December 23, 2011
Blossom has a family!
I made the announcement on Facebook a couple of days ago and my sister in law responded with, “That's awesome, but why am I tempted to say..."When do you get her?"
Little did she know how close to being right she was.
As you know I have advocated for Blossom for many months now. Finding her a family became a very personal mission for me.
I was asked to advocate on my blog by her orphanage and I was glad to be of assistance. Then this past Labor Day weekend my husband traveled on a humanitarian trip to her orphanage and was able to meet Blossom in person.
Like everyone who has come in contact with this darling girl he returned completely and utterly taken by her smile and sparkling personality. At dinner one night shortly after his return he said “Lori she’s everything you could want in a daughter. If she doesn’t get adopted it would be a monumental waste of potential.” He then went on to say something that to this moment still shocks me. He said “If a family does not come forward, we are going to adopt her. I’m not leaving her there.”
I was stunned. Was this the same “Reluctant Husband” I knew and loved?
I was not anticipating this and frankly had not considered adding an almost 14 year old child to our already large family but what could I say, this man had traveled the wild road of adoption with me three times, how could I say no to him? I couldn’t…wouldn’t.
We vowed to each other that we would leave it to fate. We would advocate and pray that a family for Blossom was found but agreed that if no family came forward then it would be our sign that she was meant to be ours. We agreed we would be happy with either outcome. Our focus would be on Blossom getting a family, not us getting Blossom.
And for months that’s what we continued to say to each other. I blogged about Blossom and we corresponded and talked by phone to many families who expressed an interest in adopting Blossom. At first there seemed to be many who could adopt Blossom but as time went by and her paperwork was delayed the number of families able to meet the closing paperwork deadlines dwindled.
Quietly we began to imagine a 7th child in our family.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. We learned that FINALLY Blossom was going to be on the shared list. It was going to be close, the timing would have to be perfect but she was going to have her chance.
The time had come to finally start talking, in very real, concrete terms about adopting Blossom ourselves. And the more we talked the more we realized how she had captured us over these months. Maybe we were not the backup plan for Blossom afterall, maybe we were meant to be her parents all along?
We contacted our agency and talked though the logistics of a second adoption; there were obstacles but we already had approval to adopt two children up to age 14. We could do this! We instructed our agency to try to lock her file as soon as it came out.
The night the shared list came out we chattered on excitedly about Blossom. Dart would build ramps to the house, perhaps a lift on the stairs, as a Master’s prepared teacher he could home school to get her caught up in time for high school. I would draw on my medical contacts and arrange for prosthetics, therapy, whatever else she needed. We would give her my grandmother’s name…. Like all hopeful adoptive parents we checked email over and over waiting for the good news from our agency.
We fell asleep well after midnight waiting and I think I woke a couple of times that night to see if the email was there.
The good news came early the next morning from Blossom’s orphanage. Blossom’s file had been locked...
...by another family.
I cannot lie, Dart and I walked around in shock the rest of that day. We were certain that God intended us to be her parent’s. Over the last week we had opened our hearts fully to Blossom; somewhere along the way we had bonded with the idea of her being our daughter and left behind all thoughts of being “a backup plan”. We wanted her as our daughter.
It has taken a few days to come to terms with the fact that we are not to be her parents. I would describe it as a sort of mourning; a complicated mix of emotions that include loss and disappointment, frustration and then finally (prayerfully) reaching a place of peace.
We trust that Blossom is with her intended family; certainly this has been our experience with adoption. We could not have the two perfectly matched daughters we do without this belief.
And the silver lining is that A LOT of families were trying that night to lock her file. Not just mine but countless numbers of people who came to know Blossom as the beautiful person she is.
And it’s really pretty amazing when you think about it; I’d go so far as to call it a Christmas miracle...A near 14 year old orphaned girl with no schooling, spina bifida, one leg amputated below the knee and half a world away there were multiple families desperately wanting to make her part of their family.
I am humbled.
God’s blessings abound.
(And the spirit of Christmas seeps deep into my soul.)
Merry Christmas Blossom and a happy new life to you and your lucky family.