I started my journey to adopt just a year ago this week, on my 31st birthday, and tonight my most perfect little Kazak beauty lies sleeping in her crib upstairs (February 2008.)
I was a bit obsessive you might say about my research, which started many months prior to actually starting my journey. I spent hundreds of hours, no kidding, online researching countries, agencies, fees, accreditation, etc. I made charts and graphs and graphs and charts. My heart was drawn to Kazakhstan.
I then narrowed down the agencies to those that had a great reputation in their Kaz programs. I wanted an agency that had a solid program in Kazakhstan and one that worked in several regions. It was also crucial that I chose an agency that was ‘single friendly’ as not all that I contacted were warm and cozy to ‘taking me on.’ After much research, and many calls and emails and searching of comment boards, I chose Little Miracles as my agency.
Anne Bentley was my coordinator and I absolutely have nothing but wonderful things to say about her. Anne was so prompt in answering my emails, from my very first inquiry to Little Miracles until even now that I am home, usually she got back to me the same day, some times within an hour. She never misled me emotionally, she was always honest, giving me realistic time frames and fee breakdowns. We discussed the traveling to select option, which I was so super nervous about, but in the end, I knew that I trusted LMI and Anne enough to put my faith in them as my agency and I agreed to travel to select to Aqtobe.
My in-country team in Aqtobe was phenomenal!!!!! As a single person, I was on my own in my region for a month and a half, talk about feeling vulnerable! My team there took such great care of me! I had 2 translators, both were excellent, an amazing coordinator, and my driver Ceric was the most pleasant man ever and he was never late! My team kept telling me that whatever I needed let them know, to call them anytime, they were there to take care of me. That was just what I needed! During my last week in Aqtobe I chose to take Zahri with me to my apartment, and my in-country team still visited us every day even though they didn’t need to drive us anywhere or translate anything or us! I truly care about these people! This is something that is so hard to research before signing with an agency, but it is one of the most important factors to your experience. If you have a bad in-country team, it puts a huge damper on your experiences while in Kazakhstan. I must say that LMI did a great job of associating with this team!
As for my daughter, she is perfect! I mean perfect! I worried so much about traveling to select and not meeting the ‘right’ child for me. What if she wasn’t healthy? What if she wasn’t what I had imagined? What if there were no little girls once I arrived? What if I was only shown older children?
But this was not the case, one of the 3 girls that I met was Z, my daughter, and she is way more than I had hoped for. She has the most happy spirit of any child that I have ever met. She is beautiful! She is so smart! She is developmentally right on target!
I can honestly, with my entire heart, tell you that Zahria is my daughter. She is my complete heart. She is attaching tremendously. She is brilliant, not just because I am her mom and a tad biased, but because it is the truth. I have been teaching her sign language, as a way for her to better express her desires, and she is catching on like wildfire. So far, Z knows: more, all gone, eat, hat, swing, bubbles, cat, dog, monkey, car, turtle, bird. She is just amazing!!! Zahri is now walking, mind you she couldn’t crawl when I met her a mere 6 months ago. She is eating like a champ, nearly sleeping through the night (minus a couple bad dreams here and there), says ‘momma and puppy’, off the bottle and on to whole milk , she loves music, is a freak about water / loves it, loves her puppies and kitty. I can’t say enough amazing things about my daughter!
She was my dream, for so many years I dreamt of adopting a little Asian girl, and I now have my dream thanks to Little Miracles!
You can read about their journey at on their blog.