Friday, October 14, 2011

Loss of a Child

I was going to call this post, "The One that Got Away," but that doesn't really tell the story. Or maybe, "The One that Wasn't Meant to Be." But that's not really true either. We think he was meant to be.

Many adoptive parents have faced losses. It might be loss due to infertility. That wasn't our case. I did miscarry our first child, but found out later that I have translocated chromosomes. So I had an above average chance of either miscarrying or having a Downs child. We didn't know this until after Tyler and Jessica had been born and we were already in the process of adopting.

Many adoptive parents have had the child they were going to adopt either die or be removed from an orphanage by a relative, or just mysteriously disappear. There was a third child we had said we were going to adopt from the twin's orphanage, but we let a child's (serious) reluctance along with a lack of finances keep us from it. Another family was in the midst of adopting him when the mom, along with a man she said was the dad (even though she'd said he was either dead or she didn't know who he was), showed up and took him out of the orphanage. No one knows if he is even still alive. There are two others that we wish now we'd spoken for. But you can't go back.

We had put in to adopt through the state in 2004. But nothing came of it. We'd see kids on the list and inquire and hear nothing. One of the very first children I asked about was a 4-year-old. We got a form letter saying, "Your family's strengths do not best meet this child's needs." I think it was because Jasmine was so young and they wanted only older children in the home. The child is now ten and he is still on the list.

After time went by with no results, we turned to Haiti to adopt. We had adopted a child in 1997 when it only took 6 months so imagine our surprise when it took 3 years and an earthquake.

The twins have been home 21 months. Things are pretty calm here right now. They are settled in well although they can have some quirky behaviors and we still limit situations we feel are attachment disasters waiting to happen.

We were trying to certify for foster care right before they came home. The state of GA will not send our records, and the state of FL will not certify us without them. Once the twins came home, we kept trying to get our records sent. Now that Jeff is 18, we could take one foster child but GA refuses to send the records. An appeal to the state capital went unheard.

But then something happened in August that really surprised me. A social worker in another county said that based on a 2008 home study she thought we were the best placement for a nine-year-old boy. I sent her an update on our kids and their activities and interests and she said it looked like a really good fit. Wow. All we had to do was get our homestudy updated. And that's where it ended. There are certain papers that have to be filled out when two different counties are involved. And neither county could agree on the order of the paperwork. So it all came to a screeching halt. But by this time I was getting excited about another child. So in just a matter of weeks we all went from being in a normal routine with the children in our home to making plans for a new child--to nothing.

I'm not really looking to add a child. But if a child shows up (and is between the twins and Jasmine in age) and we feel we can successfully parent him and have the resources for him, then we want to at least meet him and see if he can fit in with the kids. And it looked like this child would be a good fit from what we were told about him. We'd planned on the twins being playmates for Jasmine but it hasn't turned out that way at all. This child was just a year younger than her, and since he was a boy, there wouldn't have been much rivalry.

But since the counties didn't come to an agreement, another family has been chosen. I'm happy he has a home. And maybe he wouldn't have been a great match for us once we met him, but we at least wanted the chance to start the visits and see.

So that's the story of the child we lost. I'm going to include his photo since it's still on the public website even though a family has been chosen. He may not have moved to that placement yet.

Doesn't he look like he would have been a great "playmate" for Jasmine?


Felicia said...

They are crazy for now expediating your paperwork. Sad to say maybe they will if his placement doesn't work. You have experiences that many other families do not have. Our girls came to us from an adoptive placement that didn't work out. These kids need experienced families, not more disappointments in their life. I hope that someday you can get what you need to foster again.

Kathy C. said...

Thanks Felicia. I hate that they advertise they need foster families but they are ignoring all my messages.

Christine said...

Glad he has a home. Still I can't believe our system.

Kathy C. said...

Sometimes you have to wonder.

Kimmie said...

Sending a hug Kathy, so sorry I know this really hurts deep.