10 Unorthodox Moments of the Adoption Experience

When it comes to adoption, you never know what path you may find yourself going down.

Rebekah Yahoves July 18, 2018

Adoptive parents endure formal evaluations both before and after their status becomes official. In many ways, the process of becoming a parent is more ceremonial for adoptive parents than it is for other families. Yet some parents and children have experienced playfully unconventional moments in their journeys that they wanted to share with our readers.


I Know This One
1. I Know This One

We were in front of the Polish court judge who was finalizing our adoption. She asked my age, and I forgot how old I was. Also, she kept asking if we were going to buy my daughter a pony.

Rebekah from North Carolina

Keep Your Teeth Clean
2. Keep Your Teeth Clean

This is our daughter during our bonding time in a foreign country. She thought the “sink” was the perfect size for brushing her teeth!

Leigh from North Carolina

A Quick Question…
3. A Quick Question…

When one of the three international judges presiding over our adoption hearing found out my husband was an orthopedic surgeon, he wanted to know if he could ask him some questions after the session about some pain he was having. Another judge, clearly hungover, was tough on us in court but met us outside afterwards, gave us a big hug, and thanked us for adopting. Then he drove off in his full-sized Hummer. It was surreal!

Laura from South Carolina

Oh, Um...
4. Oh, Um...

We saw this in a restaurant restroom during our bonding time with our child in Krakow, Poland. The signs mean “milk, vodka, beer.”

Eric from North Carolina

Let Me Show You the Door…
5. Let Me Show You the Door…

About five minutes before our final evaluative visit by the social worker, our boys tried to show her the door. When she asked why, they told her there was a game of “zombies” they needed to finish. It was quiet for a moment, but then everyone started to laugh and the social worker asked them to show her how to play. That was the same appointment when my younger son, then five, climbed onto the table and destroyed the chocolate cake we had put out for our guest just before she arrived. He was quite pleased with himself. Luckily, we cleaned him up quickly and had bought an extra cake.

Amanda from Wisconsin

Roll It on Home
6. Roll It on Home

We are northwestern stock-up buyers, and we filled our cart with groceries during our first shopping trip in Warsaw while bonding with our new child. We thought we were being proactive and wouldn’t have to come back for a while. Then we realized that we had no bags to carry them all home, so we bought a roller suitcase from the mall next door. We call it our “American” moment.

Amie from Wisconsin

Just a Tripe-le
7. Just a Tripe-le

My 3-year-old daughter convinced me to buy this while I was bonding with her in Poland. She thought it was shredded perogies in soup form (which would be combining her two favorite foods in the world). It is really tripe, the stomach lining from a cow.

Marbree from Missouri

Hum a Little Tuna
9. Hum a Little Tuna

When I was bonding with my child in a foreign country, I made the mistake of going grocery shopping without Google translate. I guess I figured the packaging was a suggestion of what you could do with it, and not what was in the container. In America, I have never eaten tuna like that!

Jocelyn from Ohio

Local Color
10. Local Color

The prosecutor in our court during the adoption hearing was a tall, good-looking young man in a suit...and red high heels. We were very surprised!


Patch It Up
11. Patch It Up

We tried very hard to keep a straight face while our international social worker cut up band-aids into strips and lectured me on the importance of putting band-aids over my child’s belly-button hole to keep him from getting car sick.

Cyndi from Virginia

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Rebekah Yahoves

Rebekah Yahoves is a writer, mother, and music teacher from Long Island. In 2016, she adopted three school-aged siblings from Poland at the same time. When she isn't constructing casseroles or tuning violins, Rebekah likes to go on tea binges and read.

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