Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I am taking this one step at a time...

First, thanks to everyone for their support. However, I want to make one thing clear. I'm not angry - at least not at the CCAA or the orphanage or our agency - nothing like that.

I'll relate a story about Kenzie that will help put into perspective our experience and our reasons for taking this one step at a time and to evaluate all sides of the issue (not just a doctor's point of view).

When we got Kenzie's referral, we were so excited - she was the most adorable, sweet-looking child I had ever laid eyes on. We sent off her referral info and pictures to an international adoption clinic to have them review it.

When I got the call from one of the doctors who had reviewed her file, she said that there was a moderate chance that our daughter could be neurologically damaged (which, by the way folks, covers a huge area of issues, from possibly having trouble walking or speaking to being mentally retarded). I was devastated... I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I just didn't see it in the pics, but the doctor ticked off one reason after another why she had come to this conclusion.

I sent the referral info off to yet another doctor known in international adoption circles. In the meantime, someone I had met by chance over the internet, who just happened to be adopting from the same orphanage, said he would try to see her and take some pics or video if possible to help me out.

Well, HIS pictures and video showed a completely normal child - and there were none of the issues the original IA doctor talked about. The second IA doctor soon called me and went over the child's info with me, but told me not to worry too much - that sometimes the doctors are in a hurry and/or don't do the developmental testing very thoroughly or didn't read the medical test correctly or the tests were faulty... that anything could be possible. She told us that if we were to go to China, we could assess the child's abilities while we were there, and she gave us things to look for. And she was very positive in her outlook - that most of these children are just fine, or recover from any problems they have with gross or fine motor skills fairly quickly, once they are in a loving family who will give them the attention, love, and nutrition they need.

Well, long story short, we went. We saw that she was not only fine - she was very intelligent, had a great sense of humor (even for an 18 month old) and only had some gross motor skill issues that were easily correctable.

So I guess the moral to the story is, be cautious, get lots of opinions, and understand that there is incompetence in the medical field no matter what country you live in. And there are times when issues might be over-exaggerated or mistaken as something which it is not.

We will do our due diligence, and try to come to a conclusion based on what may be faulty information, or information that may have been faulty to begin with at her finding.

The thing that strikes me the most is that the first time my husband came to me and told me he wanted to adopt again, it was around Thanksgiving, 2004, and this child was born in November 2004 (right around Thanksgiving!). Her finding date was listed as Dec 6, 2004. Dec 6 was my father's birth date. Signs from heaven?

We shall try to be reasonable with our requests to assess this child's condition. But to be honest, I think that we most likely will need to go and see her - and ultimately, this may be the only way we will know for sure if there is something we need to be concerned with. In the meantime, we will weigh the reviews and advice from the doctors.

I can't help but feel so much for this child. And to put my heart on hold is something I am having a hard time with.


Allen and Dawn said...

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

~ Romans 12:12, NLT

Julie, This is the verse for K-love for 6/11/08. I thought of you and your family when I read it. I'm keeping you in my prayers during this time. Please feel free to e-mail. Dawn

kathleen m. said...

Julie - I just got done watching your Adoption Story video and the three of you make such a beautiful family! She really took to the two of you early on. It's clear that you are a natural mommy and your husband - I loved seeing your daughter smiling at him and playing with his glasses.

I am sorry to hear that you had to go through all of the worry and concerns at referral time.

kathleen kmyrah at RQ