Wednesday, July 02, 2008


We're a bit scared about this adoption. It appears that children in the north of China are almost always abandoned because of some SN - not like children in the south. We have found someone who worked for an organization that did some work for the orphanage where our daughter is "from" (I use parenthesis because she's actually in foster care in a different part of the municipality, separate from the city proper). He says that it is very likely that something was wrong with the child, or else she wouldn't have been abandoned. He said one of the diagnoses she was given is a basic catch-all diagnosis because, if there is nothing they can find physically wrong, then the doctor's general attitude is that it must be this one diagnosis, because "what else could it be?"

She's lost valuable time in helping her brain make the all-so-important neural connections she needed to have in order to give her a leg up on her learning abilities. We don’t know that this kind of neglect – no matter how minor – can be made up once the child is past 3 years old.

You know, this would be so different if we had a child that had a repaired physical SN referred to us - something you could see and verify physically. But with anything that has to do with the brain - it's something you can't repair or quantify. So we are left wondering what is going on...

I'm probably not going to blog any more about this referral. I know that people are going to think we are heartless if there is something that will prevent us from taking her. But we are not angels, saints, do-gooders or heroes. We are human and we have our limitations. We know it and are willing to admit to that. For those who don't understand it, or for those people who have taken on SN children and think that anyone who doesn't do so is somehow "less than", for anyone who buys into the “this is our child no matter what” frame of mind, I just don't understand it when they want to force those attitudes on others who realize they are not capable of taking on certain special needs.

I'm not a martyr. I would physically place myself between my daughter and harm - that is what a mother would/should do to protect her children. I’m sure that a lot of what I’m saying will place me in the “she’s so shallow” category of mothers. It’s a sure thing I’ll never get nominated for “Mother of the Year.”

I seem to remember that the CCAA once put up a down’s syndrome child as a trial to see if anyone would adopt him. If I remember right, I don’t think anyone did. That says volumes about the true nature of what people are willing to take on when it comes to special needs. Am I really so shallow after all?

OK, maybe she's not mentally impaired – perhaps there was no special need at all. Maybe she was misdiagnosed. Perhaps she was abandoned for reasons other than something about her birth was considered a problem for the baby. Perhaps the doctor in attendance during her birth misdiagnosed her as having an issue, when in truth, there was no problem at all.

I am hoping God strikes me with a lightening bolt and makes it plain as day that we are supposed to parent this child.

I talk big about trusting God - well... I need to put my actions where my mouth is. There is a part of me that is pulled to this child... but is that God working in my heart, or selfish desires that have me wanting so badly for this child to be “fine”.

I am torn and conflicted. And there are days when I think I must be the biggest, most selfish bitch in the world.


Hearts of Hope said...

I am so sorry you are going through this. What should be the one of the happiest time of your life, is now filled with conflict and self-doubt. You have to make the best decision for YOUR family and no one can do that but you. My thoughts are with you!

mom to 13 (10 adopted)

Coco said...

You don't know me, but I've been following your blog since your referral (from RQ). We adopted our now 2 year old daughter in November of ' First of all I want to tell you that all of us have lost the nomination for mother of the year at some point! I think I lost mine several times over by my oldest child's first birthday. But more importantly you have to quit beating yourself up over this referral and how you are feeling. You may not be a saint - neither am I, but you don't have to be to be a good parent. The decision you are having to make is probably one of the hardest you'll ever have to make and I don't think many would want to be in your position.
As a Christian I referred to our adoption as the biggest leap of faith EVER. We had to trust the whole process and God completely to deliver to us the right child for our family. Did he? Yes. But that doesn't mean that had we been put in your shoes we would have been forced to say the same. There may be other reasons He has put this little girl in your life. Not necessairily to parent her. Maybe to bring light to her situation so she can be put on a special needs list where she might not have other wise. I don't know.
I know I'm rambling, but I guess what I really want to say is that the times when I've been really conflicted about something and prayed for God to wack me upside the head with an answer, those were the times when my indecision and inner turmoil WERE the answer. If it is what He wants for your family I believe you will feel a peace and KNOW that it is right despite what anyone might say. If you are so stressed and upset that you just don't know what to do that is not God's peace!
We had a mother in our travel group who was handed a child that she instinctively knew had something wrong. She never said anything to our group, even after her fears were confirmed and the child was returned. She was so sure we would all judge her unfairly. Amazingly not one person did though! We all empathized with the situation she was in which was a huge relief to her. I think you have a lot of support in the adoption community with either decision you make and just ignore those who think they know it all! I will pray for your family and will be anxious to follow your journey.

hiltonsheadeast said...

I am so sorry you are being put in this position. I'm upset for you and scared for us. I wish you peace ...

LID: 2.16.06

Markelle said...

We went through this last March with our referral. We talked to several doctors and from the referral everything looked OK. But, in my heart I knew something was wrong. We went through with the adoption but I knew the minute I met our daughter that we had a long road ahead of us. No one has the right to judge the choice you make. It's going to be you caring for and loving that child day in and day out. In your heart you will know what to do and it will give you peace.

Our daughter is lucky because she is thriving. She has caught up in just about all areas of development with a lot of sweat and tears. She will have some issues to face in the future but she is our inspiration and we love her with all our heart. The down side is that it has been financially, emotionally and physically draining at times.

Do not beat yourself up. You are a good mom even if you can't be her mom. And if you can you will have the strength to give her the best that life has to offer.

You are in our thoughts and prayers!

Bill and Bobbie said...

ive been following your blog from RQ..just want to wish you the best of luck

Paula said...

I have been following your journey since the "babies" post and can't begin to imagine what you're going through. It must be absolutely heart wrenching. Although I know you know this, I'm going to remind you of the simple fact that you are human - you need to stop beating yourself up. You are being honest and upfront and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. As absurd as this may sound, it is actually refreshing to hear brutal honesty given the depth of emotion that goes hand in hand with adoption. No one has the right to judge. We are not in your shoes nor do we know the full set of circumstances, yours at home or those of the child you were referred.
Continue with the research and keep asking questions. Once you feel you have a better idea as to what is what, follow your heart. You can't be faulted for that. I'll be checking in periodically and hope that you are able, in the not too distant future, to find peace of mind as you go through this rather tumultuous journey.


Diana said...

Follow your HEART!!!
You know what you can and can not accept. PLEASE do not be so hard on yourself..if she was on the SN list others would look at her and maybe try to adopt her, and others would not.
My thoughts are with you.

Diana said...

I am very sorry that you are going through this. The only comment I have is that if you do not feel this child is YOUR child or that you are not prepared, then don't go through with the referral. And please don't call yourself names. I know you are probably heartbroken over this situation.

Take care. Please pm at RQ if you want to 'talk'or vent. Respectfully CTG from RQ

KLA said...

I have been following your blog as well - I think you are living the nightmare scenario that we all imagine as parents adopting internationally. If you make the painful decision not to accept this referral - will you be offered another referral?

Best wishes & no judgment - this situation could easily happen to anyone of us...

Mom to one from China and waiting for another...

fuzzandfuzzlet said...

Only you know what is right for you and your family. Best of luck to you.

singlemamma said...

Hi Julie,

I've also been following your blog since referral and hoping against hope that all would be well. Sometimes in life there just isn't a happy ending. No matter how hard we pray, beg, yell, scream, or plead for some divine intervention we are left to make hard decisions on our own. It looks as if you have done everything possible to gather the information needed to help you and your family make this difficult decision. You DO NOT have to defend yourself. Don't waste your energy worrying about what others might think. Take care of your yourself.

No one can tell you what is right for your family. I agree with Coco - I think you might be surprised by the amount of support the adoption community has to offer. Of course, there will always be negative comments but you can choose whether or not to give them merit.

I support you in whatever path your family chooses to follow. I'm sending positive energy your way.

Ava's family said...

Only you know what's best for your family and don't let anyone tell you anything different. (((Hug)))

Michele & Rick said...

I just wanted to thank you for continuing to share your story. You are very brave. I can only imagine the stress you must be under now and I am so sorry that this time has been so difficult for you. I hope that your agency is being supportive. Whatever you decide, many of us will support you. You're right, some will judge but that is their problem. I wish you all the very best.

Big Hugs,

Dakota3 said...

Trust your heart when making the decision about the referral. You are not a bad person if you choose to ask for another referral. It does not make you selfish.

Take Care,
LID April 2006

cabbagemintor said...

I have two siblings who do not have children. One is a successful paediatrician in your country. Another is a top level civil engineer in Hong Kong. Neither of their spouses want to spare an ounce of love for an adopted child who would so much benefit from what they could offer. And there are many parents who are horrible to their biological children. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Look at Kenzie and Jia, you are a wonderful mom. You have certainly done your best with your heart and your deeds. Your honesty is an inspiration and very unusual. Not many of us would have the courage to look so deep into our own souls. If I do that, my shortcomings thus revealed would make your so called imperfections look trivial.