Hi, we are the Spanglers. We had an amazing adventure in adopting our daughter Phionah, who was originally supposed to be our son Abudu. It was a long tiresome journey, but in the end, thanks to KC Kids connections, we were able to come home with a beautiful daughter. Here is our story.

We got to Uganda in January and after arriving there, our adoption agency went bankrupt (taking $8,500 of our money with them, which we have been informed through lawyers that we will not recoup).  They left us high and dry and the Ugandan attorney they used ended up being as corrupt as they come.  He kept promising us a court day each day and it never came.  We spent 3 months there (my husband left after 7 weeks) trying to navigate the system and make it all work.  Finally, we got a court date…and we proceeded on (remember court is the first step, so we still had a ways to go).  While we were there, we met a 12 year old girl (now 13) who was from the same orphanage and we fell in love with her as well.  We were approved to adopt 2 children and so we hired a new Ugandan lawyer (a reputable one) to do her case (we figured we could get hers done at the same time since Abudu’s was taking so long).  We completed her adoption before Abudu’s was even done.  Sadly, in the end, it came out that Abudu was not a legal orphan (remember the attorney was corrupt) and we could not continue on to complete his adoption.We ended up in Uganda 5 months total and we arrived home with Phionah on Father’s Day this past June.  This adoption process was very bitter sweet for us as losing Abudu was heartbreaking.  He had been with us nearly the whole 5 months we were there and losing him was hard.  However, gaining our wonderful new daughter was amazing.  With Uganda adoption…you get legal guardianship of the child in Uganda and then legal adoption takes place in the US.We appreciate the support KC Kids Connections have given us.  Without the help from others, I don’t know how we would have done it.  In the end, this adoption endeavor totaled $59,000 (double what our other 2 adoptions had totaled).  We had to take out more credit cards while in country and do more adoption fundraisers and we are in a lot of debt, but it could have been more had we not received help from KC Kids Connections and other family and friends or worse yet, we may have had to throw in the towel while over there and come home having added no children to our family…and it nearly did come to that on several occasions.  Though none of this worked out the way we had intended or ever thought would happen, we learned that it was never our plan to begin with.  We believe this was all God’s plan and while we don’t understand all of it, we are thankful for all we learned and went through as it has shaped our family and changed us forever.

Uganda adoptions are difficult that’s for sure, but there are so many children suffering in that region.  So many children who need permanent loving families.  After what we have been through, it is hard to recommend anyone towards Uganda adoptions, but for those that feel they have the stamina…I say go for it.  There is a boy (also from the same orphanage) who is HIV+  and we have been advocating for him.  A family has recently showed interest in him.  Of course I was delighted to hear that and long for this boy to have a family, yet I fear for the family to end in heartache like we did with Abudu (especially since I have been advocating for him), so all I can do is be honest and tell this family what we have learned.  I admire those that go back to adopt again in Uganda after already having done so because they know how hard it is.  I know of several families who have done so and in fact one family who is here in Anchorage right now that we finally get to meet after developing an online friendship through Uganda adoption groups are going back for 2 more children (one without any legs).  I personally got to meet this little boy while there and he needs a family so badly.  I am so proud that this family has answered the call to adopt him (and the other boy too), but I worry for them.  This endeavor is not easy and not for the faint of heart.  Although we are in debt ourselves, we are doing what we can to help and support them in their fundraising efforts because we believe in the call and we have seen the need.  The need is so great.  I write this to you because it is my way of saying thank you.  Thank you that you have supported my family and many other adoptive families over the years.  This world needs more people in it like you.  People that actually care about other people.  People that want to make a difference in the lives of others.  People with hearts so big they sacrifice so that others can have joy.

Simply thank you.  Thank you for being a part of creating MY FAMILY.  You have made a difference in our life.

-Amanda-