These are a few resources and services that we recommend:
Rainbow Kids is a super informative site that lets you search for waiting children (this is how we found AAI and Glory!), identify which agencies work with which countries, and explore country requirements. There are also articles related to all things adoption. This is a really great site that I recommend to everyone beginning their adoption journey.
Adoption Associates, Inc., the agency we used for our China Special Need adoptions. Laura Bussa was excellent! We are very thankful to have come across this agency.
Gateway Woods is the agency we used to write our home study for Ethiopia. It is located near Ft. Wayne, IN, and was recommended to us by another adoptive family who had used them. We were pleased with the counsel we received from our social worker, Jan Baumgartner, and feel that the best training we received in the process was through Gateway Woods.
The Assistant Stork is the courier service we hired to walk our dossier through the Ethiopian Embassy and US State Department in DC. They did a great job- even caught a mistake that could have cost us time and money if the papers had been processed as they were. Since they caught it, we corrected it ahead of time, and all was well!
Susan Parr Travel is the agency we used to book our flights. Phenomenal service! I think it only cost us a service charge of $35 per ticket, and things were done fast! They even sent some great luggage tags with our tickets 🙂
The Ethiopian Guest Home was my home for three weeks in June 2009! I rarely left the grounds as we were requested not to be out and about with our newly adopted children, but the staff there took good care of me. As a first time mom alone in an unknown country, I needed help! The staff watched Emet for me one morning when I was sick, they played with him and talked with him, and we were able to eat all of our meals there. They even washed the little dished I brought for Emet! I was able to use the kitchen whenever I wanted, and we always had electricity in the evenings (I learned that just because there is a generator, it doesn’t mean that there will always be power!). All in all, we recommend it.
Phone cards This is a strange thing to stick in here, but I suppose it fits. Jesse used this site to purchase Hello Ethiopia phone cards to call me on the cell phone that the Ethiopian Guest Home provided. Sometimes there was a delay, but most of the time it worked well.
The International Adoption Clinic at St. Vincent’s in Indianapolis is where we took the boys to be evaluated once they got home. It is a smaller clinic, so appointments are limited, but we really appreciated the doctors and nurses there. We went twice with the boys- the first visit was with an infectious disease specialist, Dr. Belcher, who dealt with our immediate concerns as well as blood work and stool labs. Two weeks later we went for a second visit where we saw Dr. Belcher again to go over the lab results and address any new issues. Then we saw Dr. Escobar who is a developmental specialist. He gave us insight into issues we didn’t know were there, as well as issues with sleep, food, and attachment. The clinic also reviews referral information, though we had Emet’s reviewed elsewhere. Contact with the clinic is best made through its coordinator, Judy Stone RN, at 317-338-3891.
Adopted for Life by Russell Moore is a book I read after the boys were home. It would have been really nice to read before they had come, too. The first two chapters are all about the theology of our spiritual adoption as sons and heirs of God, and the following chapters have a lot to do with practical stuff for Christians, the church, and adoptive parents to consider.
Adoption as a Ministry, Adoption as a Blessing by Michelle Gardner was like a breath of fresh air in the midst of all the worldly pre-adoption training we were required to undergo. I just enjoyed reading the story of this family, and being reminded Who is in control.
The Handbook of International Adoption Medicine by Laurie Miller was a useful tool as we learned about severe malnutrition and other specific health issues. It has since served as a reference for little things or questions that have come up. I had to buy it online as no bookstores or libraries in our area carried it.