Sunday, June 17, 2012

Breathe deep and let go.

I think I've mentioned before that as perfect as YH is for our family, Sean and I don't believe that his presence in our lives was preordained by a higher power. I know there are many families who do believe that a divine hand united them with their children--and I am sure they find a lot of joy and comfort in that belief.

In our home we believe that a string of tragedies occurred to separate YH from his first family. Through a series of twists and turns, and a mountain of paperwork, we found our way to his side. Where we will remain--lifting him up with love--forever.

I think I also mentioned a bit about my sanctimonious hierarchy of decisions about what constituted an "ethical" adoption. It's an elaborate matrix, and speaks solely to my personal beliefs. Every time I make a sweeping statement about what I believe to be an absolute truth in adoption ethics it can be easily undone by one family's story. I keep my eyes and ears open and make informed choices.

And the truth is that even though I did my due diligence, and worked hard to choose a program that I felt was time-tested and had a high degree of accountability, things did not go as expected. The truth is that even though we set out to adopt a "waiting child" from a country with impeccable medical care, things went wrong for our son. The truth is that even though our son received mountains of loving care from his foster family, the "experts" missed opportunities for intervention/medical care. These missed opportunities led to serious health problems. Health problems that will need to be corrected by major surgery. To be clear: this surgical intervention is separate from the (now minor seeming) surgery we were told he needed back in January.

Luckily, I have a very close friend whose own child faced similar health issues last year. Her son also underwent surgery, and it is only through her experiences that I was able to recognize right away (on the day we met him) that YH needed immediate attention for his as-yet undocumented need. My friend very generously reached out in response to a panicky text message I had sent her and showered me with love and resources.

Through her leads I connected with an online support forum for YH's biggest medical challenge. And it was there, as I sought information and support, that I encountered my first negative comment about our family and how it was formed.


In response to my introduction post, and my raw pleading for information/words of comfort from parents who have walked this road, one person responded, "Only way I approve of international adoption is for children with medical issues. Albeit, even then I am hesitant due to the rampant amounts of child trafficking."

So, um yeah.


I mean I get that this person was trying to express approval at our decision to adopt a waiting child but really? A medical forum--a forum for hurting parents worried about their children--that's where you decide to pass judgement on how families are formed?

I guess it would be easy to say "There is one scenario where I approve of international adoption: waiting children." Except where it's not so easy, and not so clear-cut.

Do you approve of families who adopt a waiting child with a "correctable" special need? (ie: one that is readily fixed through surgery/treatment and has no impact on the child's life moving forward)

Do you approve of families who accepted a standard referral with no identified medical needs who later turns out to have serious health problems?

Do you approve of families who adopt a "waiting child" who later turns out to have been a trafficked child?

Do you approve of families who accepted the referral of a waiting child only to find that the needs of child they took custody of don't match the file of the original referral?

Do you approve of families who adopted domestically, from a birthmother who was coerced into her decision?

I know families who have experienced all of the above. And more.

At the end of the day, I'm not going to sit in judgement of how families are formed. I'm just not.

I'm also not going to sit around and bemoan the unexpected in our own adoption. YH's medical needs are more immediate and of a different nature than what we anticipated they would be. We spent months and months preparing to accommodate and support needs that have yet to present themselves.

And so we start over. We learn about new needs, and new treatment options. We decide to pray, to send out requests to the universe, to beg and plead to a higher power to let our insurance cover his needs.

The next few weeks are filled with specialist appointments. So many! And my poor sweet boy--he can't stand the doctor's office. Can you send some love our way, if you have any to spare?
We're taking love donations.
We'll take all we can get.


  1. Lots of love for YH and *lots* of prayers that he'll somehow begin to feel comfort in the doctor's office setting. As a fellow "last best choice" parent, I find it baffling that so many people want to pass judgement on or praise our child's presence in our family. Also, I find their incorrect assumption that our child's "special need" is what led to her adoption, infuriating. But, there it is, nearly every time.

  2. It sounds like will be a long road for you and your family, but, as you know, there will still be many moments of joy and light along the way. Sending lots of love from Vermont.

  3. Yeah. Been there. I think we'll (adoptive families) will always be there. You've inspired me to blog about this in relevance to my own life too (international adoption). I am so so sorry about YH's medical needs. Thank God for your friend's assistance and aid, though sorry her family has been there too. Peace, love and support to you guys.

  4. He IS perfect for your family! I can feel all that love radiating through your posts and blogs...It is also evident how lucky your family is to have found that boy...he fills the other side of your outdoor pool so very nicely. Your family is perfect in every have mounds of love headed your way. I'll put my nursing juju in motion for him too....

  5. Hmmm. Have we met? If not, thanks for the comment you left on my blog. And it's nice to meet you. And now I am intrigued enough by this one post to go back and read a lot more. :)