Thursday, April 29, 2010

Adoption nightmare

One of my dearest friends is stuck in an adoption nightmare. She completed all her research and paperwork and decided to adopt a child from Kyrgyzstan. She was matched with a beautiful little baby, 5 weeks old. She flew to Bishtek and met her. She fell in love immediately. Back home, we all celebrated the news of the referral. We all thought that her little girl would be here soon.
That was twenty-two months ago. Her little girl just turned two this week. She is still in an orphanage in Kyrgyzstan. Because all Kyrgyzstan adoptions have been placed on hold, putting this little girl, and 64 other Kyrgyz children in limbo.

It is unclear when this nightmare, finally picked up by the national media, will end. But undoubtedly, these children, some of whom have medical conditions in need of treatment, will not be the same as they would have been had this stalemate not occurred. Two years is a long time to spend in an orphanage.

My friend has lobbied U.S. congress, traveled to Kyrgyzstan to speak before their parliament, and created a media campaign to try to sway public opinion in Kyrgyzstan. She has now celebrated two birthdays for this little girl in her absence. And her heart is just breaking.

God, I feel for her. And through her experience I have grown more skittish about international adoption, fearing that you could get so far in the process only to have some international snafu jeopardize bringing your child home.

It's a scary story and although it's unusual, I guess it's one of the potential realities of international adoption. It is so hard for me to accept that there are never any guarantees, never a time when you can say you've made it to the other side and all is sure to work out all right. Not in adoption and certainly not in pregnancy. Unfortunately, my experiences so far in infertility have made me feel more intolerant of uncertainty, not less. Which is not a good thing, because there seems to be uncertainty for so many of us at every turn.

I'll keep you posted on what happens for my friend. For now, please keep her, her little one, and those 64 other orphans matched to American families in your thoughts.


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  1. i think until your child/ren is safely in your arms, for me, it's all uncertain, pregnancy is not a guarentee and neither is adoption. I don't know if it is simply the friends that I have/or the nature of bloggers/ but I know so many adoptions that have been either on hold or the adoptive mom changes her mind.
    IMO Adoption is just as risky as IVF, just different kids of risky

  2. I agree with Expectant Duck...just a different kind of risky. I will cross my fingers and toes for several things: 1) One or more of your little blasts will become a take-home baby 2) Your friend's adoption will end well 3)People will stop saying dumb things like "why don't you just adopt"--like it's an easy process.

    The path to parenthood is so bumpy for so many of us...but believe me when I tell you it's absolutely worth it. Hang in there.

  3. Thinking of your friend and the other families.

    Also, thanks for writing this:

    "Unfortunately, my experiences so far in infertility have made me feel more intolerant of uncertainty, not less."

    I didn't realize that had happened to me too until you said it.

  4. Oh yeah. Adoption - both international and domestic - seems at LEAST as fraught with the potential for disaster as IVF. Thinking of your friend & hoping that it gets easier soon.

  5. Having just sent off an official letter for the US State Dept and the Russian government for a couple wanting to adopt internationally, I so worry about this for my friends. After dealing with miscarriages and IVF and and and they finally moved on to adoption and then it can all be derailed so easily. It feels so unfair.

  6. That is heartbreaking, sending prayers.

  7. My heart breaks for her. That is really what scares me the most about international adoption. If it was not for all of the bull$*& I would definitely do it. She is in my prayers.

  8. Sometimes it seems life is all about getting your heart broken in every way possible.

  9. That is so sad- for everyone involved. Really- this is what's best for the children?

    I will put them- all of them- in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. Sending hope and prayers to your friend and her daughter and to all the other orphans waiting for homes.
    And to you two also as you walk this bumpy road:)

  11. Oh, that is heartbreaking. And it is also one of the many reasons that I am almost as afraid of pursuing adoption as I am of having another loss. My thoughts and wishes are with your friend.

  12. This story is so sad. I recently looked into adopting Tibetian children after the recent awful earthquake there. It is almost impossible to adopt from Tibet, unless you are a famous movie star, because Tibetians are not considered Chinese citizens, though China invaded them and they are now part of China. Therefore, there is no way to adopt them. It's sad when politics gets in the way of connecting an orphan with loving parents.

  13. that is very sad, thanks for sharing her story. And yes, I think you are right about infertility making one less able to deal with uncertainty!

  14. How awful! How any government justifies keeping children in orphanages when there are families waiting is just beyond me.

    The uncertainty of all this is so terribly hard to take. Sometimes I feel bad for feeling this way, but I felt like I didn't have what it takes to endure the adoption process. Ironic that big fat PIO needles seems easier.


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