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!