Friday, August 12, 2011

How do you know?

We reciently had to face a choice that I wasn't prepaired to make. How is someone supposed to choose an adoptive child?

Ultimately I believe that God has formed our family. I know that my children were selected perfectly for us. We didn't have to really SEE them and make a choice. We looked at their birthfamily history (medical and otherwise) and considered the legal risks and {obviously} said yes. We've never had to say no. Now of course international adoption doesn't work in quite the same way.

With international adoption you are given a file to consider. Within this file there is limited health and medical information. A bit about the child's development and patterns through out the day. There is a lot that is not included and the medical information is at times either impossible to understand or limited information.

When we were presented with the opportunity to review a file I was in my "momma bear" mode- calling specialists, asking family for advice, looking for local resources to help our son (if he was the one) and doing tons of research about his medical needs. In the end we had to make a choice. I was totally unprepaired for how hard that would be so I asked some of my new BFF's in the Tampa Bay Adoptive Families group on Facebook (if you are local you should totally join, amazing support and some of the best ladies on the universe are on there!). Here is what they had to say:

{"I think this is a pretty sensitive subject. having worked with hundreds of adoptive parents prior to retiring, i can tell you that a great many of them rejected referrels because their expectations were not realistic. having said that, a ...great many of them throw all expectations out the window and accept any referrel given them, even if the child would impact their current family very negatively. I think that if moms and dads listen to their guts, BUT also get realistic counsel, they will be ok when it comes to 'knowing'! :-)" - Patty}
{"In short, when we saw *C*'s picture and file we could not imagine NOT bringing her home. There were a lot of scary unknowns but we knew she was meant to be ours. And in the weeks and months following God provided in miraculous ways and and over again HE proved to us that we were meant for her and she for us. Next weekend will be 2 months since she was placed in our arms forever and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that she is perfectly made just for us! With *E*, she was just 3 weeks old when she was referred to us (Vietnam, *C* is from China) and when we saw her face is was like there was just something familiar about her. We knew she was was a perfect match " - Jessica}
{"I have to say for me, with both kiddos, I received the referral and was numb. I think it was my defense mechanism at work. I knew that nothing was for 100% sure until we went to court and they were granted ours. With my ds, I was coming off of 9 yrs of infertility and I did not think anything was real (sounds strange, I know). With my daughter, after we received her referral everyone was so excited for us (it was a long wait for her) and kept saying this over and over and how beautiful she was and how excited they were. I remember just going through the motions and saying, 'oh, yes, we are very excited" but in reality, I was completely numb. I would have to say that in both adoptions, after the judge granted them ours and I burst out crying both times, it was then that I felt they were my kids and that I could breath again and finally realize they were mine. With my son, we were only with him in country for about 6 days, then flew home. When we got home, it was as if I had never been without him. With our daughter, we were in country 30 days (with her) and I never felt "truly" attached to her as my son was here in FL and this child had never even been with a babysitter before let alone without me for 30 days! As soon as we got home and I had my son and daughter together, in the good ole USA, I felt like it was complete and at that point. I know some people fall in love right when the receive their referral, but in all honesty in the 9 yrs that I have been counseling families through the process, I have told them to try not to fall in love with the photo and nothing is a sure thing until it the judge grants the adoption. It is hard to say that, but I have seen families have their hearts broken bc they "knew" that the referral was meant to be theirs, but turns out the child was never meant to be theirs." - adoptive mom}
We ended up having to say no to this particular file. It was hard. Hard on both my husband and I. Adoption is HARD sometimes. So worth it, but not all peaches and cream. I know that having gone through this experience has made an impact. I'm praying that the next file...will be LB (little brother) and we will know that we know that we know. I pray daily for the little boy who was not meant for our family. I pray that his "perfect fit" finds him soon and that he is adored and cared for in the way that he needs. I don't think I will ever forget him.
Have you faced a decision like this? I would love to hear from you! How did you know? How has the choice impacted you and your family? If you would like to guest post about your choice please contact me at or comment below with your contact information.
Sweet blessings to you!- Sarah

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