2017 Philippines Open House ICAB Visit

Families gathered on Dec. 8, 2017, at EVOLVE Adoption & Family Services Stillwater office to share with other people who’ve adopted from the Philippines.

More than 20 people came to visit with officials from the Philippines Inter-Country Adoption Board who visited the EVOLVE offices.

Here are a few takeaways:

It’s great to share and experience a child’s culture:

In one regard, the event served as a chance for families with children from the Philippines to meet and share their culture.

“With any adoption, finding the culture of the child’s home country is important,” said Rachel, who attended with her husband, DJ.

Similarly, parents Erin and Candy also called it an opportunity to expose their adopted daughter to her birth culture and be with families of a similar experience.

Being from a small town, there is only one other Philippine family in their school district.

“We like to immerse her in the culture when we can, and we enjoy it,” Erin said.

That was true when the adoption took place, too. Erin appreciated traveling to the Philippines for a week for the adoption because it gave them a chance to experience their daughter’s culture.

“It gave us a chance to be there and at least understand where she was from a little bit,” Erin said.

It’s a good chance to look to the future:

DJ and Rachel adopted a 7-year-old daughter from the Philippines a few years ago, and they are now looking to adopt again from the country. For DJ, it’s nice to interact with ICAB officials because of how intentional the Philippines program is in matching parents and adoptive children.

“It’s kind of cool to have those pieces come together,” DJ said.

Rachel grew up in the Philippines, and the couple spent time there as well. But they did their homework on various avenues for adoption before choosing the Philippines.

“For our family, it made the most sense,” she said.

They explored other avenues of adoption again for this adoption before deciding to adopt again from the Philippines.

Adoption is worth the wait:

Adoption is not an instant process, as many couples attending can attest.

“It can be a really grueling process, but one in the end, where it’s total worth it. It just takes a lot out of you,” Rachel said.

But that lines up with what people told them during their adoption process, it can be long but it’s worth it in the end and it’s a blur looking back. Rachel recommended couples surround themselves with a strong support system.

“It can be really helpful so you don’t feel like you’re alone in this,” she said.

They urged families to trust that it will come together and to make use of all available resources.

Erin and Candy agreed, noting their process took several years but was worth the wait.

“It’s an amazing process,” Candy said. “It’s the best decision we’ve ever made. Never had a negative experience when we’ve gone over there.”

EVOLVE and ICAB make for a transparent process:

Rachel and DJ recommend adoption to others and said their EVOLVE worker has been great.

Despite a process that’s often time consuming, Erin and Candy have good memories of people being friendly and helpful when they traveled to the Philippines, and Erin praised EVOLVE and ICAB for being thorough during the process so there were no surprises.

“It was just a very well planned out,” Erin said.

The agencies didn’t miss a thing, he added.

“Very well organized,” his wife agreed.

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