Many people have written to us regarding our adoption from Japan. While both of our girls (and their adoptions) are equally wonderful, beautiful blessings, we realize that there is a lot more information readily available to prospective parents about Kazakhstan adoptions than Japanese adoptions. We still maintain a private blog with an archive of our day to day experiences in Japan. However, I thought that it might be helpful to post some basic information regarding our agency and their Japan program here.
We were the first family to adopt from Japan through our agency, Across The World Adoptions, who also facilitated Emi’s adoption from Kazakhstan in 2005. For the record, ATWA has an AWESOME program and experienced team in Kazakhtan as well. In the past year since our Japanese adoption, many more children (mostly infants) have come home to the U.S. through this program. Although we were the first family to go through the program, everything went amazingly smoothly and efficiently. I have heard the same from the families who followed us.
There are a handful of other agencies that offer adoption programs in Japan and I always tell parents to research all of their options to find the program that best fits their family, no matter what country they are thinking of adopting from. ATWA’s is a birth mother program, meaning that the birth mother chooses a family based on their profile, pictures, etc. We loved the idea of Miya’s birth mother playing such a huge role in her placement. Because of this, we were not allowed to choose the gender of our child (this was fine with us, as we did not have a preference). While we already had a child at the time of Miya’s adoption, ATWA is currently taking applications from parents under 43 years of age who have been married for at least 3 years and have no children.
We were notified the day after Miya’s birth and traveled to Tokyo when she was 5 ½ weeks old. We spent 2 weeks in Japan, filing our I-600 at the embassy and obtaining her visa into the United States. ATWA’s amazing facilitator also accompanies families to their child’s appointments in Tokyo. We stayed at a hotel, but I believe that there is now a more affordable and convenient apartment option. Six months after returning home, we finalized Miya’s adoption in Sacramento and now, since time has a tendency to fly by when you have kiddos, we can’t believe that she has already been home for a year+. She is cute, smart, funny…but, more importantly, happy, healthy and well bonded to us.
We feel incredibly fortunate to have two uniquely remarkable daughters and welcome the opportunity to share our adoption experiences and advice. Again, for anyone wanting to read/see more about our adoption(s), please do not hesitate to send us a short e-mail at email@example.com for our blog address and password.