February 12, 2003 + 2010
Dear Adoptive Parents:
adopted our beautiful, healthy 23-month-old boy (at time of referral)
through Adoptionworx in December 2002. We were the first couple
to adopt through Adoptionworx and are writing this letter to answer
some questions for adoptive parents. We will concentrate on what
we feel are the important issues regarding from Albania through
Firstly, we were struck by the Albanians love
for children. We witnessed it first-hand, from police officers on
the street interacting with children, to a street person giving
our son a rattle. One time, we had our son and were walking down
the streets of Tirana with our stroller, when cars began to yield
to us when we were crossing the street. (You will understand the
significance of this on your first drive through Tirana!!). Albanians
have a very family-oriented culture, which leads to their natural
love and respect for children.
Our son was adopted from a Christian orphanage in
Elbasan, run by The Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa). We
visited several times and took the time to get to know the 12 other
children in the orphanage. All looked and behaved like normal, healthy
children of that age. They all looked well-fed and clothed, and
there was plenty of stimulation around them from toys, caregivers
and other children. The building was in excellent repair and was
extremely clean, although a little damp due to concrete construction,
which is the norm in Albania. We were actually quite relieved to
know that our son had been in this institution since birth, as there
was no doubt that he had been well cared for.
While in Tirana, we also had the opportunity to visit
the next two children that Adoptionworx was bringing home. They
resided in a very well kept state-run orphanage, which had been
generously funded by an American church organization. The care of
the children was once again evident, as the Albanian ladies took
pride in introducing us to their children. The children looked healthy
The major bonus for us was the quality of people that
Adoptionworx has put into place in Albania. We were treated like
visiting family members and they would call or visit every day to
see if we needed anything, or if we just wanted to meet for a cappuccino,
which we did quite often. You need not spend
one moment worrying about your time in Albania; the people are genuine.
The most important asset you have is Vicki OToole.
If you havent already figured it out, she is a go-getter.
Rest assured that she will not leave any stone unturned or any detail
overlooked to make sure you come home with your child, on time.
We found this to be quite refreshing, since most our experiences
as customers these days, equate to unreturned phone calls, details
overlooked and a lot of mistakes. You will get the service that
you are promised from Adoptionworx.
arrived home on December 31, 2002 with our new son, Connor. There
was an adjustment period of about two weeks where he underwent some
grieving, as he was very attached to his caregiver in Albania. After
the two weeks, his progress was exponential. Today, he has formed
a strong bond with each of us. He enjoys visiting his extended family
of aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins, as well as participating
in many activities. We really only have one area of serious concern
at this time; he has discovered Barney!
enjoying our only son for many years, we decided that we would adopt another child through Adoptionworx Canada.
Everything went as expected, the process was flawless and refined. Before we knew it we had another
beautiful, healthy son; Cameron, who came home in 2010. The Albanian Program Director for adoptionworx, Jani,
was a real gem. He made our time there enjoyable, and we still keep in touch. Albania had come a long
way since our last visit and this time it felt more like a holiday.
We took our older son, Cameron,
along with us on the second trip to pick up his little brother. We
showed him around and took him to visit the orphanage he was from. His rceception was fit for a king. The
caregivers and orphanage director went crazy for him. They picked him up, hugged him and wouldn't let him go.
They showed him his old bed and where he used to eat. He knew he was loved there!
These days we are very busy with very little spare time. Hockey x2, Soccer x2 (even in the winter!),
swimming and much more. And we wouldn't have it any other way!
Wishing you the joy and happiness that we have found,
Steve, Lynn, Connor + Cameron
Richmond Hill, Ontario