Quote of the Day


declining a referral

Refill your coffee cup and get settled. I've a story to tell.

Way back in 2005, when we were starting all this, we asked for a boy and a girl, under 8 years old. Our agency told us about a boy and a girl that were in the same group in the orphanage and cared about each other. The only glitch was that the girl would not be available to adopt until after January of 2006. We would have to wait for both children another eight months before making Trip One. Well, adoptions in Russia are so uncertain that waiting another eight months seemed really risky. We were afraid that if we chose to wait, something would happen and we wouldn't be able to bring either child home. Remember, at this time, we were hoping to have kids home by Fall 2005.

So, we said, no, we didn't want to wait. Please find us a referral for a little girl who was available now. Nope, no little girls available. Then, to our amazement, we opened our email one day and found a picture of a cute little girl wearing a pink bow.

Lil Pink Bow Girl was darling.
And charming. And we were so excited. A few days later we got the referral for the little boy (I'll post his story on his referral day, May 25th). We had celebrations and pasted their pictures all over the house. We got our travel dates for mid June.

Early June rolled around with lots of troubles. Our agency's accreditation had expired in January, but they had been able to proceed on Letters of Good Standing. In early June, the Powers-That-Be deemed Letters of Good Standing to be insufficient. When our trip was canceled, we were disappointed, but not surprised. We rescheduled for early July, thinking that all would be cleared up by then.

Well it took much longer. The July trip didn't happen, and nothing happened in August or September or October. We lived in limbo for months. The door wasn't open or closed, but just a bit ajar. Open enough that we could stick our noses in and then get the door slammed on them. In November we pined our hopes on meeting that was supposed to either shut the door or open it wide. Nope. Nothing. More limbo.

. . . we didn't quite click . . .

During this long wait, we reluctantly came to realize that we didn't quite click with Little Pink Bow girl, aka Anna as that is what we would have named her. I knew that Dandy was supposed to come into our family, but Anna just didn't feel right. Because it was a hard thing to acknowledge, and because our agency was not allowed to complete adoptions at that time, we didn't take any action because frankly, we had given up on Russia and sent our dossier to China.

So, we were going to China.

On February 22 of 2006, our Russian agency received the permissions it needed (aka accreditation) to proceed. We're going to Russia. We needed our homestudy updated. While our dear social worker was visiting for the update, I shared with her my reservations about Little Pink Bow Girl. I didn't have anything specific, but that she just didn't feel right. This was awful for me as I usually use logic and reasoning to make big decisions, not gut feelings. Our social worker asked me, if it were The Gift's gut feeling, what would I do. Well I would listen to it of course. She gave me permission to listen to my own.

Then she shared that in the decades of adoption social work she had assisted with a few disruptions and in every case, one or both of the parents admitted that they had had reservations about that child all along but didn't speak up. Well that clinched it for me. I couldn't do that to Little Pink Bow Girl.

So in March of 2006 I called our agency and told her we had to decline. I didn't have 'good' reason and I felt like a dork. She stated quite clearly that the odds of finding another little girl referral for us were slim. So be it. We quietly took Little Pink Bow Girl's pictures down and prepared to travel in April to meet our son.

We inquired about the little girl that our agency had originally advocated to us, the one that involved the long wait (oh the irony). No go. And then a bit later, "maybe".

So, we traveled. We met Dandy. We met a Chickadee only because she happened to be in the same group as Dandy. I just finished my A Year Ago Today series for Trip One, so you can read all about that over there.

We brought the children home last fall. They are affectionate with one another and share a common well of memories. Dandy remembers Chickadee's first nights at the orphanage. They talk about their friends together. Bringing them into a family together was perfect for them. But I often wondered and felt sad for Little Pink Bow Girl.

Last night, I found Little Pink Bow girl's referral pic on another Mama's blog. She is in a home, a happy home. I've been reading about her antics for the last year but hadn't put it together. For us, this is a gift of peace of mind. It all makes sense now.

They got her referral info in 2006, a year later than what we had, so I got to share those earlier pics and videos with them. So many times I had almost deleted the files, as they tugged at my heartstrings, but I held back, just in case.

Little Pink Bow Girl's mom and I are blogging about this as an encouragement to any other family that feels the need to decline a referral for nebulous reasons.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28 KJV

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