- What agency did you use when adopting from China? We used Madison Adoption Associates.Madison Adoption website Madison is a small agency which handles mostly China adoptions and other country programs.
- Why did you choose Madison Adoption Associates? This is kind of a funny story. We didn't choose Madison, God chose them! When we were first starting our first adoption journey we found Madison through Michelle McGowan who runs In His Hands Orphan Outreach.
- How would you describe your experience with MAA? Flawless. They are a small personal agency, but don't let size fool you. Bigger is NOT better.
- Do you feel you were just a number with MAA? Absolutely not! We felt a personal connection to this agency and always felt they were only working for our family. Our phone calls and emails were always returned promptly with in two days, sometimes with in the day or hour!
MAA is personal and highly experienced with China adoptions. It is not a business to them, they care about each and every child who comes home and the families who take the journey. Madison is like a family.
MAA does NOT have travel groups! If you are at the beginning of your adoption journey or exploring adoption from China, this may not mean much, however some agencies only schedule adoption trips on certain dates and you must travel with in a group. Sometimes this can delay travel to pick up your child by weeks. Some agencies require you to spend some time "sight seeing" in Beijing. While this may be desirable, sometimes it is not realistic. MAA does not require extra "sight seeing".
MAA has MANY orphanage partnerships allowing them to match more children to their forever families. Wait times, while not a guarantee are significantly shorter with MAA for children with special needs.
MAA answers questions quickly and efficiently. MAA staff are experts in China adoption.
MAA in China coordinator is not a travel agent. Richard Zhang has a law degree and sits on the board of Love without Boundaries. He cares about the children.
WHAT ADOPTION IS NOT
- It is not a "vacation" to China. While travel to China is required to adopt your child, and it is a wonderful, crazy experience of a different culture, the primary goal is bonding and attaching with your child and completing the paperwork.
- It is not a trip to buy/shop for cheap knock offs. Let's face it. We all know of someone who's family member traveled to China and brought back fabulous name brand stuff for pennies on the dollar. The adoption trip is not about shopping. You may have an opportunity to shop but its not a primary focus. Paperwork and spending time with your child are the goals.
- It's not about you. It's about your child. Traveling to a foreign country IS scary and we all want the comforts of home if possible. Remember however, you are representing the United States. Be humble and appreciative of the people.While we may not understand the culture of abandoning children, we still need to remember to be sympathetic and polite.