Thursday, August 21, 2008


Hugging Jonathan at C.O.T.P., 07-06-08

Most of you know how very much we all wanted to add three children fron Haiti to our family. Many of you know about Jonathan, that little boy with severe c.p. (cerebral palsy) but whose smile can light up an entire room. And I'm sure all of you know how many sighs, how many tears, and how many prayers we shared as a family for him--since the very moment the home study agency unilaterally decided that three children with special needs all at once would be "too much" or "too many". Back in the late 2006, for days and days we were unable to hold our tears every time we passed in front of a large framed picture of Jonathan in a small inflatable pool, lovingly embraced by Thomas as well as also supported by an adult, as otherwise he wouldn't have been able to hold his head up. That picture was in our hallway in our old house, and will be always with us in our future home.

Then we prayed, and prayed, and prayed. My mom was even praying to die---not thinking that God might want her life as a trade-off in exchange for a home study approving me for three kids, but anticipating that had something happened to her at that time due to stress, that might have made the agency change its decision.

Children of the Promise supported our determination to be Jonathan's family no matter what, and we'll never forget that. Yet, a couple of days after returning from Haiti with Thomas and Nicholas, I got a message from Robin. She had something to discuss with me. When we finally talked, she explained to me that in the light of the new adoption policies being enforced in Haiti these days, in all likelihood I wouldn't be able to adopt Jonathan with five children in the family already. It'd be a difficult and lengthy fight, and if we lost it, it'd be too late for Jonathan. I asked Robin to kindly request any prospective adoptive family to be agreeable to keeping in touch with us.

When Catherine had returned from L.A. Congress (for Catholic youth) earlier this year, she had brought back home with her one Jesus' bear (bears bearing the Cross) for each one of her new little brothers, including Jonathan--but the bears had been five, as opposed to just three.

It's time to give out the news--even though I'm still concerned, afraid, terrified that something might go wrong: we're adding to our family two more little ones, one from Uzbekistan and one from Russia!!! From Uzbekistan it's an adorable four-year-old boy described as loving, caring, bright, vivacious, and friendly, who's missing his right arm and leg. From Russia it's been an even more painful, more shattering ordeal than it was with Jonathan. It was going to be a little five-year-old boy missing two limbs as well--but it was impossible to find an agency to do a home study immediately, with two adoptions still in process. Actually,from a legal standpoint, Thomas and Nicholas were members of our family already (since June 2007, when their adoption decrees had been signed) but were still waiting in Haiti for the processing to be finalized at the M.O.I. and then at the U.S. Consulate.

I may be a writer, but can't properly summarize the extent to which we all suffered for that little one. Although in our last Christmas pictures we may look happy opening presents, the tears were right there, ready to be shed at any time. Anything seemed a good excuse for a good cry--because the reason was that little boy so very far away. On October 23, 2007, the day when the wildfires were getting near, and when common sense was telling me to stop everything else and start packing those family memories I love so very much, still I had gone to Kinko's to send a fax needed in order to apply for his adoption.

After wasting time with an agency that behaved very unethically and kept monies they had never earned, and after unsuccessfuly trying other agencies whose executive directors seemed to have rocks instead of hearts pumping the blood inside their veins, Life Adoption Services, in Tustin, CA, agreed to do a new HS even though Thomas and Nicholas were not home at that time yet. But it was too late. Why hadn't I resorted to Life Adoptions first?

To make the story short (it's actually long already), after the murder case in Utah, the region where that adorable small boy is seems to be no longer an option. It was also an issue around the incresing disfavor towards independent adoptions. Life is fully accredited in Russia, but the prospective placing agency was not. Still we're waiting to hear if there is something to be done, which seems very doubtful. What is certain is that for years to come we'll wake up in the middle of the night to think what that little boy's fate was. Unfortunately, those who purposefully delayed the commencement of the process and those who could have helped but refused won't have their sleep disturbed as we will. Or perhaps a Voice from above will whisper into their ears that, whether they identify it or not, they have something to feel guilty about? Please don't misunderstand me: I don't wish wrong to anyone. I don't wish remorse to anyone. But if more people could realize that doing a job is more than following procedures, things would be much better on this earth. If more people could realize that quite often we need to take chances, to risk making an unlikely mistake, to expose ourselves to eventual trouble, to even jeopardize our license, position, or business for the sake of a worthy, deserving, compelling cause. I ask you please to believe me that I don't expect from others more than what I would have done in their place.

No comments:


Back to TOP