Friday, December 4, 2009

limitations/ new news

Oh my goodness what a day of ups & downs on the adoption roller coaster!  Gosh, do I wish I could share all the details with you.  Some day for sure.  Okay, I need to start out w/ something I said I would address.  And that is limitations in adoption.  Especially, special needs adoptions.   Most go into adoption on a leap of faith.  I truly believe every single adoption is a leap of faith.  Has to be.  No one would willingly go into this process without at least a little faith in something or some higher power.  I know there are many religions out there so I will speak more in vague & not just about our religion.  You have to have faith that the child/children you are getting are meant to be yours.  You have to have that feeling.  I have personally not been pregnant but am on enough adoption boards where women who have both been pregnant & adopted share the similiarities in the process.  Many of us adoptive parents refer to this stage as being paper pregnant.  Right now, we are in the first finding out what you're having stage.  Now, what some of you don't realize, is most our kids came to us via pictures on the internet.  I know, I know, it's not supposed to work that way.  Those kids are never available.  Umm, yes they are.  You just have to have a trusty agency and we do.  Well, I had contacted our agency a few months back saying what we were interested in this one last time.  Sent me info on a few different children.  it works a little differently for us.  See, for most countries you'll wait for a referral.  That is if you are bringing home a healthy infant/ child.  We on the other hand tend to adopt the harder to place children, all dx'd as special needs.  Never started out on that path but that is the road we are on so that is where we are comfortable now.  With that comfort level however does come limitations.  With special needs adoptions, you need to be honest with yourself.  If not, you will not help your current children or the ones coming into your home.  Warren and I are very good at knowing what we can and can't handle and are absolutely honest with the agency upfront.  Recently, we had accepted the fact that we were adopting 3 children, all considered special needs.  Knew what their needs were or so we thought.  This week, we received a video showing a sib group.  We both looked at each other w/ grave concerned looks on our faces.  It was not the physical disabilities at all that worried us.  There were significant mental disabilities.  Now, we have children with mild to moderate mental challenges & delays.  One of these children was beyond anything we have seen and right then & there we both instantly knew we had reached our limitations and would not be able to proceed with these two children.  Since sibs always have to be adopted together, there was no way to accept this referral.  Reluctantly, we declined  being able to proceed.  However, have faith that things always happen for a reason.  We were later sent another video w/ two more siblings.  They are in the same country.  They are a bit older but will fit in perfectly with this family.  We both watched the video and had smiles and knew then, these are our kids.  We just knew it.  Have watched it several times since then.  So, though I can't release info, just know these children are awesome!  I think they will just gel w/ this bunch.  I can picture them all in the pool playing, picture them playing ball in the yard, argueing conversing at the table, etc.  Feels right.  So, that is still 3 children.  We will have 10 kids...5 girls/ 5 boys.  4 sets of virtual twins!  That is correct.  4 sets of kids that will be the same age.  How crazy is that?!  And then the oldest & the youngest will be w/out someone their age. 

In adoption, you really need to be honest.  If you are not, it can jeopardize the family dynamics.  We saw this week what our limitations are.  This decision will allow an easier transition.  It will also allow me more time w/ "Little Bit."  She is the youngest we will have ever adopted.  While the other 9 are at school, she can have one on one time with me and any therapies she may need.  This also will allow us to travel more as a family and do some additional things with the 10 kids we'll have.  With the other situation, I don't think that would have been as feasible.  We have always wanted our family to stay strong and stay together.  But, I also don't think it would be fair to them to deal with a situation that would have taken away their time and their needs.  If some of you considering adoption already have a family, please do be honest with yourself what you can and can't handle.  We have always been.  Always.  Yes, there is one of the new kids that has a disorder we are not familiar with.  However, it is one we know we can handle.  We are SO incredibly excited to be adding these 3 children to our family.  I wish I could describe them but know the rules.  Just know, they will fit into the boyd bunch like a glove.  That, I have no doubt.  Now, the best news is, these children come with a grant.  That's right, a grant.  So, I think we will lower our money needed bar.  We just need $10,000 to complete these upcoming adoptions.  That is NOT much!  Think about it for a moment.  That is just 100 people giving a one time donation of $100.  Or 400 people giving just a one time donation of $25!  We can do this.  I know we can.  I am more confident than ever that we will indeed be able to raise the $10K needed to complete this adoption.  I will post the fundraisers soon.  2 of them.  Maybe 3.  I would love to start a facebook campaign next week.  A mission to a miracle.  A mission to raise $10K in a week!  Believe it or not, we need to get these children out of there soon & so money will need to be raised fairly quickly.  But I know we can do it.  I only need 390 people more to give just one time $25 to save the lives of three children in an orphanage.  Or, just 98 people giving $100.  I can not give details but it is vital one of these children get out ASAP.  Yes, all three are special needs.  Yes, all will be adopted at the same time.  Yes, it will be tough at first.  Don't think this decision was easy.  It was not.  We had extreme guilt, or at least I did, in the beginning for declining these children.  I have to do what is best for our entire family.  It would also not be fair to the children that really need a smaller family to thrive.  These two children needed what we could not give them.  Many say just take the children and go with it.  Some say that is what you would do if you gave birth to a child.  Sort of.  see, when you give birth here in America, you have access to many early intervention services.  These children have already had years at an orphanage with no such services.  Had I given birth to them, they would have had that extra love and attention needed int eh earlier years.  Though I would have loved to have brought them home, we are just not the right family for these children.  I will advocate very hard for them, trust me on that one.  For now though, we had to unfortunately experience what our limitations are and be honest with ourselves.  Please do so if you are adopting.  Please.  It makes your famliy stronger for sure.  And please do not misinterpret what I am saying.  I am not saying don't adopt special needs.  I am saying know what you can and can't handle.  I know for a fact we could not have a child w/ OI in this house.  Not b/c of brittle bones but b/c of the sheer rough & toughness in this home w/ boys and kids w/ FAS/ RAD.  It would not be fair to the child or the children at home.  Same w/ this child we were considering.  It justwould not have worked w/ our current family situations.  I hope that made sense and didn't come off wrong.  I just wanted to give a few examples.  It is never an easy decision on whether or not you will adopt again, especially from another country.  It is an even harder decision trying to decide what special needs you can and can't handle as a parent.  It does not make you a bad parent when you say to an agency I can not handle this.  They would rather hear that BEFORE you bring the child home rather than later.  Now, some special needs are a suprise to some families and you deal with that as you go along.  That is what we did with Nik and Alyona.  Yes, we knew Alyona had FAS and strabismus.  But did we knwo about her ONH(optic nerve hypoplasia) or the probable dwarfism or radial articulation or sensory integration or microcephaly or the other stuff?  no.  We dealt with the diagnosis as we went along and tried to find new ways to help her.  Same with Nik.  we did not know he was deaf/ possibly blind.  Nor the other stuff with him.  Again, we dealt with it as we went along.  I'm sure these next children coming home will have suprise dx's as well.  They usually do.  We will deal with it as we go along.  But this is what we are doing, examining what may and may not be to the best of our abilities.  Seeing what we can and can't handle, especially, with three children coming home.  This will be the first tiem we ever adopt three at once.  We know this.  We know it will not be an easy plane ride home.  Hence, why we plan on taking IRina to help us.  We know with older kids that they have to grieve the loss they experience as soon as they're home.  This is a natural transition and all part of the adoption process. 

That was a very long-winded write up on knowing your limitations in the adoption process.  Long story short, I think we do.  we are very, very confident that the children we have decided to bring home are without a doubt our children.  They will fit in wonderful here.  Will we have issues at first?  I sure hope so!  Why do I say that?  because if they didn't, it would mean it wasn't a natural transition.  Thanks for listening today and know that we are just thrilled about the decision we made today to add three wonderful kids to our family.  For those considering adoption, please do think about the impact it will have on your current family dynamics.  consider all the suprise dx's that may come with some of these children that have been in an institution.  Once all is said and done, when they are home, they are your children to raise and love.  Do what is in their best interest.  Thus concludes my lecture on adoption limitations--LOL.  Gee, if I were a student, I would have never sat through this.  BTW, Warren is going to be retrieving all my pictures later this weekend since our computer crashed.  Though I can't share pics of the new kids with you all, I can definitely share our pictures of the children that have been home.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone.  I will write more later, have more pictures up and more fundraisers up.  Busy blog weekend. 

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