Friday, June 10, 2016

Would I Have Said Yes?

There is a saying in the adoption community that it is much more difficult to ignore orphans once you have seen their faces and know their names.  I remember sitting in China with a mom who had already adopted several times and she said “you’ll be back here again.”  I kinda laughed and said, “oh I don’t really see that happening,” and she just nodded her head and said, “okay, we’ll see.”

Since coming home from China, we have visited and revisited the idea of adoption multiple times.  We have had some heated discussions while I kept sending my husband link after link after link of children who were available for adoption and that I was convinced were the one.  Thankfully, he was able to see that I was stuck on the idea of adoption, but wasn’t necessarily focused on the child or what was best for all involved.  Finally, one night he said that while he wouldn’t rule out adopting again, it would have to be a one-in-a-million kind of situation. 

Alrighty then, challenge accepted.  I was on a mission to find that one-in-a-million situation.  We sat through orientation for foster-to-adopt programs and spoke with agencies who specialized in second chance-type adoptions.  Every path was met with a barrier, and nothing really felt like it was the right path.  All were delightful paths, but they weren’t the right path for us.

A month or so ago, a social worker sent us an email saying that they had received the file of a little girl who had albinism, and she wondered if we wanted to take a look.  Our immediate reaction was no because that seemed too scary, too difficult, too unknown to us.  But for some reason, we said “sure send us the file,” and we saw “Cora’s” picture and read her story.  We were drawn to her, but the unknowns were just too big.  But once you see their face and know their name….

I emailed another adoptive mom and said we are looking at this file, but her needs seem to be so great.  Individuals with albinism tend to have some level of vision impairment and there was no way I could figure out how that would happen in our house with hurricane giggle monster and the littlest little on the loose.  Before she could respond, though, I was struck with a thought that literally forced me to the ground. 

What if I would have been given the choice to say yes or no before the biggest little and the giggle monster were born?  Would I have said yes to common variable immune deficiency or autism or dysautonomia or asthma after I heard phrases like incurable, failure to thrive, nonverbal, learning disability, chronic pain, and uncertain future?  I wish I could pretend that I would have without a doubt said yes, but I don’t know that I would have.  Those sound so, so, so very scary when you put the words and all of their implications down on paper, and yet in day to day life they are just a part of our tale, a part of our way of living.  Don’t get me wrong, not every day is easy.  This past week we have learned how difficult a combination of autism and concussions are (free tip of the day: a child who is literal will take the name of a product like slip ‘n slide very literally and may end up with a concussion and neck injury), and I haven’t handled all of the frustrations perfectly.  Last month the giggle monster and I both cried at a dance recital because it was hard (I should note that he didn’t do anything wrong; the failures of that day were all my own and I have apologized multiple times to him for the way mommy didn’t handle her feelings and expectations correctly).  Some days are dirty and messy and ugly, but at the end of the day there isn’t any place I’d rather be than with my family. 

I’m blown away by the possibility that if given a choice, I might not have said yes to my children.  That conviction along with more signs from the universe than you want to read about, led us to say yes to “Cora.”  Trust in the plan is the only thing that is going to get us through this process.  We haven’t had years to save money nor do we have funds to draw from this time like we did for the first adoption journey.  We are going to have to put ourselves out there, ask for help, and work our tails off to make this tale end happily ever after.  I don’t know what the next few months look like, but I do know that I am so thankful that I had the chance to be reminded that once you start living life, you rarely have the time to be afraid.  Fear comes in the thinking about and talking about life, not in the actual living.  There have been some stutters and re-starts, but “Cora” it looks like we are on our way to making you a part of our tale!
An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.
~Chinese proverb