Thursday, February 24, 2011

Adopting a Waiting Child: Zinashi's Story

Our story starts out like so many others. We felt we were meant to adopt. For some this comes after pursuing pregnancy and experiencing failure of one kind or another, or giving birth to children. We always knew that we would adopt, and one spring it became clear that pursuing pregnancy just wasn’t something we felt strongly about, whereas we did feel strongly that we wanted to be a family to children that needed one. So in the summer of 2009, we applied to our agency, were accepted, and began the paper chase. We decided to pursue adoption of a baby since this was to be our first child, and chose to request a girl. We were open to a wide variety of special needs, but knew that it was possible that we would end up with the ever-popular “healthy” baby girl.

Because it was actually our preference to adopt a child with special needs, I kept my eye on our agency’s waiting child list throughout our wait. I kept seeing little girls that I thought were so wonderful, whose stories were so heartbreaking, but then I’d say, “Mary, stop that. You are waiting for a baby. You and Jarod agreed, and you need to just step away from the cute photos.” And then one day there was a photo of a baby with special needs on the list, and I knew that we could handle her potential issues, and so we submitted the form to view her information. I thought, “This might be it!” But I was wrong; at the same time we were submitting a request to view this baby’s information, another family was doing the same, and they had been waiting longer. She is now their daughter, and we are so glad. Because seeing the face of that baby, who was not meant to be our baby, somehow put me in a state of readiness for the photo that would show up just shortly after that, the photo of our daughter.

Immediately, the little girl in the picture caught my eye. She was just incredibly intense, with these eyes that were just staring right through whomever was taking the photo. I was transfixed by her, but again I told myself to stop it, because she wasn’t a baby. She was three years old, with a minor medical issue. A perfect fit, really, except that she was three years old. As in, older than a baby. And we were adopting a baby! I just knew that we were! I told myself that I was just doing this because I was tired of waiting, that I really needed to step away and stay the course we’d agreed on as a family. I sent a text to my husband about how quickly things could go when it came time for kiddo number two, as we had agreed that we would only pursue adoption of a baby once since there is a much greater need for older child adoption. But something wouldn’t let me stop staring at her photo. So I sent him another text, and then, possibly, another. I wanted this little girl to be our daughter. I didn’t want to wait for a baby any longer because I felt like this little girl was our girl. He returned from a stressful day at work, having not looked at her photo at all. We looked at it together, and then he said the magical words that changed our whole lives for the better, “Let’s see what happens.” And so we did; after a nerve-wracking four days, thinking that someone else made a request for her information before us, even though I felt so strongly that this was our girl, we received a call, which was followed up with an e-mail, which contained all the information about our daughter.

What followed was the quickest pediatrician consultation phone call ever made, a review of records that wasn’t conclusive, but was overall positive, and a call as soon as it was all officially done and discussed, the very next day after we had received her information. Honestly, we would have said yes on that first call, but we didn’t want to seem completely impulsive and unwise. We even had a little party and showed off her photo before we talked to the pediatrician and officially said yes; we were just that sure that this was meant to be our daughter.

And oh, she was meant to be our daughter. Not that it is ever meant to be for a child to lose her family and need another, but insofar as secondary arrangements after tragedy can be providential, we believe that this was. She is smart, she is silly, she is snuggly, she is all we ever dreamed of and hoped for. She isn’t what we thought we would get; she is far better. Babies are overrated. I say, follow your heart. I say, if you are thinking about a child who doesn’t fit what you thought you were open to, open your heart to saying yes. If you’re at all like us, you’ll be so very glad you did.

Mary McBride

1 comment:

  1. These stories are all so sweet. Jennifer, what a wonderful idea to put this series together. Thank you.

    Much love,
    Future Mama


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