Thursday, November 8, 2012

Time for some honesty

It's been a year since we went to Bulgaria.  This day last year, we were indeed on a plane headed to Sofia to change our lives forever.  And what a change it would be.  Though we had 7 kids, all internationally adopted, this is the first time we were adopting 3 at once, first time adopting siblings, first time going to two different regions, first time adopting from Bulgaria, etc.  Lots of firsts.  Now, I will be sharing things on here that I have never shared before.  One, I think the "secrecy" in the adoption world is a bit ridiculous frankly.  I know there are laws regarding each country and I respect those laws.  However, I think it is totally stupid for one agency to allow you to post pictures and another not to.  From the same country mind you.  But, I follow as I agree to abide by the country's laws.  And with our complicated case, we could not risk it.

Let me share a few things.  Some of you will not like what I have to say and that is perfectly fine w/ me.  But I've held a lot in over the years.  We were threatened by our NGO if we did not submit at such a time, then the kids would not be available.  Okay, first off, let me say I've done this before and I will tell you this, our kids' medicals looked so rotten, no one would want them!  I don't say that to be mean.   Shoot, they were passed over time and time and time again already.  Older sibs, boy had epilepsy, both mentally challenged, etc., etc. (more on medicals later).  Another missing part of her brain.  From a place I'd never heard before...Pleven.  Now, everyone knows about it.  Summer was transferred from Pleven at 3yo and taken to Kardzhali.  Anyhow, even the agency said Logan's was one of the worst medicals they'd ever seen.  You can not imagine.  Again, more later on that.  Point I'm making, don't be rushed into anything.  The kids are not going to be given to someone else or whisked away.  I told my agency that if the kids are available, it's meant to be.  However, some things are out of my control and nothing I could do about it.  Bottom line.  We also had an issue w/ our NGO (and NO, I am NOT giving names on here) on what not only us, but the agency, US State Dept., etc. deemed as corruption.  Hey, I told you all it was a miracle we even got these kids home.  The problem was solved before trip one.  There was no one we could come up w/ thousands extra even after signing a contract of a set fee.  BTW, our agency was extremely behind us AND worked well over time getting all this sorted.  I can not speak higher of them.  And this money issue is not only regarding us.  I personally know of a few others w/ various agencies who also had issues.  Our NGO also accused us of looking at other kids after we had already committed to our 3.  Now, originally, we committed to a set of twins and Summer.  That changed of course.  However, after we committed to our kids, we didn't look at any other kids.  Not sure where that statement came from.  This is the kind of garbage that went on during the whole adoption process.  Enough to make you want to throw in the towel for sure.  But, we didn't obviously.

We pressed on.  I won't go into everything.  Trust me, it's a good made for tv type of movie stuff.  LOL.  This is about last year and getting them home to where they belonged.  Like I said, first one to get home was Summer. 


No matter what they are going to or how their lives are about to change, it is traumatic.  They are leaving the ONLY home they've ever known.  Period.  You have to be calm, can't cry yourself as it will not help the situation, and keep pressing forward.  


Forgive the jet lag look here as I'd been up for I think 2 days at that point.  Summer is just not having any of this.  Keep in mind, we haven't even gotten to the point of dressing her yet and we're on a time limit.  Had to get back to Sofia to get ready to go to Shumen the next day.  


Love that everyone went out with her to say goodbye.


Mom, I'm not having any of this I tell you.  Stubborn then, stubborn now.  LOL.


You want to make the hurt go away but you can't.  You are in a rough position as a mother.  

Not a good one of me but want you to see the emotion of the caretakers.  They CARED about her.  They loved her.  It's a bittersweet goodbye to be sure.  Summer was given a sedative though I was reamed for using those words.  I was told it was NOT a sedative but anti nausea medicine.  Okie dokie then.  Hey, I call it like I see it.  It was to help her sleep for the long ride back to Sofia which we greatly appreciated them giving her.  We were told this was the first time she was in a car other than the ride from Pleven to here.  Hard to imagine. 

I won't go through all the pics.  You can look on the blog in Nov. 2011 to see more.  Just wanted to share how hard it is to say goodbye.  Summer was litheness back at the apartment.  She was distraught, scared, sad, grief stricken, etc.  It was not a night to remember as being a good one.  Had to let her cry herself to sleep.  There was no other way.  It was determined that she would not be going to Shumen.  So, Warren went to Shumen alone to pick up Logan and Reni.  I stayed at the apartment with screaming demon.  Yes, the screams were that bad.  As you know, I have some experience at being a parent.  Also, I watched 4 toddlers at the time.  I can entertain, distract, comfort, etc.  She wanted none of that.  And I mean none of it.  

We were told to call for help if we needed it.  I needed Summer to calm.  I needed help.  I called for help.  I was told "you have 7 kids and you can't handle 1?"  Yes, that was indeed said to me.  Look, what doesn't help that we know now but not then, is the trouble w/ c-ACC kids and regulating emotion.  At least for Summer.  Each kid is effected differently.  When she starts crying, she literally can't stop.  I have to snap in front of her eyes now or do some other loud sound to break  her cycle.  Just how it is w/ her.  Back then, did not know that.  All I knew was I was desperate for help and being made to feel bad for asking for it.  This is not the way things are supposed to go.  It was only day 2 and I wanted to go home.  I did receive help.  I needed something familiar to break her crying cycle and that was native Bulgarian.  A familiar sound to her.  It helped.  Next, was trying to get her to eat.  Now, can't get the kid to stop.  


Feed her.  Okay.  Everyone eats chocolate, right?  I tried everything from bananas to crackers to chocolate even.  That shirt is a size 3T btw.  


Yes, this was a child traumatized.  And I could not help her at this moment in time.  Crushing to both of us.  It was not for a lack of trying.  


I have never seen this face again.  Tell me this is not pitiful looking.  Poor kid.  As a parent in this position, you MUST remain strong and MUST understand this is a temporary situation.  It will get better.  Just need to get home.  We thought that once Logan & Reni arrived that things would change.  Little did I know that that in itself would bring its own set of problems.  For the record, we honestly should have traveled w/ 3 adults, not just two.  

I do hope that this post goes across the right way.  I wanted to be fully honest of how things really were.  Last year, as you can imagine, a tad nervous to post what really happened just b/c of what all transpired in the last few months prior to our trip.  But w/ the kids thriving and doing so well, I feel I owe it to future adoptive parents to tell the truth.  We'll see how it all turns out.  I personally believe more openness and truthfulness needs to be in the adoption world.  Just my opinion folks. 

More to come on how Logan and Reni did at the apartment w/ Summer. 

5 comments:

  1. Horrible NGO, hated dealing with them! You are right about the trauma and having to be strong...it is so very hard to do.

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  2. I looked briefly for the post with key for all the letter meanings, but can't remember where it is. Could you please link to it or tell me again what NGO is/what they do in an adoption?

    Thanks!

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  3. I really like the honesty here. We are just weeks from trip 2 and I know we are going to face difficulties. I don't know who your NGO was. Ours is really small and they have been okay. I hope they stay that way when we travel again. We are very nervous because our son is in Pleven and he is very destructive.

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  4. I don't think there is any law that says you cannot consider or look at other waiting children once you have committed to one, so that's quite a ridiculous charge.

    NGO = non-governmental organization. They are the BLG adoption agencies that partner with the US placing agencies.

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  5. I have only been reading your blog for about a year so don't know much about the problems you had with CPS. From what I have read it must have been a stranger who caused the problem because anyone who knows you knows that you are doing a terrific job in a sometimes difficult situation. I have seen pictures of a couple of girls who are being adopted who look VERY much like Summer. You might find a large family out there. I ,too, was wondering what NGO meant. Thanks Viviane.

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