Friday, March 18, 2011

The Heart Pulls...

So being registered with a couple of referral services we get emails about random adoption situations. Since it's not a set agency, it's all very sporadic. There's no real rhyme or reason as to when we receive notice of a situation, how many we receive at once, how much information we'll receive, which state or agency is involved, fees, race, regulations, etc. It's all over the board. So far nothing has seemed perfectly right for our family, nothing has set off clear bells in our head of "this is your child, pay attention!"

And yet...

Some do "speak" to me.

Oddly enough, while we're open to race and gender, and while we know we could easily love any child we're placed with, some part of me feels we're going to end up with a baby girl. In fact, strongly feels that. Not strongly enough to limit our search to only identified female situations, but strongly enough that I can admit when I see a situation for a boy I'm... well, I'm not pulled to it. But I'm pulled to just about every situation when it comes to girls.

Which of course is like just about every other adoptive parent out there...

But I've gotten a bit off track.

My problem right now is, I'm somewhat, kinda, sorta pulled towards a situation that I really, objectively, don't want to be involved in.

Right now information is scarce and we know literally nothing about the first parents and their situation. We don't know the state this baby is in, we don't know the exact care she's received, we don't know what exact requirements are going to be needed contact wise after placement, etc.

But we do know she's special needs. Twenty five week premie, hydrocephalus, on a g-tube and nebulizer, daily therapy, will need lots of follow up care. Female. 8 months old, 5 adjusted. Biracial.

And, oh, my heart is pulling...

The adoption fees are painfully low, meaning that she's likely to be scooped right up by another family, one that has the time and energy to give her all their focus. One without two high needs children, one of whom still considered an infant. One who wouldn't have to worry about little fingers pulling out tubes or big brothers playing too rough or working in daily therapy into an already packed schedule.

But even so... this is the first situation that actually feels REAL. The first time I could actually see us with this child.

And I worry about myself for this. Is it because of the low fees? Because it's a baby girl who might be easier to adopt than a healthy, full term baby girl? Because I'd be "saving" a "hard to place" child? Certainly I'm feeling some (okay, a lot of) guilt due to really wanting a girl, perhaps when it comes down to it I really don't want to ask for the most sought after sort of child but the one who really needs someone to step up.

I don't know.

What I do know is... I want to at least know what state this baby is in. If it's our state, NC, or a state we have family in... then I think we can consider it. If this baby is someplace we really couldn't drive to or where we'd need to wait a long time in state, well, I suppose that's it then. I just need to know... Because right now, there's always the possibility that this baby girl is two miles down the road from us. Or on the other side of the country. And that DOES make a difference, especially when you're talking about traveling with other children.

So I guess I'm leaving the next step up to that. Odds are high that she'd be in a state we wouldn't travel to. But if she is in, say, Florida... would it really hurt to at least request a bit more information?

Ugh, it's all so hard! So hard, so hard, so HARD!

You read this situations, these brief snippets of life, with the full knowledge that, more than likely, ONE of these situations is your child. You don't know when it will happen, oh no, because that would be too easy. You just know that you're reading a few lines in an email and you have to make the decision, based on that, whether or not you think this could be IT, think this could be your baby. And you also at the same time know full well that you're highly likely to feel that way with several of these situations before you find the right one and locate your child. It's frustrating and heartrending and just plain painful sometimes.

But it also leaves me hopeful. Because each new situation could be our new little one. And we don't really know, he or she, black or white or biracial or hispanic or asian, special needs, neurotypical, close, far, closed, semi-open, open, etc. We don't really know any of it, even if we continue to guess on it based on current preferences. It's frustrating and yet beautifully poetic at the same time. One day I'll see the words written about my child, just as I've seen them before. And I'll fall in love with those words. And we'll be matched. And we'll be placed. And we'll be in love. And perhaps we've already seen the words, and perhaps not.

We won't really know until this journey is all done and the next one starts.

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