Our adoption story:
Our adoption agency works with a Korean Adoption agency (Holt). In most circumstances, our agency provides the families with approved home studies and Holt matches the children with a family. The exception is “special needs” children – meaning anything other than a healthy, normal child (ranges from cerebral palsy to an extra finger to premature birth). Holt releases the “special needs” children to our agency and they release the information to all waiting families. Families that are interested can ask to be considered and the decision is made by our agency. There are probably an average of 1-2 “special needs” children emailed to us every month. We have probably asked to be considered for 4-5 of them (in the last 20 months).
After 20 months of waiting, we received an email with two waiting children. The first little boy had congenital ptosis (drooping eyelids). I read his medical history, his monthly exams, consulted with our pediatrician, and did quite a bit of internet research. I discovered that congenital ptosis is surgically correctable and does not typically have any long term effects or vision issues. (I was also comforted by the fact that South Korea’s level of medical care is similar to the US.) It was obvious from the notes that this child’s eyes were monitored and evaluated on a regular basis. Wade and I asked to be considered. The matching is normally done on a Monday. When I hadn’t gotten a phone call by Wednesday I assumed another family had been chosen and we would be notified at some point (always by email). Thursday afternoon (2/23) my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number and almost didn’t answer (I hate to talk on the phone and never answer an unknown number. Wade has recently gotten on to me for it.) I decided to answer and it was a social worker for our agency. She said the decision was really difficult (leading me to believe we weren’t the most obvious choice), but we had been matched with the little boy. I was ecstatic! I immediately called Wade and told him he was going to be a Daddy!
We told Alex that afternoon he would be getting a brother and showed him the picture. He understands it is a little boy, but persists in calling him “my sister”. At some point Wade mentioned that Alex would get his rocketship bed and the baby would get his crib. Alex immediately looks concerned and says, “And my loveys?” We assured him he could keep all his loveys and then he said he would like to share them with his sister. So sweet!
We spent that evening telling our family, but swearing them to secrecy. Because the little boy had a know medical issue, I wanted to have a medical evaluation done by Children’s Hospital Adoption Clinic before announcing it to the world. We got those results on Tuesday (2/28). Everything they said matched what Alex’s doctor had told me and I had read on the internet. We officially signed the papers on Monday (3/5).
We have always felt there were significant upsides to adopting from South Korea – most mothers receive prenatal care, you are provided with some background on the parents, the level of medical care, and the children are in foster homes. The baby’s ptosis is definitely noticeable and will require some type of surgery. (You’ll notice his chin is often titled up so he can see.) There is a chance the surgery could be done in Korea before he is brought home, but that isn’t up to us. The doctors there will decide when/if they think it is necessary.
And now – some of the pictures we have received from birth to current. I’m not exactly sure of the ages but the first is at birth and the last was 3/6.
*We are still working on a name