Monday, February 27, 2006

Small Hearts Get Bruised Too

Last night I had to tell Gabriel that the "little boy with the cute face" (as he has been calling Dung) was not going to come to our house to live and be his little brother. He asked why, and I said that he was going to live with a different family and that they were still looking for the little boy or girl who would be "perfect" to be his little brother or sister.

Gabe buried his head in his pillow and cried for about five minutes. Then he asked if I could tell "the people who are keeping care of the orphans" that he would really like a "big brother". "Aren't there any kids who need a mommy and a daddy who want to be my big brother?"

Oh, this broke my heart all over again. Because, wow, I understood his sentiment. I am the oldest child of a cobbled together family of six children, and, let me tell you, growing up, the days that I longed to have a big brother or sister, instead of BEING the big sister, were MANY.

And the truth is that there are children who are "waiting children" who are older than Gabe. But our agency won't place them with a family that has not 'parented past this age' - meaning, the strong preference is to place such a child (who has usually been orphaned or abandoned by a birth family at an age where they have years of memories with that family) as the youngest child in an "experienced family." Which makes perfect sense to me and my husband. And I don't know that, at this point in our lives, my husband and are up to the challenge of these older waiting children. As an example, here is a description next to one such child from our agency:

"This handsome 10 ½ year old boy came into care when he was 8 ½ years old. A lot about his past is unknown, but he reports physical abuse and neglect. He has clubfoot of his left foot, and is missing the large toe on that foot, which he says his father cut off."

I know this child needs a loving family, and I desperately hope that there is a family out there who can bring comfort and care to this little boy. (And in fact, if you know someone who could do this, please let me know - I can direct them to the website.) But, I also know that I am not ready for this kind of challenge.

So, Gabe's not going to be getting a big brother, which is simply our agency's policy, one I understand and respect. And he's not getting the little brother he expected, either. And I know now not to show him any paperwork of any kind, until I know that the child is going to be mine. In retrospect I cannot believe I was stupid enough to show him the pictures in the first place, but, until that interview call, I truly believed the child was going to be ours.

Stupid Stupid Stupid...

Law Mommy


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