Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Long Overdue Update

I haven't shared this yet because there's a lot of stuff that's been up in the air about it, but it's time to give an update anyway.  We have discovered that we can't adopt "Jane".  This isn't open for debate and nor was it our decision.  Jane's country has a list of qualifications.  All countries do.  Most countries are open to working with adoptive parents if they need a waiver on one qualification or another.  Jane's country does not waive.  They aren't interested in your reasons or your other abilities to parent one of their children.  Unfortunately, this way we don't qualify is something that will never change.  It's not a factor we can control.

When we first started this journey, our homestudy social worker informed us that this qualification, it involves a minor medical issue, could easily be waived.  Because of the nature of Jane's country, this turned out not to be true.  We tried to find a way around it, but all of the available options involved doing things that were not comfortable for us, like subterfuge or flat out lying.  In the end, all that we could do is admit defeat.  We will not be adopting Jane.

We've actually known this since perhaps three weeks after we started our homestudy.  But it's been a lengthy process trying to figure out what could be done.  Then I was waiting on another family who might want to adopt Jane themselves to receive notification of whether or not they will be allowed two children on their homestudy.  That has not yet come, and the time is here for us to share our change in plans.

Of course, the news Jane couldn't be a part of our family came very hard to us.  It was a devastating blow as we truly love her very much and wish she could be with someone's family this very moment.  It's difficult knowing that, at this moment, Jane has no committed family.  Once we can establish whether or not she will be going home with this other family, we will know whether or not we will need to advocate for Jane.  If that is true you will be hearing about her every single day for the rest of forever until someone gets desperate enough to shut me up that they commit to bring her home ;).  We will also be donating money to Jane's Reece's Rainbow grant as often as possible to help make it easier for her family to bring her home.

Since the first couple of weeks of this journey, we've known we can't adopt the child we fell in love with.  We've spent the last approximately two months looking for another child who invokes the same feeling in us that Jane did from the first moment.  Honestly, I began to despair that would happen.  I scrolled through probably literally hundreds, if not a thousand, children in every country with every special need, of both genders.  We could not find a child.  We began to consider that the first feeling was a fluke of some kind.  Maybe it was too much to expect to encounter that same love for a stranger again.  

Finally, just a couple of weeks ago, a truly wonderful young man, he is probably in his late teens or early twenties, communicated with me via Facebook.  He spends his time running a camp that helps Chinese orphans with special needs to experience a taste of the family life for a week or two.  Once the camp is over he returns home to his native Ireland to write advocacy posts for all of the children whom he or other counselors met during the course of the summer.  His sister works with him in this endeavor and is also a young adult.  I don’t know who their parents are but I am beyond impressed with them.  
In the course of my conversation with this young man, whom I hope to be able to talk about with more information about his organization, he asked what kind of child we were looking for.  I said I wasn’t sure but no older than my oldest who is 13.  And at least one of the two children had to be male.  We have no particular fear of almost all special needs, so that left him with a very open playing field.  We talked for a few minutes about our family.  About each child and Mike and I and all the things we value and love to do.  After this conversation, he produced the advocacy profile he had written for a 10-year-old boy we’ll call “Daniel” until further notice.  

One reading of Daniel’s advocacy post was all it took.  Just like Jane, I knew.  So I waited for Mike to come home so that he could immediately know too.  It was that easy. We began to research Daniel’s country and found that we don’t completely qualify there either.  Many parents don’t however, and they often waive most of their qualifications for parents adopting special needs children from the waiting child lists.  There is a chance we will be denied the ability to adopt Daniel as well, but we hope and pray and feel rather comfortable in saying that seems like it probably won’t happen.

We hope to adopt two children from this country, but at the moment we are concentrating on getting pre-approval from this country for Daniel.  To get all of that done, we will need around 4,000 dollars.  We feel like this isn’t too much to ask to get this show on the road, so we are doing everything we can to earn it or raise it.  We have started a shop of Christmas items, doll clothes, and other potential gifts, the link will be provided in the next post.  I am taking extra jobs to help facilitate these expenses.  

It’s possible that nothing will happen for several weeks, but we wanted to let you know where we are.  You might note that our previous fundraising link, “Jane’s Dough” has disappeared.  Have no fear if you have already donated.  We used your money, for which we can’t thank you enough, to pay agency fees up to this point.  Our new fundraiser, posted to the right, reflects our changes as we are no longer adopting Jane. 
Thanks so much for keeping up with our story and we hope to have more news for you soon!

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