Sunday, March 16, 2008

Protecting Your Heart

I always thought I was a strong woman.  In many ways I know I am but this weekend I learned just how weak the heart can be.  I was home sick on Friday when I got a call from my agency that they received the file of a baby they thought I would be interested in.  After hearing a little I said I would love to see her file.  Being that she is part of the new shared program I would have 48 hours to make a decision at the same time knowing the risks of this particular program.  I have scoured pictures, I have lived this for 2 1/2 years and I have had the opportunity to review other files.  Yes they were cute children, easy special needs and I said no.  Words cannot explain the feeling I had when I saw this child and read her file.  She is the most beautiful little girl in the world and I had this sudden urge to want to protect her.  It's not love, it's not anything other than what I imagine a parent feels upon the birth of a child.  I finally get it.  I lucked out that on Friday at 2pm I was able to get the doctor of choice to review her record expeditiously.  I was given a 24-hour window which would leave me with enough time to do what was necessary.  Did I mention she is beautiful?  I spoke to a dear friend, called mom and began to sob as I read her finding information.  I felt this was my daughter and I still do.  So in the midst of all this, I haven't seen MP for three weeks and am due to issue a midterm Saturday and it's not written.  I barely slept and as I was getting ready for class Saturday the  phone rang and it was the doctor.  What an amazing man who not only took an hour to speak with me but had consulted a colleague more knowledgeable in the area of her special need.  Like me, he felt her initial records were great and more than China usually gives but there was a gap like most.  The photos were from 4 and 5 months of age and no report since age 14 months which left unanswered questions.  My agency has been great and this is my first real experience with them.  I could not have felt I was in better hands but remember it's Friday afternoon.  The decision was to try and "re-lock" her file in after the 48 hours and try and get updated medical information.  The SN coordinator was kind enough to check her email over the weekend and check in with me.  My agency has 100 kids on their SN list, this is not an easy job when agencies are experiencing loss of revenue.  I am so grateful for the decisions I made when I began the process and was reminded of this through this experience.  Do I still feel this is my child, absolutely yes but I feel we both deserve a full chance at the best life possible.  Without tooting my own horn, I am an expert in special needs.  I do this every day and do it well.  I am a barracuda, I kick ass and I don't take no for an answer where someone is denied a quality life.  In the same token I want to be a parent, not necessarily a crusader though I would probably be content to be both.  I know I have what it takes to love this child but am petrified that my one chance at parenthood is dependent on this decision.  I have prayed, I have cried and I have sought the advice of the people best able to advise.  I have the love of my mother, my friends and I know they support me unconditionally.  So I have left it to fate.  If by chance I am meant to be this child's mother perhaps her file will be available for another 48 hours.  If the gods are truly on my side I will get something more recent medically; a photo, a video, a note...something to make me believe.  I never expected this to be so difficult and if this was the regular program I would, like the others sign on the dotted line, thank China for the honor of adopting one of their children and shop til I drop.  The signs have been extraordinary.  Her first photo was my father's birthday and the second the date of my beloved stepfather's death.  Her Chinese name is one I just thought of last week as  middle name for it is beautiful.  My soon to be 86 year-old nana recovered dead tulips from the garden where she volunteers.  She was told they would never bloom and not to waste her time.  Yesterday she woke to three fiery red tulips; one representing the three generations of women so she says.  She comes from an orphanage where families are very involved and these same people have offered their ears, their kindness and their attempt to locate a photo of her in their respective travels.  I am in awe of the kindness of strangers and not in the wacky APC kind of way.  People who have pissed me off in the past have offered their warmth and good wishes.  It takes a lot to make me speechless but I truly am; at least in verbal form  ;-)  So if you believe in miracles or the power or prayer, I welcome it all.

6 comments:

Juliette said...

Lisa, thanks for sharing so many deep feelings.
I am still not sure I want to consider the SN program because of this decision part of the process, this leap of faith we have to take...in the future but also in us and our capabilities, our willingness, our optimistic views...
But I also believe in signs and I sure hope you get more of them in the next 48 hours because this sounds to me like the beginning of a beautiful life story.

Cavatica said...

This is truly awesome!!!

Michele said...

I'm holding my breath here waiting to hear to good news. You have tons of support here. It's great that you trusted your instincts and knew that this is truly your daughter. It will work out and soon you'll be on your way to bring her home.

Hugs!

Eliza2006 said...

I just read your post in SAC. I am so happy for you. Every time I read anything about your experiences and your baby girl I am brought to tears. I can't wait to see a picture. A big huge congrats from my family to yours!!!

Tiffany

Beverly said...

Lisa, I e-mailed you already but you need a record here too. Keep all the congrats on your referral. I am very very happy for you. She will want to one day read the support you received and all the people who loved you and loved her before she came home to you!!

{{hugs}} to you, your MP and your peanut!!

Beverly

Yoli said...

I am just so touched by this post. What a wonderful writer you are. What a great Mom you will be to your little girl. Your nana, bless her soul, reminds me of me, picking up flowers others discard and giving it a new chance.