Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Thoughts About Our Journey - Leap of Faith

When we applied to adopt from China there were two choices as to programs.  One was the NSN Program (non special needs) and the other was the Waiting Child Program (children with special needs).  We opted for the NSN program because while we recognized that we could have had a biological child who had special needs, every parent sets out to have a healthy baby.  We knew that NSN did not mean there would not be any special needs - it was just that the children referred through that program were not reported to have special needs.  I will say that many institutionalized children do have developmental delays that require special care so I tend to believe that the majority of children adopted from China are in some respect special needs.

As the wait began to stretch out before us it became painfully obvious that the program was changing and it was changing rapidly.  China instituted new rules for adopting parents making it more difficult to qualify.  The most heart wrenching change in my eyes was the denial of prospective parents who had taken anti-depressants.  Many people who undergo fertility difficulties (and many adoptive parents do) become depressed.  The shift was subtitle at first, but became much more pronounced after the first year we waited.  Many people who started out NSN began to re-evaluate and move to the SN (special needs program).  We chose to remain in the NSN program.  As time went on it became a common theme for many people on the China adoption boards to suggest that those who continued to wait should just move to the SN program with the feeling being those who still waited just needed to be educated so they would change.  At times it got pretty ugly.

We continued our wait.  A few people I worked with implied I was getting too old.  It was hard to keep a positive attitude.  By the time we relieved our match we had been dealing with infertility and family building for almost twelve years.  I still remember driving down to meet with our agency representative wishing that teleportation was real.  We were told we would need to sit down when we got there and our thoughts immediately went to twins.  But two families on the blog we frequented had already reported being matched with twins - so it seemed less likely.  When she handed us two files my brain went to mush - my DH was already figuring out the logistics - I was just picturing my arms being full - my heart already was.

When you get a match the information you receive is pretty basic.  We were told their measurements, where they were developmentally, their daily routine and a few medical details.  In the case of our girls their reports were almost identical with only a few difference and their measurements were exactly the same.  Once you get that file you have very little time to decide and send back your LOA (letter of acceptance).  Once you have seen your child's face, heard their name and read those few precious pieces of paper it is hard to stay objective.  We signed the LOA's the next day and we were starting to feel like parents.

 We did take their information to a pediatrician we were considering and he was very negative - he thought they should already be walking unassisted at the time of the report and was concerned about their size.  My DH took the file to another pediatrician who was much more positive, but I can say without any reservation that we already knew they would be our daughters.  We took the leap and I've never regretted it.



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