Elsie Larson, from Nashville, US, and her husband Jeremy made the decision to adopt a child from China’s “special needs” programme in November 2016, as they felt it was the “right choice” for their family.
Once they had a match, in August this year, they named their daughter Nova.
Just before Nova arrives, Larson has reflected on how the toddler must be feeling.
“Nova lost so much in her first two years... her birth parents, her birth name and her birthday,” Larson wrote on Instagram. “She didn’t have a note left with her. Sadly, a lot of Chinese orphans have estimated birthdays.”
The mum continued: “Soon Nova will be losing the place she knows, familiar faces and the country she was born in.
“Today I realised for the first time that most likely we’ll only ever have one photo of her below the age of two - one photo in two years.
“There are so many heartbreaking realities in adoption. Preparing to give Nova a magical childhood consumes so much of my mind.
“I feel lucky that’s she’s young enough to potentially have her first memories with us. We have a lot to try to make up for. Some of it we can’t give back to her, but we will still try.”
The couple were matched with two-year-old Nova, who has albinism, in early August 2017.
“Jeremy and I now spend our nights watching and re-watching a 30-second long video of a two-year-old girl in China, who in just three or four months, will be living here with us in our home,” Larson wrote at the time on her blog.
“We study every little mannerism, we pretend we already know her. It’s honestly kind of pathetic, but we’re loving every moment.”
The couple has since delved into learning about albinism and potential vision impairment so they are prepared when their daughter arrives.
According to the UK government’s website, if you wish to adopt a child from China, you must start the adoption process in Britain and comply with the requirements of UK adoption legislation. You must register and be approved by a registered adoption agency before beginning the process.
The International Adoption Guide (IAG) states China has “very strict criteria” for prospective parents wanting to adopt their children.
China Centre for Children Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) is responsible for inter-country adoptions in China and it runs the “special needs” adoption programme.
Children may be considered special needs because they had a corrected surgery at birth, because they have a birth mark, they are missing a finger, they were a premature baby or have health issues.
For more information on the adoption procedure in China, click here.