I do not like roller coasters, have never liked them. So, I guess it is kind of odd that I have adopted one child and am adopting another since adoption in and of itself is a roller coaster ride. When human emotions are added into the mix, it can be a tough ride at times – emotions are constantly up and down. Hoping you can find the funds to complete the adoption, and sighing with relief for every payment made; mounds of paper work that seem overwhelming, then rejoicing when it is all completed; waiting on all the dossier documents to be gathered and marking it on the calendar when the dossier goes to China; waiting for a Log In Date and wondering how long it will be before you are matched with a child…. And the ultimate emotional high – finally being matched with a child and knowing it is only a short time before you will hold that child in your arms.
We had known these ups and downs with our first adoption of Kayleigh, but overall, her adoption went very smoothly. We seemed to be ahead of the curve at every turn. We received a referral only days after our dossier went to China, and we left for China exactly 4 months later to get her. It spoiled us because everything went so well! We expected the second to be just as easy.
In many ways, the second adoption has been just as easy. The paper work went fairly smoothly; there were things that we did for the first adoption that we didn’t have to do for this one; some expenses from the first adoption were not necessary this time. Once we got to the point that our dossier went to China, things began to take a different turn from the first. Our dossier was mailed to China on February 25.
One week, two weeks, 3 weeks, 4 weeks…. Finally, on March 25, we received word that our dossier was logged in, and we were eligible to be matched! We received the call at 10:30 p.m. Monday night, March 25. Our agency had a file for us to consider! Woohoo! The emotional butterflies were fluttering. Was this our child? At first glance, the file seemed very promising. For the most part, she was a healthy 11 month old little girl. She had extremely chubby cheeks and large black eyes. Her needs seemed to be minor – partial hearing loss and CMV – cytomegalovirus. We began praying and researching. The emotional high slowly went to an emotional low. After talking with the pediatrician and the speech pathologist and doing our own research, we were going to have to decline the referral. Her hearing loss was already severe, and she could possibly be deaf by the age of 6 or 7. The risk that the CMV could cause other issues was too high. There were too many issues to contend with and too many unknowns for the future. Of course, any international adoption comes with unknowns, but there were more than we felt we were equipped to handle. We felt at peace with our decision, and we settled in to wait another month for the next shared list to be released.
But, wait! We didn’t have to wait another month. We received another call on April 1. April Fool’s Day was going to take on a new meaning! We were back on the emotional high. A new file was sent to us. This one looked even more promising than the first one! This little girl was 18 months old. She had a heart defect that had been repaired already through an American non-profit that sponsors surgeries for children, mostly in China. She was also in a care facility run by this organization. Her only other issue was both ear lobes were deformed. That’s just cosmetic. The emotional high was getting better. I sent the file to the International Adoption Clinic in Birmingham since this was a heart issue. Within hours, the doctor called me back. As I conversed with her, the emotional high began to disappear. The child would need another heart surgery. Okay, we can deal with that. The doctor expected it would be a fairly simple procedure with only 1 or 2 nights in the hospital and a week’s recovery. Then the deflating blow. It was very evident from her physical features that she, more than likely, had Noonan Syndrome. Although she might never have another symptom from this syndrome, again, there were too many unknowns. Remember, Jeff and I are older, especially to be adopting toddlers. There was a risk that this child might need some lifelong care. What if we were unable to provide that care for her? Again, we had to decline the referral. It was much more difficult to decline the second referral. The emotional low was much greater than the first. Even though we did not feel we could meet her needs and we are at peace with the decision, there were so many more questions that followed this one.
What will the next one look like? What will her needs be? What if we don’t feel we can meet those needs either? When will the Chinese Children’s Agency get fed up with us and quit sending us referrals? Did we make a mistake in thinking that God was calling us to adopt again?
So, we get back on the roller coaster and wait………
Did I mention I don’t like roller coasters?
Love and Hugs to all,
P.S. Many of you know we have done some fund-raising to help fund this adoption. We have held two yard sales. I have sold jewelry. I am making and selling reed baskets, and our church is helping by selling t-shirts and collecting coins. Jeff will start up the balloon business soon, and we hope to do well this summer to help fund the adoption. Jeff is looking for folks who would be willing to help crew. If you are interested in crewing or know someone who might be interested, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in a balloon flight, visit www.ballooningal.com. If you are interested in the baskets, please visit the album on my FB page or www.cherimaddox.com to see pictures. The website is under construction, but we are trying to get it completed in the next several days.
If you would like to support us financially, we need about $23,000 more to complete this adoption without going into debt. We now have a way for anyone to make tax deductible donations to our adoption fund. Please feel free to share this link with others who may have a heart for adoption but are unable to adopt a child themselves. You can go to www.adopttogether.org and look for our family profile (I’m still working on a family photo that will fit in their spatial guidelines!) or use this address, which will take you directly to our profile: http://adopttogether.org//bring-zoe-home