Monday, April 28, 2008

Bittersweet

We are so thrilled to finally get to travel to bring K home, but I can't completely ignore the news coming out of Vietnam with regard to adoptions to the US. It seems as of Sept. 1, adoptions will cease. Those families already matched with children will be allowed to continue, but otherwise that's it. There are many things I could say about ethics and adoption, but that is not what I want to talk about here. For those interested in the ethics angle, go to Voices for Vietnam Adoption Integrity. What I want to talk about are the waiting children. These are the children who are available for adoption, through ethical agencies, who have been waiting for a family to call their own, sometimes for years. Now, unless matched soon, they may lose any chance for a family. These children usualy have special medical needs (from minor and correctable to more significant) and more often than not they are boys. (The phenomena of boys, sometimes healthy, who wait is a topic for another post.) Please, those of you waiting for a referral, consider these children; they are so much more than a diagnosis on a piece of paper.

Perhaps one reason waiting children are overlooked is because of the unknown factor. What would life really look like to bring a child with X diagnosis into our family? We are in the process of our second "waiting child" adoption. TM was older, had multiple placements before joining our family, and had an extra digit on his hand removed before we met him. We had our struggles at first, but he is a joy and a delight and I can't imagine our lives without him. I know with K, we have surgery to repair his cleft palate and most likely speech therapy ahead of us. I don't know what our future together brings, but know that he is the child who is meant to join our family.

If your family has adopted a waiting child, would you please post a comment about your experience? The unknown is often scarier than the known. Hearing about other parents' experiences may encourage another family to consider these children, who are just as much blessings of God as a healthy infant.

4 comments:

LawMommy said...

E,

As you know, we adopted one of Holt's "Waiting Children". Our Lana waited 4 years for a family. I don't often talk about her "special need", because, in Lana's case, we expected a child with a blood disorder that she does not actually have, but, she had an undiagnosed heart irregularity that we never expected. It does not affect our lives on a daily basis, and, truthfully, probably won't affect Lana's life on a daily basis, except that she's not going to be allowed to play football. Or lacrosse. (I'm sure she will heartbroken. No pun intended.)

She was also waiting because she was older, and we have had our trials and tribulations, but, she brings a huge amount of joy to our lives - she is full of laughter and I cannot imagine my laugh without her in it.

Our journey through the waiting child program was not an easy one - Lana was not the child we asked to be matched to at first (we asked to be matched to a little boy who was matched to another Holt family, and we are thrilled to read updates about how well he is doing.) But, I'm glad we stuck with the waiting child program, because while she was not the son we *asked* for, but, she was clearly the daughter we were *meant* to have.

Gretchen

LawMommy said...

Um...Freudian slip...I cannot imagine my LIFE without her in it.

Blessed Single Mom said...

Hi I have a son and daughter both adopted. My son was adopted at nine months from Guatemala and My daughter from China at 3 years of age. My son was suppose to be heathy and my daughter had a repaired cleft lip and unrepaired cleft palate. Today they are 6 and 4. My son has many issues with ADHD, Sensory problems and possible Aspbergers. He is the best kid and I am blessed to be his mom but with any child there is the unknown factor. My daugher who was in an orphanage until 3 1/2 years of age and has a visual special need is wonderful and yes we will need some therapy for speech and have already had one operation but dealing with both of their needs I have to say the visual one is much easier to deal with. I forget that she even has this issue. Right now she doesn't even know that she is different. Someday that might change but I hope and don't think it will stop her. She is so full of life. My son I worry about since his problems are not visable and seem to present road blocks in all areas of his life. God is in control and has a plan so I trust and believe. But all children are blessings and you just never know what struggles or wonders lay ahead. Both are good and make us stronger if we want them to.

Julie

asian~treasures said...

We have a boy, YES, a boy from China. He has a limb difference; his right arm ends just above his elbow. For us, we were VERY cautious about what "special needs" we were open to during our first adoption process. Micah's is such a minor thing. We see a specialist once a year. We have an x-ray taken & that's about it.

Our 2nd son, Noah, is also from the waiting child program. We're not sure the extend of his "special need" & are waiting until we find that out to share with many people.

What I'd like to say, though, is that the term "special needs" doesn't always mean something big & scary. Micah's arm is such a low-maintenance "special need." And, we wouldn't trade our BOYS for anything!!!

If you're waiting for a child...check out the waiting child program. You just might fall in love!!

Sheri--Holt BB

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