Bartlett’s childhood wish becomes reality

Fiona Stahl, Online Editor

Over the course of the past year, biology teacher Stacy Bartlett and her family, have been in the process of adopting a six year old girl from China. This long process brings many challenges, but is much rewarded with their new addition. 

Photo by Natalie Williams
Stacy Bartlett tells her class what’s on the agenda for class on Oct. 9, 2019. She gently reminds them to clean up after themselves, and explains their assignment for the day.

Bartlett explained “it is hard, but having biological kids is hard. Anything that is worth it is hard,” and that is why it will be “worth it when we have her.” 

The Bartlett family has had to make many sacrifices along the way to accommodate for this addition to their family. In the end, it will ultimately be worthwhile. 

“You know, it is expensive and we did have to alter the way we live, so we made it a priority,” Bartlett explained. 

The adoption is a long, time consuming process. It is made up of back and forth paperwork done in the adoptee’s province and the U.S. Consulate. Many other critical documentation are required, such as the Bartlett’s original birth and marriage certificates, physicals, various medical tests, fingerprints multiple times at county, state and national levels and a visit from an official to ensure their house meets safety guidelines. 

“It really is a paper chase and some people refer to it as being ‘paper pregnant’. We have had a lot of opportunities to practice our patience,” Bartlett said. 

Her and her family have always had adoption in the back of their mind. Bartlett’s husband had always thought he would adopt as well; making this decision a perfect fit. Having taught multiple adopted students over her career, has also touched her along the way.  

“I lived in a small town in third grade and there was a family who had adopted three children from Korea. I remember then thinking, I am going to adopt someday, so it has always been like that,” Bartlett added. 

This life long journey has been ongoing for many years. After two major disappointments and 40 to 50 inquiries on different children, they have finally successfully been paired. 

“At this point, time was really pressing. We started this process when our oldest child was going into eighth grade and now he is a senior. We really wanted him to have a relationship with this child,”  Bartlett explained. 

Adoption time can range from seven months to over seven years. Many things come into play that can affect this timeframe such as age, gender, and health. In China, children are being born with birth defects believed to be caused by environmental pollutants. 

“If you are not waiting for a particular child and are open to special needs it will be a shorter wait time. Waiting for a healthy child could have you waiting for at least five years. The younger the child, results in a longer wait,” Bartlett said.

Using the website EVOLVE as an organization tool, you will be surprised to know Facebook has been one of Bartlett’s go to resources. She has browsed many different pages that later led her to make her own blog. This allows others to follow her and her family’s journey. 

I think if I had not read other peoples stories, we would not be where we are now.”

— Stacy Bartlett

EVOLVE’s website features many families waiting to adopt.  Each family lists very personal details about themselves, including their education and even their plans for daycare in the event they are fortunate enough to become adoptive parents.

Until this article, and without too much thought, it’s surprising how many acquaintances have been adopted just in the community.  Junior Nick Whitcomb, is too young to remember much about his adoption.  

“I was only 1 1/2 when I moved to the U.S. from Guatemala,” Whitcomb said.

The Bartlett family will travel to China in late October and will not return home for about two weeks. This is only the beginning to this new chapter in their lives. 

“Everything kind of fell into place and so I think that she was meant to be our daughter. So many signs pointed in that direction. Somehow I just know,” Bartlett said.