The Story of AIS
by Marcia Barker
Growing up with adoption
My life has not just been touched by adoption, it has been fully embraced. I grew up in an adoptive family. My brother was adopted as a 6-week-old infant. Four years later my parents gave birth to me. Growing up with a brother who was adopted helped me embrace adoption to build a family.
My family’s story
Like so many I faced infertility issues, surgeries and miscarriage as my husband and I tried to build a family. While adoption seemed the natural next step the unknown world of adoption seemed daunting. We were told the wait
was 3 to 5 years to adopt domestically. At that time babies (3 months+) were more available internationally. So, we plunged into the world of international adoption. The adoption journey was not without its ups and downs. We experienced failed program in Chili and a failed adoption in Korea. After those lows our high came with a match to a premature 6-month-old son from Korea. Then came the news that he might have cerebral palsy or be mentally impaired due to possible oxygen deprivation at birth. Fortunately, he did not have these issues, but we accepted him in blind faith.
We settled in as a family of 3 and after a while we realized would like to add another child to our family. This time we felt that we wanted to add a girl to our family. We prepared to adopt again but found new challenges. Korea was the easy choice but that was closed to us since we wanted a girl. After some soul searching we decided that we were OK not adopting a baby and that toddler would be a good choice for us. So we signed up for a Colombian program and began the wait. Not being good at waiting I explored other programs. I found an 18-month-old waiting little girl in Thailand born at 28 weeks. We raced to get paperwork ready for Thailand. We were accepted to adopt her but were not able to bring her home until she was almost 3 years old.
What happened next
Adoption had really become a large part of our lives by this point. We began to ask ourselves what the next step should be. “Should we adopt again?” or was there another path for me? My journey taught me so much about adoption and became integral to our lives I began to think that I should start an organization to help families like mine be able to adopt. I could provide individualized education, referrals, guidance and advocacy – all the things I needed but didn’t have during my journey. Thus, Adoption Information Services, Inc. (AIS) was born. AIS is my third child. Now she is almost 30 years old and we have assisted with creating more than 2,800 families through adoption. Start your own journey with AIS here.