Roderick and Wendi Oliveros know that waiting can be the most difficult part of the international adoption process.
But they’re also quick to point out that bringing a child home is more than worth the months of longing and anticipation.
Mr. and Mrs. Oliveros, members of St. Philip the Apostle Parish in Millersville, brought their son Christian home from the Philippines last November. It was a long-awaited and emotional moment, and the culmination of a nearly two-year process.
Catholic Charities’ International Adoption program worked with the couple through the adoption process, which they legally finalized last month.
“We started our paperwork in January 2006 and we met Christian in November 2007, so it took almost two years,” Mr. Oliveros said. “But our social worker was very accurate in telling us the timeline. She estimated that we would probably meet our child within a 24-month period.”
After completing paperwork, a home study and training through Catholic Charities, Mr. and Mrs. Oliveros eagerly awaited the day they could travel to the Philippines to meet their son and begin their lives together.
“Getting the referral was very exciting,” Mrs. Oliveros said. “His health report and everything we had read about him was very positive, so I wanted to travel and meet him right away. For me, the hardest part was waiting for that time to come.”
When they finally met their son, they immediately fell in love with him. They spent time with Christian during their first day in the Philippines so they could get acquainted with one another.
“Our first experience was emotional for him and for us,” Mrs. Oliveros said. “I wouldn’t say it was 100 percent easy, but as we spent more time with him, he became more comfortable with us.”
The most difficult part of Christian’s first few days in his new home concerned his sleep schedule. The 12-hour time difference between Pennsylvania and the Philippines made it difficult for the young boy to adapt to a new cycle.
As the days went by, Christian grew more comfortable with his parents and his new surroundings, and began to speak more. In April, the family celebrated Christian’s second birthday, and this summer they took their first family vacation to the beach.
Birthdays, vacations and holidays aside, what Mr. and Mrs. Oliveros have cherished most are the day-to-day joys of raising their son.
“We’ve shared certain milestones, but we really have enjoyed seeing him grow,” Mrs. Oliveros remarked. “Each day he is more animated. We enjoy the little things we share with him every day.”
The couple is currently in the process of adopting another child from the Philippines through Catholic Charities.
“Christian has given us everything we expected and more,” Mr. Oliveros said. “A family is something that Wendi and I have wanted. Christian helps complete that, and we believe that for him to have a sibling would enrich his life as much as ours.”
The couple expressed their appreciation for the services Catholic Charities has provided them throughout the adoption process, especially the informative training sessions. Just recently, they attended a session at which they answered questions for parents who are in the process of adopting, and they say they are happy to share their experiences and advice.
Mrs. Oliveros suggests that parents adopt from a country whose culture they can introduce to their child.
“Like Christian, Roderick was born in the Philippines, so the Filipino culture is always going to be a part of Christian’s life,” she explained.
“Regardless of where people are adopting from and whatever agency they’re adopting from, it’s very valuable to be able to ask questions to people who have gone through the process,” Mr. Oliveros said.
The couple also urges parents to be patient in waiting to receive their child, something they know can be difficult to do.
“People can be pretty anxious, and the process is long, but you just have to be patient,” Mr. Oliveros offered. “The waiting time is a good opportunity for people to prepare to become parents and get things ready.”
“You complete all this paperwork and then nothing happens for months and months. You do all you can, and then you just wait,” Mrs. Oliveros said. “It can be the hardest thing to do, but it’s worth it once you meet your child.”
Learn more about Catholic Charities International Adoption program by clicking here.