Finding the Way to our Daughter - Part 1
Finding the Way to our Daughter - Part 2
Korea, as a whole in today's day and age rarely refers "Older Children" for adoption. There are cases, but it's not common. Typically the children are referred around at 5-7 months. As a law, babies are only allowed for adoption for families in country for the babies first 5 months. Once they hit 5 months, if they are not chosen by a Korean family, they are referred to a family waiting in another country.
If there is not a family open to whatever needs this child may have, they are put on a Waiting Child list - otherwise known as WIC. Our agency has a few older children on their Korea WIC list, and I do remember asking our social worker about them way back when we decided to go with Korea's program. She didn't know much other than they had been waiting for a long time and we were still so moved by her 'older child talk' that we figured there was a really big reason why they hadn't been adopted already.
But since we had come full circle in our inner debate on whether we wanted to go the traditional route and be referred a child the referral way or find an older child the WIC way, I found out who to call and just inquire.
Every inquiry I kept thinking...."What harm can it do, we're just waiting on a list anyway!"
After talking to the WIC lady, we narrowed down one of the girls that we'd like more info on and she said she had a BOOK of info on her. (She wasn't lying.) When you're talking about a country whose medical care is very similar to ours, you're sure to get up-to-date info and all the tests you could ever imagine.
After taking a few days to just digest it, Dave and I, we decided it was time to get some professional opinions, something that one always should do in adoption, regardless of the referral. We started with one International Adoption Pediatrician who gave us a huge thorough review that was wonderful. But, this little peanut did have some preemie birth concerns, so we wanted to do talk to more professionals.
The last month we've been digging, digging, digging -- talking to doctors in our local clinic, our local Children's Hospital and even UCLA -- just because they have an awesome adoption clinic there. We talked to staff at our children's school, too! Just because we wanted to make a fact-based decision. (Though, can I be honest, it's almost impossible for me to make a fact-based opinion on something that his so heart-filled.)
My prayer was, "If this isn't right - close the door. Any door." And can I just tell you that those doors just kept flying open! Open, open open!
We got some video of her multiple times in the past month and one other adoptive parent said to me, "When you watch them, do you feel like she's your daughter? Are you proud of the things she's doing? Do you get excited about them?" And the honest answer is, yes! 100% yes!
But I also know that my heart can make everything OK, so I needed Dave's head to be OK, so after we get all of the info we could, we went out for Korean food ;) and just talked about everything. Our family of 4 - our family of maybe 5 - the challenges ahead with possibly adopting an older child - what would the children think? How would she adjust to all of the changes in life? Because she's not a baby or a toddler...she's 4 years old. Exactly 2 years 3 months younger than Miles and 5 years 5 months younger than Logan.
And then I started to see how what we were hoping for all along, a little girl around the age of 4 was suddenly at our reach. One that we know about her past - her parents past - her medical care...there's nothing unknown.
Making a decision to permanently alter your family by adding a child - by adoption OR birth - is a hard decision sometimes. And we didn't take it lightly, as I'm sure you didn't when you added another child to your family.
But after much (much!!) deliberation, we couldn't help but see that this sweet little girl was ours. She was our daughter and our boy's sister. And she was just waiting for us to realize it. She has been waiting far too long, getting wonderfully cared for and loved where she is currently living, but it's time for her to come home! And once we came to that final decision, all the indecisiveness has gone away.
We are 100% absolutely positively in love with this sweet little girl whom we haven't even met yet, but let me tell you, if we could hop on the first plane out of here to meet her, we'd be on it in a second.
Go to Part 4