Catrina and William Nowrey can’t wait to expand their family of three.
The Ewing, New Jersey, couple — who are both deaf — initially opened up their hearts and home to Ramona, 6, in June 2016. The first grader, who was born in China, is also deaf and “quickly” adapted to her new life, learning American customs and ASL with help from her parents.
Now, the family is ready to adopt again, and are working to bring 5-year-old Cody, also deaf, to the U.S. from China.
“We wanted another child from China, because we believe it is important for Ramona to explore her culture with someone,” Catrina, who lost her hearing as a baby due to a fever, tells PEOPLE via email. “Ramona can’t wait to meet her brother, she is saving some toys to give to Cody!”
The couple, who tied the knot in 2008 after meeting at New Jersey’s School for the Deaf in Trenton, miscarried twice before deciding to adopt. They also struggled with failed IVF treatments.
“We can’t have children on our own, so we want to give children a good home, love and a better life,” says Catrina. “I’d actually always wanted to adopt because there are so many children who need a good home and a loving family.”
Catrina and William were specifically looking at deaf children available for adoption in China when they first discovered Ramona.
“She’s our daughter, no doubt,” says Catrina. “She’s just the sweetest girl with lots of energy and since we are both deaf, we figured it would help her adapt.”
Mountains of paperwork and three home studies later, they brought Ramona home in May 2016.
“She’s been learning American sign language so quickly!” says Catrina. “One day she came home and told us that she wants to have a brother or sister and we realized it was the right time to adopt another child.”
Not long after, they discovered Cody on an adoption website.
The Nowreys are now in the process of adopting their son — filling out paperwork, doing home studies and raising money for a plane ticket and adoption costs. They plan on traveling to China next spring to bring him to the U.S.
“Ramona is so excited,” says Catrina. “She wants him to get here already!”