Gold to Refine

Tales of our family's survival and healing journey before, during, and after we adopted two children from Ukraine (July 2007). We have one biological daughter and both our boys still struggle with RAD and PTSD. Both also have symptoms of FASD.

Diana is a winner of Top 25 Adoption Blogs by Parents

Why did you decide to adopt?

We struggled with infertility for many years. 5 years into the journey we were blessed with our daughter. Though we tried for more bio babies after she was born, but it wasn't meant to be. After a devastating miscarriage in 2002, we closed the door forever on having more children join our family through traditional means. And so began our journey. We could never in a million years have forseen when we started where the journey would really take us. Highlights of our 5 year long journey to adopt (yes, another 5 years beyond infertilty) can be found at

What was the biggest challenge or hurdle you faced in the adoption process?

At the time, the biggest hurdle was that it took so long. During that time, we had to jump through many, many hoops and worked with numerous agencies. Waiting was an incredibly stressful and emotionally draining roller coaster. Unfortunately, we were also introduced to the dark, ugly side of adoption (the parts that are tainted by money and greed) fairly early on.

Looking back and knowing what I know now, however, without question the biggest hurdle and challenge for us personally as well as many, many, many other adoptive families I know comes as a result of grossly inadequate pre-adoption training and counseling. Regardless of when or where the child is adopted from, MUCH more training needs to be required regarding attachment, the long term effects of trauma (especially early childhood trauma), therapeutic interventions, and realistic picture of what to expect after your adoptoin is complete. This is ESPECIALLY true for families adopting older children or internationally.

When and how did you (or will you) tell your child they were adopted?

They were 7 and almost 3 when they were adopted. They knew from the very first day we met them! In fact, one of my children chose their own English name.