We have lots of picture books around the house with pictures of Kenzie in them from the time we adopted her to fairly recently. Many of the pictures are when she was under two years old. Jia loves looking at these books. We also have many items of Kenzie’s that we have saved since she had been a baby. The dress we adopted her in, her baby squeaky shoes… and Jia asks whose they were.
It breaks my heart to have to tell her each time that they were Kenzie’s. She always asks “Where my baby shoes/dress/Name Item Here?” “Why don’ I have baby picture?” “Why you not adopt me baby?”
She is truly hurt and is having a hard time understanding. She doesn’t understand why she wasn’t adopted as a baby, like her Jie Jie. She keeps asking if the pictures I took of her adoption last year are her baby pictures. I try to explain to her that her orphanage just doesn’t allow their children to be adopted as babies… that those kids who can be adopted are going to be adopted as older children.
I really wish her orphanage wouldn’t wait so late to send the kids’ files to the CCAA. I was told they do that to be sure the kids didn’t have any health issues. But that is no guarantee… who’s to say that the apparently healthy 4-5 year old won’t later develop some kind of illness? It’s impossible to truly know this. And personally, I don’t know of one parent who, after adopting their child, found out that their little one had a physical ailment that would have put them in a special needs category if it had been caught early on and would have said “Well, I’m not keeping her/him – they’re not healthy!” We adopt these children to give them love and whatever else they might need. Including whatever medical care they will need if they end up developing or we discover some hidden problem. I think most families are realistic enough to know that you won’t get a perfect child - just a child that needs you.
The sooner these children are in families, the better off they will be. There are too many issues that arise from being in an orphanage for longer periods… and it’s harder on the children to adapt to their new situation.