After four years of navigating the complex international adoption process, the Bhatawadekar family joyously welcomed their son into their lives, filling their home with laughter and love. From their initial decision to adopt from India to overcoming some hurdles and delays, this family’s experience highlights the highs and lows of adoption, offering valuable advice and inspiring others to embark on their own adoption journeys. 

Can you briefly describe your family?

Our family consists of three members: my husband, myself, and our son, whom we adopted from India when he was two. He is a lively and curious boy who loves reading books, riding his scooter, and learning about animals. His smile never fails to melt our hearts, and we feel blessed to have him in our lives.

Can you tell us a bit about your experience with the adoption process overall?

Our adoption journey spanned nearly four years. From the beginning, we were confident we wanted to adopt from India. While international adoption seemed daunting, we received a lot of support from our local agency, which helped us navigate the complex adoption process. Before sending our dossier, we went through all the steps, such as home study visits, training courses, and psych and medical check-ups. We did hit a few speed bumps along the way, but after a long wait, we got matched in 2021. It took another year until we could finally fly to India to meet and bring him home.

We have been home for two months now and are amazed by how well our son has adapted to life in Canada. He is curious, adventurous, and loves to try new things and meet new people.

What’s your best bit of advice for families considering adopting?

For those thinking about adopting a child, we have one piece of advice: don’t give up! Adoption is a long and complex process that can test your patience, commitment, and resilience. You will face many ups and downs, many frustrations and anxieties, and many days of longing and waiting. But don’t forget why you started this journey. There is a child somewhere who is meant to be part of your family. Even though there will be difficulties and doubts, the adoption will bring you so much happiness and fulfillment. Believe that everything will fall into place in the best way possible. Always seek support where you can find it.

Can you tell us about one high point and one challenging point in your adoption experience?

The most unforgettable moment was when we heard our son’s laughter for the first time. I was playfully blowing raspberries on his arm; his joyous laughter filled our hearts with magic. It was an indescribable and truly magical moment that we will cherish forever.

Although every family’s experience will be unique, in our case, we had to face multiple delays and bureaucratic hurdles during our time in India. It took us almost three months to bring our son back home to Canada. Luckily, we received guidance from local agencies, which helped us navigate the process successfully.

How has the Belonging Network made a difference to your family?

The Belonging Network has been a great resource for us. For anyone considering adoption or going through the journey, there is a wealth of information, education, and support readily available. The best part was being able to connect with other adoptive families who share similar experiences and challenges.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

We cannot express enough gratitude for the gift of our son and the profound impact our adoption journey has had on our lives. It was an arduous and transformative journey, testing us in ways we never imagined and revealing new insights about ourselves and each other. But through it all, we remained steadfast in our commitment to becoming a family.

We know that our story is just one among many, but we hope it can inspire others to embark on their adoption journey and experience the joy of welcoming a child into their lives.