72 Hours of Joy

Yesterday was quite possibly the saddest day of my life.  After receiving the referral of a little darling girl on Friday we were all in LALA Land and giddy with the anticipation of our little girl coming home next month.  My husband and I went out and bought a few more items to take with us to Colombia, and a few to send ahead: coloring books, disposable cameras, size 6 rainbow undies and a cheap plastic photo album.

Months ago I painstakingly made of list of possible International Adoption Pediatricians who could review the medical history of our referral.  I mean really,….. how do you pick someone on the other side of the country, whom you’ve never met and will most likely never meet, to give you some of the most important information that you’ll ever receive in your whole life?  Well, as a good Type A student, I made a list.  I always make lists.  For this adoption I’ve made lists of things to do, things to buy, psychologists, social workers, immunizations, clothes to pack…. so quite naturally… Int’l Adoption Pediatricians.  I emailed 8 or 9 of them and scrutinized their responses.  I had the list narrowed to two, but was highly in favor of one doctor who had four internationally adopted kids himself.  He’s been there, done that.  That tidbit resonated with my soul.

Before I made my decision, I emailed a local friend who has three children by adoption and asked her who she used.  Miraculously, out of all 627 possible specialists in the USA, she named the same doctor who topped my list.  She paid the man the highest praise for the work he did for their family.  So I was good with that. 

Fast forward to this past Sunday, when I sent him the files we had received with our referral.  After reading the 40 pages with our untrained, naive and somewhat rose-colored-glasses-covered eyes, we questioned the money needed to have the files reviewed.  But I read the email a second time that came from our case worker, suggesting that we have the medical info reviewed…. and I sent off the wad of money and the files. 

Yesterday was Monday and Rick was off of work, thank God!  The doctor called us back around 11:00 am and proceeded to give us the worse possible news that we absolutely did not want to hear.  He had not seen a child more needy than this one in all of his ten years reviewing files.  Several times he apologized for being the bearer of bad news, but remarked that there was no cheery way of looking at this.  It all boiled down to two comments that he made, that I scribbled down on my very worn out adoption notebook.  Our number one priority is the preservation of our family.  Secondly, the odds are overwhelmingly against us for success with this child.  Heartbreaking news.

As the 45 minute phone call wore on, I became increasingly quiet and my husband finished all the responding for us.  Tear stains dotted my lavender t-shirt and I sat in my green birthday chair in our bedroom wondering, Why in the world did we get matched with this poor little child?  We certainly couldn’t harm the relationships that we’ve built over the last 17 years with our three children.  We couldn’t put them at risk.  We couldn’t wreck our family by trying to save this little girl, whose chances of being saved were slim to none.  After prayer and discussion and tears, we declined the referral.

My thrify-minded husband said, “That phone call was worth every penny we paid that man!”  And it was. 

I suppose we’ll never know, this side of heaven, why that darling little girl with black hair was ours for 72 hours.  But she was and we loved her whole heartily.  We pray she will be placed in a home with the resources to aid her healing and steer her through adolescent and the teen years.

We are still at the top of the list and a new referral should come in 3-4 weeks.  I don’t know how much more of this I can take!


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10 Responses to “72 Hours of Joy”

  1. Crash Landing « Zaza’s Adoption Blog Says:

    […] We declined the referral.  For the details, go here: https://mysistersjar.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/72-hours-of-joy/ […]

  2. Brandy Says:

    Linda. I’m so sorry. I had read about your referral yesterday morning and was so excited for you. I know the pain that you’re feeling right now. We had to decline a referral nearly a year ago. It had to have been one of the most painful experiences I had ever had. Truthfully, I consider it a miscarriage. This child represented hope and love, and then for reasons that we couldn’t control, we lost her. I still think of the girl that we could not have, and even though we are still waiting for THE referral, I know that we made the right decision. My prayers are with you and all of the little girls in Colombia. Hopefully, both of us can bring ours home soon.

  3. Christy B . Says:

    Praying for you all. We are heartbroken. We love you!

  4. The Informal Matriarch Says:

    I think you made the right choice. She is a cutie pie but you need to protect your own children. I thought in her photo that she looked rather cheeky…but I guess more cheeky than I’ll ever know. Not that I didn’t want her to be the right girl for you…i just thought she looked like one spicy enchilada lol.

    It’s the same reason I wont have another child. I have to preserve the ones that I do have and it wouldn’t be fair to the new one to have such a violent older brother, heartbreaking reality. I’m glad u made the right choice for your family.

    I hope you let the rest of us bare some of the weight for you. We all have a bit of a broken heart and we all have been waiting, sometimes impatiently, for little Zaza to come home. We all love you and are anxiously awaiting the next referral. And then I’ll anxiously await you bringing her here so I can chew on her…you’ll let me, right?

  5. Chas Says:

    My wife and I had an adoption (local) fall apart at the last moment. It was many years ago, but I still grieve over it. It is amazing how fast we got attached to that little boy, and how much it hurt when – in our case – the mother changed her mind once the State made some changes and allowed her to visit just enough…
    However, in your case, I applaud your thinking and your decision.
    BTW – in our case we very quickly found we were expecting our oldest – a son who is now 27 – and that did amazing things for our hurting hearts. I pray that you would connect with just the right child soon, and that it would overwrite the pain with joy.

  6. Nita Says:

    Linda, reading this is truly heartbreaking. I am really glad that you guys have done your diligent research and as you say, preserving your own children. The child that is destined to be a part of your family is waiting as anxiously as you are. Remaining level headed and making mindful decisions for your family is first and foremost. The whole story is truly amazing and it does come with a happy ending. Your love and patience and your commitment are your strengths. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  7. rixgal Says:

    Thanks, Leah. So true! Yes, we’ll bring her up to Canada…. as soon as she gets used to America! Chewings up to her! :o)

  8. Jenee Says:

    Hi- My name is Jenee and my husband and are are adopting a sibling group of 2 from Colombia. We are so excited to complete our family through adoption, its hard to wait! We were approved in Nov. 09. We have 9 month old twins and have concerns similar to yours mentioned. May I ask what Dr. you used when reviewing the adoption files? When the referral comes we plan on sending the files to a trusted Dr.

    Thank you and congratulations on being united with your beautiful daughter.


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