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International Adoption

Leave Behind Your Preconceived Notions

An interview with Sarabeth Wheeler, an America World Affiliate Board Member

Meet Sarabeth Wheeler and her son, Maverick! Sarabeth and her husband, John, adopted Maverick from South Korea through Holt International in 2019. They used America World to do their home study and fulfill their post-adoption requirements.

Like the Wheelers, many of the families we work with are in what we call the “social services only” category, which most commonly means they are adopting through another Hague-accredited agency not licensed in the state where they live. Because we are licensed in 19 states, our adoption professionals can help!

Since adopting Maverick, Sarabeth has become a strong advocate for adoption. She now serves as the Georgia representative on our Affiliate Board, and she recently went back to school to earn her degree in social work with the goal of working in the adoption field one day.  She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in May and will enter graduate school next. Ultimately, she dreams of starting a nonprofit that supports teen mothers.

We are so excited about everything God is doing in Sarabeth’s life, so we wanted to share her story. Keep reading to learn more!

What led you to adopt?

ISouth Korea knew from a young age that international adoption was going to be a part of my story in life. My mom always wanted to adopt but it just never happened, and I think it may have been a mantle that was passed to me. I had always pictured a little girl from Africa, but God knew the child we were supposed to bring home, and through a series of different things, we felt led to the Korea program.

How did you choose South Korea as the country?

Along with about five other countries, South Korea was one of the countries we were pre-qualified for based on our family demographics. We liked that they had a shorter travel requirement which for my husband’s job was ideal. We could take two shorter trips versus one long one. Aside from that, it was just God. We prayed and felt that’s what He was showing us.

What would you say to a family considering adoption?

I would say leave all your preconceived notions or ideas behind. Adoption is messy, and it’s not easy. But it’s also so beautiful in so many ways. Don’t go into the process for you. Adoption is for the child, not for the parents. And love the child’s whole family (even if you don’t know them), not just the child. Buckle up and hold on! Adoption is a wild ride!

International AdoptionThank you to Sarabeth for sharing a little of her story! We are happy to show you yet another way someone becomes part of what we consider our America World family, and we are expectantly waiting to see what God does in her life next!

If you are considering adoption, visit our Learn About Adoption page. We look forward to helping you in any way that we can on your journey.

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