I'm back to having very little time for knitting and I thought I'd explain why. My husband and I have decided to adopt a child from China. The story is continually evolving, but I thought I'd start from the beginning:
Well, actually I don't think our adoption story has an actual beginning point. The "beginning" was really just a compilation of experiences, thoughts, and impressions that seem to have been preparing us for what was meant to be. There was the time when I was in China, visiting a local hotel for their delicious American breakfast, and saw a large group of adoptive families that were there meeting their beautiful new family additions for the first time. I know that made a impression on me, but I definitely didn't think, "That will be me someday". There was also a dream in which we adopted a child. I can't remember all of the specifics of the dream, just the feeling it left me with. The overwhelming feeling of how good it would be to give love to someone who otherwise might not have it. That dream has stayed with me. Often, when hearing of other people's adoption or foster care stories, I've felt a little tug on my heart. My husband, Ryan, and I have occasionally talked about the possibility of adopting or providing foster care, but it was always just a maybe... and far, far away, in the distant future... if the right opportunity were to present itself. Because honestly, we're very comfortable with the size of our family right now.
But on October 8th, after the kids were all in bed, I was looking through my Russell-Silver Syndrome parent group and saw this message from a Russell-Silver parent who now does all of Dr. Harbison's screenings for her now:
Is anyone interested in adding an adorable little Chinese RSS 11mo-old boy to your family? I recently did an evaluation on a little boy that I think is so cute, so alert, so bright, and absolutely adorable. At 50 years old, adding a one-year-old to my family is (contrary to my daughter's wishes) impossible.... His name is Luo.Luo was found abandoned several days after birth on a bridge in China in winter. Luck was on his side, because he was immediately brought to a center that hospitalized him due to concerns about his "large head." Testing of course ruled out any problems, and here is where his luck continued. He was placed with an American foster family in China.... who had experience with RSS through a prior child.... and self-diagnosed him....The first possible adoptive family is the one that contacted me, but they don't feel they can handle a child with medical needs. So I am reaching out to any of you. You all know RSS and that is isn't as "horrible" as people who are inexperienced think. Would any of you consider adding Luo to your family?
This time I didn't feel a little tug. My heart jumped. I told Ryan he needed to come see something. I couldn't even explain to him what I was thinking or feeling, I just sobbed. When I was able to regain my composure, I was able to tell him that I thought we needed to try to adopt little Luo. Ryan was just about to leave to play basketball and said he would think about it. When he got home, he let me know that he also felt that we needed to look into it.
The next day I was on the phone with the adoption agency trying to find out if it would even be a possibility. Guess what? Adopting a baby internationally isn't nearly as easy as wanting to adopt a baby internationally is. We do actually meet all of the qualifications. Unfortunately for us though, Luo's file is categorized as "LID-only", meaning only families that have already completed their dossier (paperwork sent to China) can be matched to him. Also, the agency can only keep his file for 90 days before it goes back to the CCCWA (Chinese adoption office) where it will most likely be reassigned to another agency. His 90 days were almost up and I was told that once his file moved on, we'd have a very hard time tracking Luo. And chances are, he would be adopted before we could possibly get our dossier to China. (It takes about 6 months) Basically, it would be nearly impossible to pull off.
Ryan and I had a ginormous decision to make. Were we ready to invest our time, money (lots of it) and efforts into the adoption process even if we might not be able to adopt sweet Luo? We agreed that we couldn't deny the feeling that we should move forward. So we've been working like mad to get all of our paperwork started (piles, heaps, mountains of paperwork!) We've started our homestudy (where a social worker comes to visit us a bunch of times to see if we're fit parents) I reached out to multiple people, including former Governor Huntsman (he was the US Ambassador to China and has adopted out of China) to see if they, or any one of their contacts, might know how to petition for a change in Luo's file's status, which would allow us to be matched to him without having ALL of the paperwork complete. We didn't receive any responses, by the way. But we decided to give it 110% of our efforts, and if Luo was adopted to another family, we would be slightly heartbroken, but happy that Luo would have a home and family. We also realize that he may have just been the catalyst to make us finally pay attention to the thoughts we have had about adoption. Either way, we are commited to adopt, a special needs child from China, in the very near future.
Stay tuned for Part Two: Telling the Kids