We are Ashley and Vince Banion
We started dating way back in high school in 2001, but have known each other our whole lives. We come from the small town of South Charleston, where everyone knows everyone. Growing up in a small town helped shape us into the people we are today. We love the sense of community that comes from living in a small town, and look forward to raising our children here.
After high school, we chose to go to college at Wittenberg University, where we met a lot of new people, and learned a lot about life. We had done everything together for so long, that we decided, "why not go down the same career path?", so we chose education. Teaching was something that Ashley wanted to do since she was a kid, but I didn't really know what I wanted to do, so I decided to take an Education class with her. I'm really glad that I did; I think I found my calling. I'm so glad that I decided to follow her down the path, and become a teacher.
In the Spring of 2006, we both graduated from Wittenberg with a Bachelor's Degree in Middle Childhood Education. Ashley was lucky enough to land a job in our hometown of South Charleston, right after graduation. I was also lucky to land a job right out of college, but my career started at Northridge Middle School in Springfield, OH. I will forever be grateful for the years I spent at Northridge, making new friends, and meeting thousands of great kids, but in 2014 I was given an opportunity to come home to Southeastern. It was an opportunity that I couldn't turn down. Now Ashley and I work at the same high school, which allows us to see each other everyday.
Adoption has always been something that we wanted to do. Being teachers, we have both seen children that have either been foster children or children that have already been adopted, and have seen the impact that being adopted by loving parents can make on their lives. As former history teachers, we also know how the traditions in some Asian countries force women to put their children up for adoption, and how the limit on the number of children per household causes most kids to stay in an orphanage their whole childhood. This has led us to make the decision to adopt from Japan.
Thank you so much for reading our story. We really appreciate your support throughout this long, but worthwhile process.
May 12, 2016-Sent in application to Faith International
May 23, 2016-Sent in check for application fee
July 22, 2016-Sent in Application to Caring for Kids (our homestudy agency)
August 5, 2016-First (and last!!) homestudy visit
August 16, 2016-Received I-600A form from Faith International to fill out for immigration
October 2016-Sent out all forms and checks to Faith
November 19. 2016-Received our homestudy approval
November 23, 2016-Faith mailed out everything to USCIS for approval
December 19, 2016-We got our fingerprints for USCIS
January 4, 2017-USCIS Approved
January 20, 2017-Officially on the waiting list for a referral...#3 on the American list!
February 2, 2017-Moved up to #2 on the American wait list
February 27, 2017-Officially #1 on the wait list!
March and April, 2017-a few possible babies born, but none go US
May 19, 2017-received referral for a baby girl!
May 22, 2017-birth mom changed her mind; we lost our referral
June-July 2017-eight other babies born that could potentially be ours, but none were meant to be.
July 27, 2017-Faith emailed us at 11:30 at night with a potential baby possibly going into custody, but she was 2 1/2 months old. We told Faith we would love to be considered and that we did not care how old she is!
August 2, 2017-Baby Life in Japan takes custody of an almost 3 month old baby girl!!!
August 9, 2017-we received a referral for an adorable baby girl!
August 11, 2017-Baby girl turned 3 months old!
August 12, 2017-we hopped on a plane headed for Japan!
August 14, 2017 (Japan time)-we met our baby girl for the first time!
August 18, 2017 (Ohio time)-we arrived home with our daughter :)