I’ve been avoiding a big post or explanation for weeks now. We’ve been through a lot of upset and change in the last 2 months. One of the last things we ever expected happened to our family.
We’re heartbroken to share that we will not be moving forward with our adoption of “Liam”. The circumstances in this are not in our hands. It is very far beyond our control. It came within days of becoming fully funded (thanks to grants and fundraising and one huge blessing!) and getting our USCIS application submitted. Our dossier was complete aside from the immigration approval. Among other things we will not/cannot discuss publicly I will try to give explanation. It’s a little difficult to make sense without knowing the details of a non-Hague pilot program adoption. I have wanted to be transparent from the beginning of this though. So many have given us so much of their own for this to happen. We have reached out and explored several options to no avail. At this stage, suggestions or “fixes” are not helpful as we’ve exhausted every avenue that we can WHILE remaining ethically and legally sound. The agency we were working with is no longer able to process adoptions and “Liam” is not considered available for adoption at this time. There has been a lot of information that has come to our attention that compounds this.
What will happen to Liam now?
I do not know. Our hope and prayer is that there will be a way for him to get access to the medical care he so desperately needs. We know and want to assure anyone here that to our knowledge he was always well loved and well cared. Many hardworking people have dedicated their lives and time to him and the other children in the care center there.
We have had no updates on him since late November. If I ever get information I can share don’t doubt I will!
Where we are now . . .
It all feels like a cruel trick of timing. Our lives almost feel like a paradox. We thought we knew what we had ahead of us. It all seemed to come together. Yet in days, months of pushing and begging for help and paperwork and consulting fell through our hands. We were never Liam’s best option, in my opinion. However, we felt that our openness and the timing had come together so we would make the most of the imperfect situation. We knew we were willing to add a child to our family (and that hasn’t changed) and our hearts were opened. We prepared ourselves as best as possible for the medical needs and the seriousness of it all.
I have said that November 2015 to November 2016 is now undoubtedly the hardest year of my life. In November ’15 we lost our fourth baby in our first miscarriage. In that same month, we saw a girl on waiting list that led us to jump in to adoption in January 2016. In May/June 2016 we saw Liam and simultaneously found out that particular little girl would no longer be available. We moved forward for him. Now, here we are one year after submitting our application to our homestudy agency with a homestudy that is useless until it is updated and more confusion than I’ve ever felt in my life.
We have had many, many long conversations about what to do now. We’ve seen this need for adoptive parents. We’ve known it for a while but now we’ve seen and understood things we can’t go back on. The systems and structure has so many shortcomings. The reality that children are losing their families and their cultures and homes at all is bad enough. There are a few directions we’ve discussed. When I say discussed I do mean . . . conversations until 4 in the morning and constantly going back and digging deeper. This isn’t just adding to our family. It’s not just being available. This has rolled a wave of dilemma into our lives. One where we question our beliefs, our ethics, and our realities. Things we’ve become accustomed to hearing and saying feel wrong.
We’ve considered fostering or adopting from foster care. We’ve even discussed domestic. We’ve re-evaluated the international adoption world and what is there. We’ve talked about taking 2017 and being selfish with it and focusing on us and the three kids we have. We re-evaluated our openness (more open, not less) and what we think all of this means for us. Lots and lots of ideas have been thrown around.
We are putting any foster licensing on hold (I’ll write about that some other time) for now. I don’t have more detail than that yet. We hope to adopt. We plan to see what God has in store for us this year (and the next and the next). Once we think we know what’s happening we’ll share. (Because heaven knows we never really know!)
For now . . .
God loves Liam more than we do. This is something I heard directly from Him last September when Liam was in the hospital fighting. I’ve had it on repeat in my head ever since. He doesn’t need us to take care of anything.
We are so, so thankful for knowing this sweet boy. We are beyond grateful for the connections and friends we’ve made through the last year. We are grateful for the lessons and the opportunity to lean into each other and God.
I have been astounded by total, complete strangers going above and beyond for our family. Our church has been so supportive. So many have been praying for us through this whole thing.
We truly hope to have grace and understanding with this situation. Much of it is hard to explain or even things we don’t fully understand right now. We hope everyone will continue to support us as we move forward. We honestly feel like we’ve failed here. My biggest fear has been that this will turn others away from adoption, foster care, or supporting families/kids overseas. I don’t want this to cast a cloud but to shine a light. We all can do more and do better in supporting families and children all over the world. Adoption isn’t even the primary part of that picture either.
I hope to have an update soon on where we are at with everything!
A few other questions answered:
All gifts to us through Reece’s Rainbow (our family profile is closed for now) are sitting in an account to be used if we move forward.
The situation also affected the other children there. It is not exclusive to us at all. This means I also won’t be fundraising or advocating for “August”.
This is not what we expected but it was always a slim possibility. A pilot program is always a “shaky ground” situation.
Any money given to us aside from that in Reece’s Rainbow was used and spent and gone a while ago. Most grants were not received.
If we go international we will be back at square one for fundraising/grants but none of that will begin until our homestudy is updated and a few other things come together.