International Adoption was Refuge for Both Mother and Daughter

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Children’s Hope International helps Missouri mom, who was adopted from Vietnam, adopt a special needs orphan from China

Amy Soar hugs her new daughter Tia - both their adoption stories come full circle on Mother’s Day

I have not spent much time looking into my own heritage, though I have thought more about it with the adoption of my daughter.

Little Tia smiles, laughs, and will bump fists as a greeting. It is normal behavior for a 2 year old but extraordinary for a newly adopted Chinese orphan with special needs.

Her new mother, Amy Soar, understands how international adoption can enrich a child’s life. As an infant orphaned during the Vietnam War, Amy was one of the thousands of babies airlifted to new homes toward the end of the war. She says her own adoption gave her the desire to adopt a child.

Though the number of international adoptions has decreased over the past five years, Amy and her husband Eric, were confident in their decision in 2010 to apply to adopt through Children’s Hope International.

“I had a great family,” Amy said when recalling growing-up in a small town west of St. Louis. “I have not spent much time looking into my own heritage, though I have thought more about it with the adoption of my daughter.”

As little Tia grows older, and becomes more inquisitive about her adoption, Amy says she feels equipped to comfort and assure Tia because of their shared experience.

But for now, Tia, who came home in December, is simply asking for things that fulfill all her 2 year old needs, like, demanding that her brothers give her another wagon ride.

Tia has a surgically repaired cleft lip and palate so she has some challenges and more surgeries ahead. But her bright eyes and playful personality help her express what her newly obtained English words don’t quite communicate.

The entire adoption process for the Soar family, from application to flying to China, took 18 months. Amy and her husband Eric, had decided to adopt a child with special needs early in their process, because of the nearly six year wait in the standard China adoption program. But adoption of a Chinese orphan with special needs can take as little as a year.

Amy says she purposely chose to adopt a child born with a cleft lip and cleft palate because she works in the dental field. Her professional contacts have become vital to her when she has questions about treatments her daughter may need.

“I have ongoing support from my colleagues and I can go to them to answer questions,” Amy said.

Just like Tia will know who to go to, when she has questions about becoming part of an American family through international adoption.

Now in its 20th year, Children's Hope International has helped over 7000 children just like Tia celebrate Mother's Day with their new moms.

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Cory Barron
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