Nationwide, 2014 saw the lowest number of foreign adoptions in three decades. In Minnesota, that trend followed suit. There were 890 adoptions a decade ago, and last year, only 186.
For the Larsons, family is truly top priority. They adopted Nash from Korea almost 3 years ago, and Leo just last December, but his adoption took more trips and more time. The Larsons will tell any family it's getting harder to adopt in other countries. Meanwhile, foreign adoptions in Minnesota are down nearly 80 percent compared to a decade ago.
"We've seen a decrease in the number of families coming forward to adopt, and also the children who are able to be adopted from those countries," Jane Lee of Children's Home Society said.
Lee said some countries are banning American adoptions and even more are encouraging domestic adoptions within their borders, leaving the older kids available for foreign adoption.
"There's still this conception that you go to adopt and you get this baby. That's just not the picture of adoption anymore, international adoption," Lee said.
To encourage adoption of older kids, Children's Home sends potential parents abroad to spend time with kids. Another organization, Camp of Dreams, brings kids to America from Columbia. Regardless, many adoptive families agree it's a lifelong journey, and that love and patience are key. The process, however, is one the Larsons say doesn't matter the moment the kid in the photo is in your arms.
"Everyone always says how lucky your kids are. That's not how I feel at all. We're the lucky ones that get to be blessed with being their forever family," Bret Larson said.
Learn more about the Children's Home Society: http://www.chsfs.org/