Recently, I mentioned that I had a newly renewed interest in pursuing an international adoption in the future. The idea had been slowly reintroduced to me over a couple months, but what really caught me by the heart and dragged me in was Lora's story, which I found through a mutual friend. Someday, I might muster the courage to reach out to Lora, but right now, I am just going to cower behind my computer screen and hope she doesn't catch wind of the fact that I have been obsessively stalking her adoption story (and by stalking, I of course mean, reading avidly).
Writing about it here like an idiot probably isn't helping matters.
Anyway, she has given me a lot to think about, as have some of the ladies on the Army Officers' Wives Facebook page... But mostly Lora (can I call you "Lora?" Geeze, my interwebz etiquette must really be lacking... I have no idea how to behave, ugh). I don't want to tell her story, because she does such an amazing job doing so herself--seriously, take a few days, and go read it; it's funny, and heart-warming, and heart-wrenching, and scary, and amazing. So is the rest of her blog, but I had enough trouble getting through the adoption posts without someone trying to wipe snot all over my legs... The rest might come later. If ever (although, I read her new posts everyday).
(^See? I ramble).
Anyway, I was particularly intrigued by her story because (aside from the fact that her daughter was born in Ukraine) she and her soldier-husband chose to adopt a child with special needs. In her first adoption post, she mentioned falling in love with a picture of a child, knowing that child was supposed to be a part of her family, and then looking into adoption. I, on the other hand, had researched the shit out of this topic a few years ago, and know, more or less, what lies along that path. Even still, I couldn't help but follow her links, which led me to a non-profit organization called Reece's Rainbow that advocates for special needs children living in Eastern European orphanages who need families. I felt as though Lora had issued a challenge to me, and I was willing to accept, despite my unease with the nature of the organization (not what they do... just to say that the whole ministry thing sort of puts me ill at ease, not being Christian and all...).
So, I began to "thumb" through the pictures of waiting children they have posted, wondering if I would feel the connection she felt, which eventually (in a round-about sort of way) led her to her daughter.
Lucky for everyone, I was not love-struck this go around.
Sure, "lucky" probably seems a bit harsh, but I am nowhere near ready for this, and I would have jumped headfirst into it if I had been shot by cupid's mom arrow.
Phew. Bullet dodged. For now.
But, it did make me think about adoption in a whole new way: Would I be willing to adopt a special needs child? That's a really big undertaking, especially on top of all of the other things that can come with adoption. Being married to an adoptee is probably a much different experience than parenting one, but there are still unique challenges. I started to mull it over, because, of course I would have to be ok with it before asking if my husband was. And then I called him and we had a short chat about it.
His major concern, of course, was whether adopting meant straying from our baby 2013 plan. No. Definitely not. I'm talking 5 years down the road minimum (I think...eek). And then I asked him about considering special needs. He was quiet for a minute, and I could immediately tell he was on the same page I was: yes, but not really.
A lot of those illnesses and diseases and conditions scare me. Terrify me. Not all, but most. Is that bad that I am admitting that? I feel like I am being insensitive for wanting to reserve myself for a "healthier" child, if not a healthy one. It just seems like a dick move to say "here is my list of approved illnesses and conditions." And do they even do that? Either way, I am going to be in for a lot of research in the next few years (to go along with my "adoption jar"). I knew I should have gone to med school, even if to just understand some of the terminology that goes along with a special needs child (damn you, chemistry, you heinous bitch, you).
And then there is the Army.
We have big dreams of living overseas when our children are older--old enough to remember it and go do things. But bringing a child with special needs into the family can potentially kill that dream in an instant; if it's determined there won't be adequate facilities to address the needs of that child overseas, they won't let us go. It's a practice I can both appreciate and hate at the same time--best interests over dreams is no contest, but it still makes me sad that I would be losing that dream.
It's not off the table. Again, this is me rambling and trying to work through a very complicated series of thoughts and emotions. I really need to focus my attentions on things a little less taxing like which kind of apple pie to serve at the next FRG meeting or how to explain to my husband that 11 hours of sleep IS sleeping in.
So, I think I will start collecting the names of agencies and looking into how much this will cost so I can get to saving... While making PubMed my best friend.