For those who follow along with our Forever Family adoption blog, you would have been introduced to a new potential member to our ever growing family. And I do mean potential... very strongly potential... but let us recap some of the past couple of months, and how things have shaken down for a couple of other "potential" additions to our family.
Baby Bing - just awaiting final approvals!
A while ago, we found out about a lovely little 8 year old girl in a wheel chair - which lead to some lively conversations in the family (my wife was far more willing to adopt a child in a wheel chair than I was). However, our social worker had a different opinion on it and shot down the idea quickly. Our social worker informed us that she would not support our decision to adopt this 8 year old girl in a wheel chair (I'm glad to report that she has since been "locked" by another family). In Ontario Canada, if the social worker does not agree with the adoption - the adoption doesn't take place.
A while after that, we got information on a little boy, in our age range, with a curved left arm. Again, hopes rise and then come crashing down as we get word back from China that he also has "severe" mental disabilities. Although we had not shut the door on this little guy, our adoption agency helped close the door for us (which was a good thing).
So enter Baby Bing.
- 2 years old. Check.
- Boy. Check.
- Spina Bifida. Check.
- File locked. Check.
- Pre-approval from China. Check.
- Everything is looking good!
Then we get word from our agency today - some "bad news". Baby Bing apparently is not potty trained during the night. As North Americans, this is something that is not that uncommon for a 2 year old (orphanages in China which we've had exposure to tend to potty train the children very young), but could be a concern since struggling with incontinence is a (somewhat) common side effect of Spina Bifida. The update that our adoption agency got (from the orphanage director directly) was that the incontinence may be a life long struggle... something which we will only know as he gets older.
Now, our emotional roller coaster was pretty well ridden by this point in time.
Baby Bing - yes, he comes with the corn
I mean, we've looked at (and considered) children who have been in wheel chairs, missing limbs, gender ambiguousness issues, albinism, red heads, etc. I think we've covered a lot of emotional ground on the subject of our children's health and what we could or could not handle. Our reaction to this latest tid-bit of information was ... "uh, okay, now where is the bad news you said was coming?" Now being incontinent is no small matter. It can change the way you organize your day, how long you can drive in a car between stops (and when you live in the country, that is something which affects you every day), etc. In a severe case, maybe your young child is wearing a "bag" to help.
See, our reaction there isn't really important. What was important was the reaction of our Adoption Agency. Even more important than that, is that our reaction should not be about "us" - but about our child.
Our adoption agency asked if we still wanted to proceed with the adoption - to which my wife said "Yes! Of course yes!" To which our adoption agency director wrapped her arms around my wife and gave her a big ol' hug!
See, our adoption agency thought that Bing not being potty trained, or worse yet if he was incontinent and needed medical help, that we would not want him anymore. He is only "potentially" our son because we need the governments to stamp all the paperwork until he is "officially" our son. Loosing the 8 year old girl, and the boy with the curved left arm was hard enough... I'm not sure we could loose another one.
But getting back to the hug - that is the type of response I wish everyone could experience* with their adoption agency; where it is far more of a passion (or calling) than a job.
We are not going to walk away from a child because of some potential issues with getting to the bathroom on time. There is a saying I have stolen from someone else which I try to ingrain into my children's hearts: There is nothing they can do to make me love them any less. Now, if they do turn out to be a red head, we might have some issues to work though... but I'm sure that love can over come... that... maybe... actually, I donno. You can dye red hair right?
So, to you Baby Bing, where ever you are right now ... can't wait to get you home little guy! :-)
* = Really, it's just nice to get hugs every once in a while. Yetis are big huggers.