We knew that our next child would come to us through adoption. A friend of ours recommended our local agency, New Beginnings International Children’s and Family Services. We started with our home study fully intending to pursue a domestic, infant adoption. At that point our worker introduced us to the Poland adoption program. We loved the idea of welcoming a child into our family from Eastern Europe!
When we received a referral with information and pictures we KNEW “Mariusz” was perfect for our family. I was thankful that we had specific information about him. He was described as cheerful, outgoing, and trusting child and we have found out how accurate that is! We then made a list of questions that we wanted additional information about Mariusz, and his psychologist wrote us back within a few days. We accepted his referral in July of 2014 and the adoption was finalized in Poland in February of 2015.
When we were initially told that just my husband and I would be in Poland for the 14 working day bonding period, I wondered about the reason of not brining our biological daughter, Emma. In retrospect, I fully realize the wisdom in having that time with just Mariuz and us. We saw that it was key for him to trust us before the rest of the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. He was able to meet Emma and the rest of the family through Facetime. It was so sweet to be with him and see his gradual progression of bonding with us.
He loved showing us around his town in Poland. We went to city parks, a zoo, a water park, lots of shopping places, as well as the “Sky Tower” that he had always dreamed about visiting. We were in a modern, thriving section of Poland. We had wifi almost everywhere we went, and transportation was so easy with trains and trams.
We were very impressed with how much he was prepared for adoption by his caregivers. It was obvious that he had bonded with the psychologist (so much that his first request was to purchase a watch just like his psychologist had).
Also, the in-country representatives were amazing. They helped us with translation, transportation, lodging, buying groceries, planning fun activities, and preparing for court. They gave us freedom to make our own schedule, but were there if we wanted their help. It was wonderful being in a foreign country knowing that my agency at home and the representatives “had my back.”
After the bonding period we came home for two weeks during the appeal period. Emma came back with us on the last trip. It was great for her to see the country of Poland and experience the culture. Our two children immediately took to each other.
By the end of our trips Boone was part of our forever family. We know that it isn’t smooth for every family, but Boone has seamlessly blended into our family. Our daughter, Emma, has thrived in the role of being a big sister. He is such a social, joyful child.
We had the opportunity to connect with Alabama’s kicker, Adam Griffith, who is one one of the nation’s most talented kickers. Adam was adopted from Poland eight years ago. Adam took time to teach Boone to kick and invited him to stand on the sidelines and cheer him on at an Alabama football game. It has been great to meet and develop relationships with families that have adopted from Poland. Our agency has developed a support group where we can help answer questions for families that are considering adopting from Poland. This has been a asset for us as well as other families.