"We struggled with infertility for over 12 years and had discussed fostering and the possibility of adoption, but were never on the same page. We really got the idea to adopt after our first mission trip to Lima, Peru. We worked in an orphanage (New Life Children's Home) there and began to see the need for forever families," says Vanessa Capps on the recent adoptions of McKenna and Teagan. "We originally started the process to adopt from there (Peru), but after things didn't work out it seemed that God was leading us to adopt from China. We met with social workers from our agency in Birmingham, Alabama, and they laid out all our options and we both said 'China' as soon as we were back in the car. We're so thankful for that mission trip to Peru - it changed our lives forever!"
Patience and persistence were required of the Tryon, NC couple, Shane and Vanessa Capps. "It's a very lengthy process. We began with a home-study, which was multiple visits and phone interviews, letters of recommendation from our friends, multiple background checks, fingerprints, bio metric fingerprints, Visa's, writing of our biographies, letters from employers, and tons and tons of paperwork. The process for McKenna took about 3 years (we started before she was even born)" says Vanessa. "China is a Special Needs adoption country, so we had to list out what we could/couldn't handle, which was agonizing and required consultation with family, friends, and several doctors. We were matched with McKenna when she was 13 months old and met her 5 months later. During that time, we were able to send her packages and received several photos and videos from the orphanage. With Teagan, we received her file when she was 17 months old and met her 3 months later. That process flew by (less than a year from application to travel).
When asked what it was like to bring McKenna home, Shane responded, "A dream come true for me.... having McKenna changed our lives in such a positive way and we loved her so much that I think it made it a pretty easy decision to go back for Teagan, plus, we really wanted McKenna to be able to grow up with a sister that would also know exactly about what she was going through."
Vanessa adds, "I think they will help each other in more ways than we will ever know. We live in a rural area with a very small Asian population, so we get questions nearly everywhere we go. Most people are nice but a lot ask inappropriate questions - don't respect the girls' privacy. There are things in their files that we will share as the girls are get older and start asking questions, but there are things that we simply don't know and will most likely never know.... but I wouldn't change a thing. These girls have been a blessing from God and we are so grateful!"
"There are a lot of steps to go through and although very necessary a lot of background checks to go through as well. That being said the process of adopting from China actually went very well both times and we have nothing but great things to say about our adoption agency and their wonderful staff of caring people that made all of this possible. Also, we are so grateful to the country of China for allowing us to take these to beautiful little girls home. They have made our family complete!"
McKenna is already somewhat of a star in her short years here in the US. She was recently featured on America's Funniest Videos with her debut hula-hooping attempts. She is excited to be starting kindergarten this fall at Tryon Elementary, and her little sister Teagan, is beginning to talk and mimic her big sister. Vanessa and Shane, sensitive to the girls heritage, kept part of their original names after the adoptions. McKenna Xia-Rae Capps was born in Yinchuan, Ningxia China, and Teagan Zouey Capps was born in Nanjing, Jiangsu China.
If you are interested in learning more about adopting children from China, the Capps recommend Lifeline Children's Services, located in Birmingham, Alabama. "We chose Lifeline because they worked with the orphanage in Peru. They have a staff that supports families both before and post-adoption. They pray for their adoptive families and are very intentional about placement."