Because of how big a problem human trafficking was becoming, China has pretty well limited international adoptions to special needs only. I think that was a smart move on China's part and are happy to adopt special needs because those kids really do need homes. One of the first steps we had to take was to fill out a Medical Needs Form. It's basically pages of medical conditions, most we've never heard of, that we had to check "yes" or "no" to. First we had to look up what each condition was, then go through and decide what we were willing to take on. But thinking about your future child, and going through a list like that is hard! Would you really want to say no to a child just because they are missing a leg? Or have dextrocardia? Or are an albino? If we had a biological child with any of those conditions, we wouldn't turn them away. So the first time through the list we starting checking "yes" to a lot of things... but then we remembered that we have four other kids to think about, and we knew we didn't want this adoption to have a negative impact on them... so we started unchecking some conditions, like albinism... we are outdoors people, and you have to keep albinos out of the sun... that would drastically change how we spend time together as a family. We've gone back and forth on some conditions several times. It's just so hard knowing that there are kids with these medical needs that need a home, all while trying to be realistic about what is best for your family. It's heart wrenching to know that a good number of the kids with the most severe problems will never have a family.
When we were told that a family had decided to move forward with Luo's adoption, we were sad. We were told so many times that it would be a miracle if we got him, so we weren't surprised when we didn't, but it's hard to feel so strongly about a child, and then have to forget about him and start thinking if not him, who? We did start looking at other children's photo-listings. There have been a few that have made their way into our hearts. The first was a boy named George with clubbed feet. Something about his picture drew me to him. He was listed with an agency that we weren't interested in working with, but Ryan and I both liked George. A few days ago his picture was moved to the "Angels" page. Meaning, he had passed away. Apparently George also had a heart condition that we didn't know about. Sweet little George, whose picture we had gone back to, over and over, died without a family of his own to mourn for him. Heart wrenching.
Then there was Timothy. His pleasant/mischievous/happy smile completely won us over. Ryan was especially taken with Timothy. But information on Timothy was limited to a few photos, a 16 second video of him playing peek-a-boo, and a reference to the fact that a second CT scan was not needed. What the first CT scan was for, we didn't know. We requested more information, but the woman in charge of his file was in China and we had to wait for her to get home. The days we had to wait for his file, Ryan and I watched those 16 seconds of peek-a-boo over and over with silly smiles on our faces wondering if Lou doesn't get to be ours, could Timothy possibly be? When we finally got his file and read through it, we knew right away that Timothy's needs would probably exceed our current abilities. We knew it wasn't right (heart wrenching), but we will always remember and love darling Timothy and pray that another family will love him and adore him too.