Archive for Sunday, December 7, 2008

Eudora family adds members through overseas adoptions

We all may have different reasons to be thankful throughout the holiday season. Eudora's Paul and Cherri Walrod along with their six children are no different.

December 7, 2008

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from left, Landon, 14; with Simon, 4, in front; Jintry, 5; Samara, 1; and Cherri and Paul Walrod convene in their Eudora home. The Walrods adopted Simon, Jintry and Samara.

from left, Landon, 14; with Simon, 4, in front; Jintry, 5; Samara, 1; and Cherri and Paul Walrod convene in their Eudora home. The Walrods adopted Simon, Jintry and Samara.




Procedures for international adoptions

Here are some initial steps to take if you’re considering adopting internationally, according to Adoption and Beyond of Overland Park:

• Find an adoption agency and research a birth country from which to adopt.• Complete the Home City process, having your home approved by a licensed child placement agency.• Prepare foreign documents and complete immigration paperwork.• Look over and choose a special-needs child or have a healthy child referred to you by the agency.

Typically, the first four steps of the process take about three months to complete.

— “The more the merrier” may be the most fitting expression for the Walrod family.

“We have always wanted a big family,” said Paul Walrod, father of six.

“They keep us so busy we don’t have time to think about anybody else,” Cherri Walrod said, as she sat back laughing. “There is a joy in watching them.”

This year, the holiday season is different for the Eudora family of eight. Sixteen-month-old Samara squeezed in at the table, joining Loryn, 19; Landon, 14; Jamison, 12; Jintry, 5; and Simon, 4. And the family wouldn’t want it any other way.

While the family’s first three biological children have spent their entire lives learning about and celebrating in the American holiday spirit, Jintry, Simon and the newest addition, Samara, are just beginning to blend the American holiday with their Asian roots. Jintry and Samara are natives of South Korea, while Simon was born in China.

Paul and Cherri Walrod first looked into adoption seven years ago and have participated in an international adoption program since. With help from Dillon International, Inc., an Oklahoma-based adoption agency, the family was able to turn a dream into a reality.

“My wife brought it up as an option … see if that’s God’s will and, if it was, he would lead us in that direction,” Paul said.

The process also brought home a much-anticipated sister for their oldest daughter.

“It’s kind of something my parents felt called to do,” big sister Loryn Walrod said. “When my parents had my two brothers, I always wanted a little sister, and now we have them.”

Samara was brought home just in time for the holiday season — Oct. 10, to be exact. It wasn’t an easy road.

“For her to be here is a miracle. She was born at 23 weeks weighing just over three pounds,” Cherri said.

The Walrods have adopted three children. Are they done?

“Depends on the day,” Cherri Walrod said, laughing. “The process this time was a little more draining.”

The family hasn’t completely ruled out another addition, but now would like to shift its focus to helping others provide “forever families” for homeless children worldwide. The family is now working to educate and assist others through what can be a very lengthy and expensive adoption process.

According to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, there were 19,471 international adoptions during the last fiscal year.

“One barrier that we have found that affects families is cost,” said Steffany Aye, executive director of Adoption and Beyond in Overland Park.

In addition, demand is high for families willing to adopt special-needs children.

“Special needs can range greatly, everything from being a foster child to severe disabilities,” Aye said.

Angela Kopplin of Dillon International said finding families for special-needs children is important.

“We have a strong special-needs program and we do need families for that,” Kopplin said. “Anything from minor special needs, up to cleft lip and palate.”

In addition to Samara being born 17 weeks prematurely, Simon was born with a cleft palate. Kopplin said special-needs children flourish in the United States because of accessible health care and the loving households they live in.

“They are a little behind developmentally and it’s just a matter of days and weeks before they catch up because of regular love and touch,” Kopplin said.

The Walrod family is experiencing that transformation with Samara, not quite two months after she was brought home.

“It’s a really big blessing,” Loryn Walrod said about her little sister’s personality opening up.

Loryn is getting involved in the adoption community independently. She is studying at Baker University in Baldwin City and plans to pursue a career in the field.

Comments

onrywmn 6 years, 4 months ago

I think it is a wonderful thing that they are doing, but why not adopt a special needs child from the U.S.? There are a lot of special needs kids here that need homes too.

Deja Coffin 6 years, 4 months ago

I wish them a very happy holiday. Congrats on your expanding family!

coolmom 6 years, 4 months ago

thats unkind. while i agree that u.s kids need a hand as we have adopted one isnt it about helping any child?

jonas_opines 6 years, 4 months ago

"It may be unkind, but factual. I saw the same thing in Seattle. Everyone that abopted a kid had to talk about their “Chinese”, “Russian”, or “African” kid, stressing their point of irigin, like it was a trophy for them to parade around. I asked a co-worker why they adopted a Chinese kid instead of a poos American kid, and was akded back; “Why would we want to do that”? Kids aren't a piece of art to bring out at your dinner parties and then put away."Well, it's a good thing that Madmike collects such large sample data before he declares something factual. One entire persons recollected opinion, and his always trustworthy interpretation of other people's motivations, we're good here. It's definitely factual that all the people adopting other kids want the celebrity status of their exotic baby.

Thinking_Out_Loud 6 years, 4 months ago

I was going to point out the same thing, jonas_opines. People have this tendency to confuse the term "factual" with the term "inferential." If our educational system made kids pass a class in rhetorics, perhaps our citizens could tell the difference between facts and conclusions drawn from facts.

fascinating_person 6 years, 4 months ago

onrywmn,Are you implying that U.S. kids deserve this help more than kids from other parts of the world? It sure sounds that way.

Jessie Stoltenow 6 years, 4 months ago

What this family is doing is wonderful and I wish each of them a very happy holiday season. I think it's equally important to adopt in the states as well as other countries. Those of you that show absolutely no appreciation to this family and what their doing need to just shut up. I'm so tired of something so positive turning into something so negative, especially this time of year. You all need to grow up and appreciate those who can do this type of thing. I know I wish I could, but financially it's impossible. I love hearing stories like this.

Shardwurm 6 years, 4 months ago

Sorry...but until every child who needs help in America is adopted and taken care of I couldn't give a flip about kids in other countries - that's their problem.I agree with Madmike - it's so much 'cooler' to bring a child from a foreign country when we've got more than enough who need help right here in the US.

misseve 6 years, 4 months ago

Shardwurm (Anonymous) says…Sorry…but until every child who needs help in America is adopted and taken care of I couldn't give a flip about kids in other countries - that's their problem.I would not have stated it this way but agree...I have kids of my own and do not want more. Heck CAN not have more. CHOOSE not to have more, but if i were i would not adopt children from other countries before my own. I'm sorry... but there are cold and hungry AMERICAN children tonight.

Alia Ahmed 6 years, 4 months ago

For all of you being critical of adopting a child from another country, how many of you have adopted an older or special needs American child? Thank you Walrod family. I hope you and your family have a happy holiday season.

Confrontation 6 years, 4 months ago

It's more expensive to adopt one infant in the U.S., compared to one infant elsewhere. Even as the children get older, it's still too expensive here, unless you want to take on a child that has been severely messed up through our horrible foster care system. Not that those kids don't need good families, but most people don't want to deal with them.

AjiDeGallina 6 years, 4 months ago

madmike is very ignorant,it is often easier and cheaper to adopt over-seasIf an American child is not adopted, he or she still has a chance for a decent life in foster care (I said CHANCE) and We are all in this together, to protect a child, there is no us or them, it is the children that matter.Madmike has lost part of his soul, he is so sad and tired and bitter than he will never again be a whole person contributing to a civilized society.

black_butterfly 6 years, 4 months ago

I commend anyone that wants to care for a chlid that is not their own. There are so many unwanted, needy children in the foster care system. However I must agree with some of the other posters. Why not adopt within the U.S? Angelina Jolie and Madonna have made adopting little foriegn children a "fashion statement" and many Americans are following suit. It may just be that that they just want to draw attention to themselves when out in public with their little "show pieces". It is a way to say "look how generous I am" without saying anything. If they adopt a child that blends in with the family in appearance, no one will know that they adopted unless they ask. It is a blessing for anyone to adopt a child, but there are so many needy children in the U.S. It is no wonder that the U.S. economy is so weak. Most of our own citizens don't support the U.S. We don't buy American. Look at cars and electronics. Well I drive a foriegn car too- oops. For every foriegn child adopted by an American couple, there is an American child left in the foster care system, being supported by U.S. government dollars. I'm sure we'd be shocked if we knew how much money goes into taking care of one American foster child each month. Best wishes to the Walrod's now and in the future.

Alia Ahmed 6 years, 4 months ago

The Walrod's children are "American children" thanks to their willingness to adopt. No one hates American children just because we support this family's personal decision to adopt as they see fit.

dcmom46 6 years, 4 months ago

II see that some of you are concerned about the children in the American fostercare system. If the plight of these children bothers you so much, why don't you do something about it? There are approx. 130 million orphans worldwide, so there are plenty of orphans to go around. I will never understand why some people are so quick to judge and see a problem with those who are trying to make the world a better place, but never lift a finger to do something about it themselves.

countrygirl 6 years, 4 months ago

So why is there such a waiting list to adopt an American child?

Alia Ahmed 6 years, 4 months ago

Madmike,Here's a link to a story in the LJW on 12/7/08 about a white American kid who was adopted. I can't tell you if they were poor or not. I think she would describe her life as rich with love and nurturing. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/dec/07/woman-finds-birth-family/Here's a link to a story ran 11/18/08 about a drop in the number of overseas adoptions.http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/nov/18/foreign_adoptions_americans_drop_sharply/Here's another story about Arkansas' attempt to block gay and lesbians from adopting. I take it Arkansas doesn't have any poor white children awaiting adoption. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/aug/26/ban_unmarried_adoptions_ballot/Speaking of a derangement syndrome, madmike appears to be suffering from oppressed white male syndrome.

costello 6 years, 4 months ago

People turn to foreign adoptions for a variety of reasons, but one is that they think foreign orphans are somehow less damaged than U.S. foster kids are. It ain't necessarily so.I've adopted a teen from the foster care system. My sister adopted a 6 year old from a Russian orphanage. The two boys are about the same age now and have comparable problems.My sister spent $30,000 for her adoption. I spent $0.My son has a medical card as secondary to my health insurance. My sister's son doesn't.I receive a monthly adoption subsidy to help pay for my son's special needs. My sister doesn't.I received a huge amount of information about my son before I committed to him. My sister didn't.I got to meet my son and have a number of visits with him before he moved in. My sister flew to Russia and brought hers home after only a few days.I had (and still have) easy access to people in my son's history - including workers, former foster families, and bio family. My sister doesn't.My son didn't have to go through the stress and shock of adjusting to a new culture and learning a new language.If you're interested in adoption, pease consider a Kansas foster kid.

Alia Ahmed 6 years, 4 months ago

madmike (Anonymous) says… I miss your point Logan.madmike says........One question. Would the Urinal World have their yuppie faces in the paper if they had adopted a poor white American kid? I believe that the answer is no. So, how did the LJW find out about them? Did they themselves notify the LJW? Or were they bragging to all of their friends about their “Chinese” kid?That is my point, madmike. You said if it were a poor white child it wouldn't make the LJW. But the links I referenced were about a white woman who found her birth mother, a decrease in foreign adoptions and the state of Arkansas making it more difficult or impossible for gay and lesbian couples to adopt American children. My point is the LJW has run a number of stories about adoption and there seems to be a diversity of the children adopted and the people wanting to adopt. There are many reasons why people who to adopt internationally. For gay and lesbian couples, states have restricted or legislated against the adoption of American kids. For the family featured in this story, they believe they are doing God's will. For all our talk about cherishing our freedoms in this country, there are many folks who've commented on this story who don't seem to value this family's right to choose the child or children they will adopt.

shockchalk 6 years, 4 months ago

The family in this article adopted their children because they wanted to give them a loving home that they would not otherwise have. People have differing reasons for adopting internationally or in this country. Adoption, for the most part, is very expensive REGARDLESS of where you adopt. However, oversea's adoptions generally cost more that an adoption in this country. The people making money off of these adoptions are agencies and lawyers. Furthermore, they place a price on the children depending on their color of skin, physical condition, etc. It is sad that the first message we send these children is that their worth is based on the color of their skin or their physical ability. A lot of people in this world would love to adopt but simply cannot afford it. So, each night, hundreds of thousands of children go to bed wishing they had a mom or dad to tuck them in.

Alia Ahmed 6 years, 4 months ago

madmike,I have no doubt that people adopt children for some of the same reasons they have their own biological children, to treat them as extensions of themselves, to live vicariously through their children or it is expected of them. As a very proud parent and grandparent, someone could mistakenly think I'm bringing my children and grandchildren out as show pieces instead the over the top love and pride I have for and in my children and grandchildren. I have tried to get my children when they were younger and now my grandchildren to show off their many talents for my friends and family, but they usually won't oblige me and keep me humble, rightfully so. :~ )

dandelion 6 years, 4 months ago

It's funny, the people who are making the most noise about adopting American children are the same ones who don't like paying taxes to provide better foster care. They also don't do anything in their working or private lives to assist children. They have always expressed the belief that their only responsibility is to take care of themselves. Neither Marion or madmike would ever think about adopting a high needs child, because they would have to get off their computers and relate to another human being. Reading their comments makes me want to puke.

kidicarus 6 years, 4 months ago

Madmike, Marion, etc., Why is an American life more valuable than any other life? Aren't we all humans? Does our duty to help others stop at some arbitrary boundary line? God bless these people for helping kids in need, no matter where they are from. I'm sure they'll have a happy holiday. I'm equally sure that Marion, Madmike, etc. will continue being miserable people. Shame on you.

dcmom46 6 years, 4 months ago

http://www.eudoranews.com/news/2008/dec/11/unsung-heroes-affect-lives-one-time/Here is an article that may make madmike and some of the others a little happier. It is about another Eudora couple who is dedicated to fostercare.

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