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Posted by FAN Admin in International/Adoption Philippines on 04 23rd, 2009

April 23, 2009

Dear Partners of ICAB,

Due to the large number of unmatched approved adoption applications of Prospective Adoptive Parents wanting to adopt children within the age range of 0-2 years old with or without medical/developmental concerns coupled with the limited number of chidlren of such category, effective MAY 1, 2009, ICAB has set a moratorium on accepting new applicants wanting to adopt from the abovementioned category.

ICAB shall resume accepting new applications for the aforementioned categories only after it has processed at least 50% of the existing families in our current list.  Starting May 1, 2009, only families who would want to adopt a child three (3) years old and above would be considerd by ICAB.

We hope for your cooperation and continued support. Thank you.

Vdery truly yours,

Executive Director

Ang Aking Pamilya/My Family: Jen Barroga

Posted by lecrowder in Our Stories on 04 2nd, 2009

Ang Aking Pamilya
By Jen Barroga

Barroga Family picture
This coming May, my husband, Ron, and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary.  It’s amazing how quickly time has passed.  Ten years ago we were doe-eyed 25-year-olds ready to immerse ourselves into our new life together.  We planned our future to a tee:  we bought our first house a few months prior, next step was to enjoy married life for about a year or so, and then start trying to have a baby.  After our biological kids were a few years older, we would look into adopting a child from the Philippines.  As easy as that plan may have seemed, we quickly learned that our family planning was going to be anything but easy.

Like many other couples, we sought infertility treatment and rode the emotional roller coaster for a few years. After no success, we decided to rethink our family planning.  It dawned on us that maybe it was in God’s plan for us to adopt first and then maybe biological children would come afterwards.  I knew of one other Filipino family who adopted from the Philippines, so I contacted them to learn more about the whole process.  After talking with them about their experience, we were ready to move forward and begin our journey to having a child of our own.

Although both of us were born and raised in the U.S., Ron and I naturally wanted to adopt a child from the Philippines, where our parents emigrated from decades ago. With them, they brought the beautiful culture of their homeland and passed it on to us.  At a very early age, I learned how important ‘family’ was and how necessary it was to extend a helping hand to those in our Filipino community, embracing the bayanihan spirit.  Both Ron and I were surrounded by many “aunties and uncles” who were not related by blood but were considered to be family nonetheless. Our extended family met regularly to eat together, pray together, build an organization together.  We learned about their similar stories; how they all moved to a foreign country, hoping to create a better life with more opportunities for their own families and for themselves.  It was an inspiring and courageous story which reinforced our decision to adopt a child overseas.  We understood
the value of our culture and experienced the beautiful camaraderie between our parents and their kababayan.  Having such a positive influence on us, our parents later eased any worries we had initially about introducing the idea of adoption to them.

During the first year of our marriage, our families were eager for us to start having children.  It didn’t matter that we were newlyweds, still making that transition from “boyfriend-girlfriend” to “husband-wife.”  Everyone wanted us to start our family planning right away.  Although we got the occasional “So…no kids yet?” comment, we stuck with our master plan of trying to have kids after our first year of marriage.  When we decided that we were going to adopt a child from the Philippines, our parents’ initial reaction was surprise.  They encouraged us to just “keep trying” and that it (pregnancy) would eventually happen.  After explaining to them that adoption was part of our family planning regardless of whether or not we had biological children, they quickly warmed up to the idea and eventually became our biggest cheerleaders.  It was comforting to know that our parents were just as excited as we were to meet our newest family

Prior to picking up our child and bringing her home, Ron and I each had visited the Philippines twice as young children, and then together in 2003 to visit family.  It was an eye-opening experience for us as adults.  We were able to understand just how challenging life had been for our immigrant parents, as well as the current struggle for our relatives in the Philippines.  Although they didn’t have many material things or even basic necessities, their genuine happiness and love for life truly humbled us.  After the last trip, we appreciated our heritage and culture even more.  It was a beautiful lesson, one that we have carried with us and have already begun to pass down to our child.

For 2½ years now, Ron and I have had the honor of being Papa and Mama to our daughter, Marielle.  She completed our family at age 14 months and has grown into a precocious 3½-year-old.  From the beginning, we instilled cultural values in her so that she, too, will develop a sense of love and respect for her Filipino culture.  She leads us in prayer before every meal, she knows to mano her elders when they extend their hand out to her, and she refers to her older cousins as kuya or ate.  She is a singer and dancer at heart and has already mastered some songs on our karaoke machine!  Also, since both Ron and I understand but do not speak Tagalog, we have taught her songs in Tagalog so that the language does not sound foreign to her.  When she gets older, we would like to have her participate in a Filipino cultural dance troupe and to visit the Philippines eventually.

Life has been even sweeter since Marielle became a part of our pamilya.  Our adoption journey enveloped an array of emotions that tested our patience, our faith, our marriage. It has definitely been a humbling experience.  Marielle is a gift from God — Papa and Mama’s little miracle.  She gives us more reason to celebrate our life together and has given us more purpose than she will ever realize.