Sunday, August 30, 2015

Any Regrets?

Yes. I regret that the orphanage reports on my children were not accurate and that people felt like they had to lie to get these kids adopted.

Knowledge is power. I'd have been able to be a much better mom to my girls from the start if only I'd known then what I know now and wish I know now what I'm going to know a year from now.

I can't change these things. These things were not and are not my fault.

I am so glad that my children are here, safe with me, because I know where one would be by now and it's horrible beyond comprehension. I'm pretty sure another one would be dying a slow death due to lack of medical care (not for lack of the orphanage trying, but because her condition is so complicated that it's hard to get proper care even here).


Anonymous said...

I don't know. It seems to me the only surprises would be Sissy and Apple, right? Sissy was presented as a older child adoption and Apple with Aperts, but Jie Jie was too young to diagnose with anything in China and Blossom came to from disruption which is a big warning sign in itself. Am I missing something? Don't get me wrong I have enormous empathy for you. I guess I'm surprised, you are surprised.

K said...

I've tried to answer your question, "Am I missing something?" while maintaining my children's privacy, but I cannot. The short answer is yes, because I've not posted many things.

Jie Jie's condition had to have been obvious to her surgeons in Shanghai, yet nothing was in her file except a very minor part of her overall condition. Her special need is HUGE and complicated and even hard to treat here in the U.S. though everyone seems to think they are capable. There is only one center in the country that truly has the expertise to treat her. The auditory processing disorder on top of all this complicates things immensely since she can't carry out self-care that she should be able to by now.

Sissy's file was completely made up. She was deliberately misrepresented. She's got a huge scar on the back of her head that required sutures at some point, and another small one that may also have been sutured. She doesn't remember anything about them, but she could have suffered traumatic brain injury for all I know. She could also have been premature or failure to thrive.

I had a good idea about Blossom, but from a doctor in China who has been frequently wrong, so I had hope that he was exaggerating. Her file didn't indicate the severity of her special need and she was also misrepresented. Of course, no mention was made of the severity of the trauma she suffered in her orphanage.

Apple's file was very accurate and her medical care in China extremely good. However, nothing was mentioned in her file about her medication allergies or that she'd already had the first stage of her hand surgeries. She was too young to be diagnosed with speech apraxia. Strangely, though, her profile said she had a pincer grasp, however, her fingers were fused so that would have been impossible.

Since adopting my girls, I've learned that child profiles are often wrong. They are, in fact, more often wrong than right. At least a few years ago when I was adopting. Some of what I'm experiencing though, isn't because the files were wrong, but because some things couldn't be diagnosed until the child was older or don't become apparent until they are older.

Anonymous said...

Medical review of files is highly suggested. Many hospitals have dedicated staff in doing this such as CHOP. Your adoption agency should have suggested this or it should have been written in the paperwork. Yes, it is an added expense but well worth it because they are medical experts and very clued in on reading these reports. Information in reports may be minimalized or just loosely thrown together because of time restrictions, low numbers of staff to care for all the children or there is no background data on older children. Adoption is wonderful, but I say when doing so there are emotional issues (excitement at becoming a parent!), business issues (paperwork and relationship with agency) and due diligence (thorough check of child's profile by a medically trained adoption expert or even your family physician) that needs to be addressed in the initial stages. Yes, it is hard thinking business and due diligence when a referral is involved, but necessary for your protection and to know what special needs are present, what these needs could expose in future development and asking yourself if you are capable and willing to handle this. Few people talk about the "business" and "due diligence" aspect as if it is harsh or uncaring to mix these factors into adoption. You seem to have the tenacity to handle your situation. Are you disheartened at all the issues and special needs involved (not your children) and how these issues may be affecting your adult relationship? Did you get medical reviews prior to intent to adopt or was there anyone perspnally ckose to you to help you balance the emotional high with the business and due diligence checks when adopting?

K said...

I did do extensive research and had my children's files reviewed by medical personnel before adopting them, but for Jie Jie, I didn't realize I'd chosen the wrong kind of medical person to do the review. I didn't make that mistake again, that's for sure! Some agencies I know are requiring medical reviews of the children's files, especially for parents adopting two at the same time. In the city where I used to live, the "international adoption clinic" was a joke. It was a couple of doctors calling themselves that who didn't even have an office for it. When I got Apple's file, I sent it to three top specialists in the nation - two in Dallas and one at Stanford. They were awesome!

Sandra Brown said...

I don't comment on blogs very often but have read yours since before Jie Jie came home. I just have to tell you how much I admire your commitment to your daughters and all the challenges (and joys) that brings. I have two biological children and both are quite healthy in all regards ... I struggle as a parent (single) sometimes and so admire how much you deal with on a daily basis. Those girls are so blessed to have you in their life.