I had an enlightening conversation with my adoption agency yesterday. Our case worker, A., basically told me, flat out, that China was not a good match for my husband and I.
I am inexplicably a little bit sad about this conversation, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It's not as if she told me we weren't good candidates for adoption - what she said was, "you are a much better fit for our India or Vietnam program."
Her reasoning is that we have specifically stated that we are open to a child of either sex, and that we would prefer a child older than
All children from India at 24 months, at a minimum, at the time of referral, and at least 30 months at placement. There is a real "need" for homes for the boys, in particular.
Apparently, people adopting from Asia and India are looking to adopt girls.
I have a couple theories about that, but, I will save them for another post, because I want to talk about my disappointment regarding the news about China, and I want to talk about Dong.
Before we had Gabe, my husband and I were watching 20/20 or Dateline - one of those news shows. They had a segment on China's orphanages, and the plight of girls who were in them.
After watching that program, my husband and I decided that we would try to adopt one of those girls. (Well, not necessarily one from the tv program, but, a girl in China.) We got the paperwork, but, at the time, we didn't have the financial resources necessary to proceed without going into debt. (And going into debt on anything other than a mortgage, is something we generally have not done.) We decided to try to get pregnant, and our contingency plan was that, if we weren't pregnant within six months, we would take out a loan for the China adoption.
Since we became pregnant immediately, we didn't exercise the contingency plan.
However, every time I went anywhere, and saw a family with an Asian daughter, I felt like my heartstrings were being pulled. I began to wonder if the daughter we had contemplated finding was waiting for me to come and bring her home.
I wish I could apologize to some of those families, who probably took my stares for judgmental bigotry - and while I wasn't being a bigot, I was coveting their daughters, which is probably almost as creepy and wrong.
So, I have this image in my head - an image in my head of my daughter, in a pink dress and black hair in two braids, and a thought - "this is my daughter
So, I guess to be told that, essentially, any family who is open to the possibility of a boy (from anywhere other than China) is probably going to be given a boy, and that China is a bad fit, since most healthy children are placed by 24 months...I feel like my "daughter" has been taken away from me.
It's not the end of the world. It just makes me a little sad that child I had an image of, in my head, is not the child who will come to me. And we could change our application and say that we would take a younger child - but, in truth, that's not going to happen.
But, this brings me to Dong. Our case worker pointed out to me that there are several almost three year old boys in Vietnam, who are healthy, who were caught up in their government's temporary ban on adoptions to the US, and who need a loving family.
One of these children is Dong. (No, I am not making that up. That is actually the child's given name.)
Not withstanding the fact that if I want to bring this child to live with my family in Ohio and not get the crap kicked out of him by other children at school, his name is going to have to be changed, I am awaiting this child's information to come off my fax machine as we speak. A picture of him was made available to me in an email yesterday - and he looks, I kid you not, like my little boy.
I mean, his hair is black and he is Asian, but, the shape of his little face and his nose and his mouth - they are astonishly similar to my son's.
Isn't that bizarre?
And so I am sitting - waiting to find out if this child has the potential to be MY child. I'm trying hard to wrap my head around this idea, and coming to terms with what accepting this child could mean. It means there will be no daughter for me. But, it also means having a second son.
My husband is fully in favor of getting a boy. His rationalization for this - we know what to expect from a boy. We have boy clothes. We have boy toys. We have boy experience
. We've done a good job with the boy we have, shouldn't we get another boy???
I don't know. His argument is sound and reasonable. I should also say that he would prefer to go through the India program. And it's not just because of his love for Vindaloo and Nan and samosas...he has correctly pointed out that we KNOW several Indian people. People who speak Hindi. People who would help us if we ran into a cultural issue. We don't know any Vietnamese people.
Which is not to say that he was not intrigued by the small face of Dong on the computer yesterday. Because he was. And he wants a child sooner rather than later. And Dong is available - he could be ours much sooner than an as yet to be identified Indian child....
I guess it all depends on what this fax has to say...about Dong.