moderately visually impaired. The other two daughters are considered to have severe visual impairment. Read More