There is risk in adoption. Risk of loss. Risk of heartache. Some people shelter their hearts by keeping their journeys private. Historically, I have always been an open book, sharing each step of our journey; failures and successes. It helps to write things down and of course, the support from family, friends and even strangers is priceless.
This adoption has been different.
In the past 18+ months we have experienced three significant losses. The most recent was the "loss" of our two little boys in Eastern Europe. While the decision to withdraw our commitment was absolutely the right thing for our family, letting those little boys go shattered my heart. Fortunately they are both home and thriving in loving families now and that sorrow has turned to joy.
Those of you who have followed our family for awhile might also remember the loss of "Little Boy" in Bulgaria. My heart still aches for him, but had we been able to proceed with his adoption, we would not have been able to bring Alexis home and I know that our feisty Bulgarian beauty was absolutely meant to be a part of our family.
Shortly after receiving the news that we would not be bringing "Little Boy" home, we experienced another loss; one that I have never shared publicly. In February 2010 we welcomed a 15 year-0ld young man with arthrogryposis into our home (and wholeheartedly into our hearts) to provide long-term respite care. The initial arrangements were that he would be with us for at least 6 months, possibly until he was 18 (though we understood that those arrangements could change at any time). This young man was a gift and a blessing to our family and we loved having him with us. Unfortunately, after only a few short weeks and despite the fact that he was thriving in our home, his family chose to remove him from our home due to religious differences. It was absolutely devastating for all of us and we still miss him every day, BUT, after 9 months in respite care with several different families, he is back home with his family and seems to be doing well. We celebrate that success.
Despite the fact that we have loved, lost and overcome, I have still found myself keeping my heart at a safe distance throughout our current adoption process. What if we lost our boys too? Could my heart handle another loss? We went through the motions to complete our homestudy update and gather our dossier documents, hung the boys' pictures on the refrigerator and even joined our local Down Syndrome Association, all the while my head whispering to my heart not to get too close, that this adoption could fail as well.
But last week, as the final dossier documents arrived (USCIS approval and aspostilled FBI clearances) I heard another voice whispering to my heart. "These boys are YOURS," it said, "and I WILL bring them home."
Our dossier is complete. Tomorrow I will load the troops into the van and we will drive to Columbus to apostille the remaining documents and send this paper baby on its way to Bulgaria. In a few short months, I will hold my precious babies in my arms and my heart, overflowing with love for these sweet boys, cannot wait for that moment!