From Two to Four: An OFY Family's International Adoption Story

Options for Families and Youth is a Hague Accredited Adoption Service Provider for International Adoption. What exactly does that mean? Simply stated, it means that Options for Families and Youth is qualified to help families in Ohio with international home study and post placement adoption services. 

That is why families contact our agency. They are searching for an accredited adoption service provider that is qualified to provide them with the help they need throughout the adoption journey and beyond.   We listen and answer their questions when they call. We help to simplify the process and point families in the direction that they want to go. 

We received our Hague accreditation three years ago. This is the story of our first family who went from two to four…..     

A husband and wife team was serving as missionaries in an orphanage when they met their future daughters. They didn’t know that they would become their parents then. It was actually much later, once they arrived home to the United States when they prayed for the orphans they had left behind. This childless couple had made the decision to serve others as missionaries and not to become parents. However, both the husband and the wife felt drawn to two teenage girls in particular. 

While serving in the orphanage, they saw first hand what orphans’ lives were like. Children were growing up without fathers. And they were orphaned due to tragedy.    

They watched as orphans were left to fend for themselves once they reached a certain age. These girls were soon to become young adults, and soon to be released from the orphanage, on the streets without a home.     

This family prayed. They shared their heartache with their family and friends. They decided to take a leap of faith and start the adoption process.   

They contacted a Hague accredited primary service provider that worked in the country where the girls lived. This agency was authorized to assist them with the adoptive placement in that country, however, in order to complete the adoption process, they needed to find a Hague accredited adoption agency in Ohio (the state where they lived) to help them with a home study. 

They called Options for Families and Youth, talked to Ginger and began the home study process. Ginger stayed in close contact with the family and with their primary adoption service provider as everything was completed. Time was of the essence as there was just a small window of time left for the girls to be adopted.      

The parents described their adoption journey as “bumpy” with many unexpected emotional highs, lows, twists and turns. They stayed focused on the two girls and kept taking steps forward throughout the process, no matter how they felt or what happened. They relied on both agencies to guide them.   

The one thing that helped them endure their bumpy ride was having other adoptive parents to talk with who had “been there.” They found hope in hearing the details of families’ adoption success stories through an online community of adoptive parents. 

They learned so much this way. They felt prepared, knowing what to expect, especially since they hadn’t parented prior to adoption. They were going from two to four, almost overnight.   

The adoptive mother was a trained teacher. She read everything she could to prepare. She and her husband completed all of the required training and sought out more. They knew that their lives were going to change dramatically and they wanted to be as prepared as they could be.   

The husband and wife prayed diligently for God to bless their adoption journey. They had shared their desire to adopt with people they knew, telling them about the urgency of what the girls’ lives could become if they weren’t adopted soon. And God answered their prayers.   

All of the money they needed for the adoption services came to them, just in time. They paid $200 and the rest of the funds came from family, friends and supporters of their mission work. 

The adoptive mom said, “It has not been easy! But, it has definitely been worth it!” 

When asked what has been helpful to them once their family grew from two to four, the parents reiterated how helpful it has been to be connected with what they called, “a safe group;” a group of people online who have adopted from the same country. They have used that group as a venting tool. “It is a community that understands and can give tips.”   

Now, two years later, the girls and the parents are adjusting well. They have been busy, teaching everything from basic hygiene to boyfriends, to managing the demands of high school and celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. 

This adoptive mom said, “These kids are worth it!” 

The home study assessor from Options for Families and Youth visits this family every year and will continue to do so until the girls are 18 years of age. This is a requirement of their native country. The family told us that they look forward to our visits and have appreciated knowing that there has been someone “on their side.”  

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