Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thinking about the Children of China

Since the day we arrived home with Kira, my husband and I fell in love with our daughter's birth country and desired to adopt again one day.  Now three years later, we completed another Dossier for a special needs child from China.  Two weeks ago were accepted as the proud parents for a sweet 16 month old baby girl from Gansu Province in the People's Republic of China.  She is a very special little girl indeed and we all so happy that she will be joining our family soon.

My days and nights are filled with the chattering of little Kira and her never ending desire for knowledge.  She seems to want to catch up on things and lately starts out every sentence with "I have a question Mommy".  It's so cute, and most of the time her questions are fairly simple.  But at this time, she doesn't really want to discuss her little sister, but will add that "she can have my old clothes" or "I want to come to help fix her boo boo".  Kira is thoughtful, compassionate and certainly wise beyond her 4 yrs.  She also asked me why I had to go to China to get her, because I told Kira that her sister is with other very special babies that do not have parents.  It think that's when she stopped the conversation and changed the subject.  Preparing Kira for this arrival will be tougher than anything I really expected.  She is very attached to me, though happy eager to get to school so she can play with all her friends  Recently she does have "Daddy time" and I love hearing her question him and giggle on and on.  But the reality is our new little addition will require a lengthy surgical procedure and 5 week hospitalization at John's Hopkin's in Maryland.  So I am now trying to figure out all the logistics of how to swing bonding with Baby Wu Ke Xiu  while not affecting Kira for weeks on end.  It occured to me to ask if siblings can stay wtih during the long hospitalization, especially since we'll be from out of town.  I so hope so, because this is such a crucial part of bonding for us all.  However, the baby will be sedated for the most part, from what I understand.  I won't kid myself by saying I am not frightened by it all too, but I have to do what's best for both girls and know staying strong, keeping Kira informed and happy and trying to stay focused will be my goals.

We have the absolute best agency in the World, Holt International Children's Services, whom I like to consider my extended family as they truly look out for both the child they are matching and the families they want to place the children with.  I have worked a bit with Holt over the years, trying to advocate via webinars and writing articles describing our experience in the hope that other waiting families will consider the special needs route, or as Holt now calls it, the "Child of Promise Option".  These are children with fairly correctable conditions or sometimes just older kiddies who for some reason, did not get adopted when they were younger.  As most of our friends and family know Kira had her cleft lip and palate repaired and will require another surgery next year to finally close her palate.  We decided to be more open to a child with a more extensive need such as a heart defect or perhaps another clefting issue.  We also wanted the children to be closer in age or perhaps the same age.  However, it would all depend on the referrals that Holt were receiving monthly.   But when we got Baby Wu's referral, she has a condition called Classic Bladder Exstrophy, something I never hear of, let alone knew exactly what it meant.  But I could not stop looking at her beautiful face, her long eyelashes, tulip lips and long fingers.  I gazed over every inch of her face and just wanted to hold her as tightly as possible.   No doubt she is a most gorgeous child.  Then one by one we looked at all the photos till we got to the photo that shows her condition.

I must say the first thing that entered my mind was how much pain this child must be in all the time.  Her bladder was sitting right outside her tiny abdomen and urine just leaks continually onto raw skin.  The rash on her bottom was awful to look at, her entire bottom was bright red with open sores and tears just filled my eyes.  Then just when I thought I was going to loose it, there was another updated photo of her bottom with the rash and sores all healed.  A sense of relief came over me knowing that somehow she was now receiving some sort of medication to help prevent skin breakdown.  Immediately I got on the internet and called the resources we were given to see exactly what her condition was about and who and where we would consult for surgical correction.  It took perhaps a few days to get the information we needed to make the decision to accept her referral.   One of the many important people I spoke with was, Dr. John Gearhart a delightful children's urologist who will be performing her surgery.  He was so optimistic and re-assuring that he could help her, I just sighed.  He then put me in contact with another family, in fact a nurse who adopted her son with the same condition 11 years ago.  She too was sweet and re-assuring, especially about the hospitalization part.  I felt so much better speaking to families of children with this defect and even watching you-tube videos of teens and how they are dealing with self-esteem.  Pretty amazing in my opinion.

So for now, we wait until our Immigration paperwork gets done.  We have received more photos and even a video clip yesterday.  I'm not sure how to upload it, so I'm posting mostly on Facebook since it's easier!

Will follow up shortly with some fabulous photos.

If anyone is interested in this there is so much information, you just need to know where to look.  I came upon this video and instantly knew that there was no more research to be done!


Jen said...

congratulations on your referral!
you will figure out how to juggle both girls and their needs...it won't always be easy but Kira will adapt--i bet she is thrilled to be a big sister! any word on travel dates?


a Tonggu Momma said...

Oh, Ivy, congratulations on your recent LOA!!! I know y'all will figure it all out. And we're not too far from Johns Hopkins. Just so you know.

day by day said...

Congratulations, Ivy!!!! Such wonderfully, exciting news for your family!!!!

How nice that the doctor took the time to connect you with other families whose children have the same SN!!

Can't wait to follow your journey to your sweet little girl!!


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