Shreds of Grace
We don’t even know how to talk about where we are at in the adoption world right now. It’s painful and raw and just plain hard. Today we officially said “no” to a child. It was heartbreaking and my momma heart is just a mess over it.
A few weeks ago, Uganda’s parliament passed a bill that would prevent foreigners from adopting unless the adoptive parents lived in Uganda for a year prior to the adoption (essentially closing the program for our family). The President has just a bit more time left to sign the bill into law, send it back to parliament for revisions or veto it. To make matters even more complicated, no one in the U.S. has seen the bill. The U.S. State Department has tried all avenues to get a copy of the bill to no avail.
So, we’ve been in limbo. Our agency suggested we look at other programs and children who are waiting to be matched in countries other than Uganda to figure out if there were any children we were interested in or other countries we would consider adopting from if Uganda closes. After much prayer, discussion and research, we decided to consider adopting from Poland. We started to look at waiting children there. Waiting children are children that have been approved for international adoption because no one in their country wants to adopt them (so heartbreaking). They have not been matched with any international adoptive parents usually because there are not enough adoptive parents available or because the children have special needs. For two weeks we did not really see anything. There are multiple sibling groups available, but each group had one or two children older than our oldest. We decided early on in our adoption process that we wouldn’t consider adopting any child older than our oldest. We also have a pretty small window of ages we are able to adopt and those ages often get adopted by people in their home country (as they should be) rather quickly so our expectations for finding a waiting child or children were pretty slim.
Two days ago everything changed when a precious sixteen-month-old boy was listed as waiting. He had multiple medical conditions that we could not even pronounce, but he tugged at our heartstrings and we decided to find out more. With Uganda potentially off the table, it seemed wise to see what we could find out and pray about it. We had several conversations with our agency to find out as much as we could about this little man and what the time frame would be to update to Poland. Our agency had two paragraphs of information on him and a few photographs. They said they could request more information for us from Poland, but it would take time and Poland may not give us anything further unless we were willing to make a commitment. We called around to adoption doctors trying to get a better grasp on little man’s medical needs. Today we talked to two different doctors, one of which is a highly esteemed international adoption doctor. They both said the same thing. His listed medical needs aren’t that big of a deal. If they don’t self-correct, it would mean a minor surgery to fix and that would be the end of it.
However, they were concerned about what was not in little man’s records. They were concerned about what they could see in his pictures. Pictures can tell a thousand words and in the eyes of a professional, they can speak volumes. With aching hearts, after discussing little man’s pictures and what they showed, we decided to not pursue his adoption.
It is an awful thing to say “no”. Just awful. As I type, tears are trailing down my face into what seem like puddles. The screen is blurring in front of me and I just want to be at the end of this rollercoaster we’ve been riding on for a year and half now. One of the doctors today told us we had to protect our family. He’s right, but it still stings deep. I hate knowing there are babies and children and teenagers who don’t get hugs; who don’t have a momma to cry for them. So, tonight, I will cry. I will cry my momma heart out for him. I know God has a plan for his life even though it is not with us. I will pray over this little man and rest in knowing that in the middle of all this mess- this ugly, heart wrenching mess, there will be beauty. There will be beauty. Shreds of grace are somewhere in all of this. We’ll find them. One piece at a time.