Friday, December 27, 2013

Special Needs

That phrase "special needs" is kind of a weird phrase. It is especially interesting when you are parents entering into the world of international adoptions....what special needs are you open to, what does it really mean? When Keith and I were starting the process to adopt from Ghana - I really wanted us to be open to a larger list of special needs, but Keith cut that list down saying something to the effect of "if we had a child...or we brought home our child and then found out about this need ...well..it wouldn't be a big deal we would just deal with it". About 3 months ago we were offered a referral of an 11month old who had a much less severe version of Ulysses' need and we turned him down. Not so much because of the need...although that was honestly part of it...but because we just didn't feel that something. At the time, I thought that was kind of a silly reason. I am not the fall in love at first sight kind of adoptive mama. I went with it though. Now 3 months later, because of something in a video that moved us...we are planning on bringing home a son that literally has two of the big issues we said we were not sure of being able to handle. Every time we tried to talk ourselves out of bringing him home because of worst case scenarios...those scenarios ceased to be scary or barriers at all. No matter how worst case they got. The reason is because he literally feels like our child and we are not scared by his needs we just need to get him home and deal with them. Maybe it is because I spent so much time thinking about it, praying about him and imagining every eventuality before I talked to Keith about him at all. I have always been a bit skeptical of the plethora of child advocacy sites designed to help waiting children find adoptive families. Not in a "I think they are bad" kind of way...but in a "does it really help kids find homes?" kind of way. Now I am just so grateful that the advocacy site we saw Ulysses on took the time and had the heart to advocate for him or we NEVER would have found him. This adoption process has been so different for me and my family in so many different ways and we aren't even done yet. This adoption has rocked my world and made my heart grown like 3 sizes. This is a blessing and I can't wait to get to the next step. Dossier is in Washington, DC right now with the Assistant Stork. Unfortunately, the stork gets vacations too so we won't have it back for another 2 weeks or so! Then as soon as we have our updated I800A approval off to our agency it goes. I think I am being conservative when I hope for a May travel date..we will see though!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

coincidences...

After carefully comparing all dates in our referral info to my blog... on the day that Ulysses was abandonded...Keith and I were at an Adoption Workshop at the UAB International Adoption Clinic.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Tale of brave Ulysses....

I am not sure how well i will explain the way this little boy changed my perspective. On Zeb's birthday, I saw a post on an advocacy site for the little boy up in this picture. It broke my heart...i think it broke a lot of people's hearts. I couldn't get his little face out of mind...especially his smile and joy in a video of him walking. I started imagining him, who he was, what his personality was, what his future could be. Then I started thinking about his needs..what his worst case scenario needs might be and for the first time ever in my life....those kind of needs seemed like no big deal. Literally, I imagined myself caring for this guy in the worst case scenario of his special needs and it was not a big deal. I am a pragmatist and a worst scenario planning type of person. The more amazing part of this story is that while I spent days praying about this and imagining being mom to this little boy....I couldn't even begin to find the words to talk to Keith about it. I knew that there was nothing I could say that could even begin to convey all of what I was feeling...not a thing. Then one night about 6 days after I saw his picture...it just came pouring out. Then another amazing thing happened - Keith asked "What do we have to do next?" By the time I sent an email to our agency, Ulysses' file was under serious consideration by another family. I figured that if someone was seriously considering him...I must have been mistaken. Yet somehow, I couldn't get the idea out of my head that he was going to be our son...it just seemed too real. Three days later, our agency called and asked us if we were still interested. I knew it. We recieved our PA yesterday for Ulysses and our dossier is sitting at the Assistant Stork waiting to get sealed and back to us. We have to wait for our I800A approval to be ammended but hopefully that won't take too long. Our homestudy ammendment reached the USCIS the same day our initial I800A approval was issued....SNAP! Our officer seems very responsive and had us send her an overnight envelope so she could overnight the ammended I800A approval when she gets all the pieces (which we overnighted on Tuesday)! He turns 9 at the end of March and I know there is no real chance of having him home by his birthday, but it would be great to have him home before the onslaught of summer birthdays for the kids we already have! When we started this adoption, our plan was as young as possible with as minor a need as possible...we were thinking a 1 yo boy with a limb difference or cleft lip/palate. Isn't it funny how things turn out! I couldn't be more excited. We are getting ready to send a care package on monday...ok now I couldn't be more excited!

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power