These days I rarely visit the Reece’s Rainbow website and only stop in at the RR facebook group to donate to adopting families. And if by chance I do read through children’s profiles while writing an advocacy post, I stick to the country I know. So I have no idea how I came across Carice, but her description struck a chord with me.
Girl, born on January 2016
meningomyelocele of lumbosacral region, hydrocephalus, ventriculoperitoneal shunt;
lower limbs flaccid paraparesis, congenital feet inversion-extension deformation, neurogenic bladder, which causes chronic urinary tract infections;
Carice has bluish-grey eyes and brown hair. She is very positive, often smiles, and always is glad when an adult talks or plays with her. She is calm, emotionally stable, cries only when there is a reason. She is able to get up on all fours, crawls on floor, during the crawling supports more on one forearm. Grasps toys, rattles them, moves toys from one hand into another during the playing. Reacts on her name, smiles, babbles, likes to imitate sounds, likes musical sounds. Reacts on her reflection in mirror – smiles. The girl enjoys to be around other children. She drinks from a cup with adult support, eats from a spoon. It is predicted that the girl will be clever, but she will not be able to walk and will need a wheelchair (she does not feel her lower part). It is not clear yet if the girl will be able to control bowel movements, probably it will be known around 3-4 years of age. Hydrocephalus is compensated, the liquid drained in time.
Carice’s medical description is almost identical to our Angelina’s, the biggest difference is age. Carice only just turned one; Angelina waited over 9 years for a family.
Sometimes Angelina will start a little conversation with me in which she will tell me that she waited patiently for us to come, but often she will add in why? Why did it take us so long to come for her. She will tell me she waited and waited, she waited a long, long time mama, why did it take so long? I tell her I’m sorry it took so long, and I am sorry for the time we did not have with her, and then we make birthday plans for her 10th birthday, her very first birthday to celebrate in a family! I trust God’s timing with our family, I do not say “why did you let her live so long without a family?”, but I do still mourn the years lost that can never be recovered. Nine years is a long, long time to wait for a family.
I asked families who have adopted from this country concerning the average length of time and learned that Carice has a chance to be adopted at a remarkably young age considering international adoption processes. It sounds like the adoption process is quite unique in that parents receive custody of the child on the very first visit even though there are two other trips before the adoption is finalized. So even though there is roughly 6 months of bureaucratic phooey left to trudge through, your child is already home and bonding with her new family during that half-year period! If a family whizzed through their homestudy now and had everything submitted in the next couple months, it is within the realm of possibility that Carice would be home for her second birthday!!!!
Reece’s Rainbow lists the country’s adoption requirements as follows:
- Be a married couple for at least 2 ½ years (agency rule)
- Heterosexual married couples and single women may adopt
- Parents must be at least 18 years older than the child (no exceptions)
- Minimum of 25 years of age for parents; no upper age limit at this time
- Three trips are required
- Both parents for approximately 4 weeks for bonding time; stay in a furnished apartment or house with your new child for bonding
- One parent returns for court 2-3 months later (very short trip, 2-3 days)
- Third trip is 6-8 weeks after second; One parent returns for a Sunday-Friday to complete Embassy paperwork
- Children can go home with parents after first trip. They will need to return for the second trip if they are 12 years or older. All children must return for the third trip to get new passport and visa.
- Total cost, including travel approx $30-35,000
- Multiple unrelated children can be adopted
- Parent history of anxiety or depression is usually allowed, if parent is now in good health
CANADIAN FAMILIES WELCOME!
As a mama of an older adopted child I can tell you that this time is a gift. If you are on the fence about adoption and you feel that Carice’s story is pulling you into action, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will answer as many questions as I can and put you in contact with experienced adoptive families from this country.
I cannot share pictures of Carice, so I will share the only baby picture we have of Angelina, taken years and years before we ever knew about this darling girl waiting, waiting, waiting for a family to come for her. Angelina waited a long time, Carice’s story could be different.