So I guess because she is no longer a ward of the state I can use her real name. Because we still might go to her country, I'm still not gonna mention that on a public forum.
Over a year ago we saw a picture of a little girl on Reeces Rainbow with the code name 'Marissa' and it was a huge turning point in our lives.
We were seriously considering adopting a little girl through a private adoption here in the States. We had ALWAYS said that we had two healthy 'perfect' children already and if we were blessed enough to adopt again we would adopt a child who was harder to place. We had discussed a toddler with some kind of medical special need. Well, through a friend we were put in touch with a very nice young woman who had made the decision to put up her little girl for adoption and we got a little distracted from our original plan.
I saw Marissa's picture and everything changed. It hit me HARD that if we adopted this infant (who I knew I could help find an amazing family) we would very likely not be able to adopt a special needs 'older' child. Our plan at that time was not exactly to adopt Marissa, but we both felt that was a turning point for us.
Fast forward - through a lot of details.....
In October 2010 we committed to 'Marissa' - we found out her real name was Oleksandra - which we thought was super cute. We called her 'Oleksandra Claire', and 'Ollie' - since the kids had a hard time saying 'Oleksandra' - we called her 'Claire' on this blog because we were not allowed to call her by her given name until she was not an orphan any more.
October, November, December, January, February....
February she became internationally available and we were told to hurry our dossier over to her country.
Delay, delay, delay - and on May 4th our dossier made it to her country. Her file was no longer available. The VERY unlikely event had happened - she was adopted by another family sometime between February and May 4th.
We don't know the family - we had no legal ties to her at all. We spent months worrying, praying, and loving her even though we had never met her - and it is hard for us to wrap our heads and hearts around the fact that we never (in this lifetime) will.
We have had all kinds of response to this - mostly friends who are heartbroken with us, we've heard from friends who have suffered through miscarriages and infant loss who know a similar pain. Friends who have lost referrals and even with a new referral they still wonder about that child they loved for so long. We've heard the always annoying 'You'll get a new one' - we know this is out of ignorance and not meant to hurt, but it does. We've had several ask about the money...many people donated to our fund so it is a fair question, but it's frustrating to hear. We've had plenty of friends and family that have never reached out during the entire process because they thought it was dumb. Their silence still leads us to believe we are the victims of our own bad decisions - that we could have avoided it without taking the risk - we think the risk was worth taking.
It is a VERY unique feeling. We had hopes, dreams, prayers, and love for this child for months. Similar to loving a child in your womb, but very different - because we loved her when we had NO grasp on her - we loved her & worried for her as she lived in a baby house thousands of miles away. Not that you can't have something go wrong when you are pregnant - but it is true vulnerability to take on the task of loving a child you are months from ever being able to kiss goodnight, not knowing what othes are doing to her in that time. We will never be her parents, which I guess is comparable to a miscarriage or infant loss, but not really - because she lives on. She just has other parents. We are happy she is no longer an orphan, but we are deeply jealous of the family who made it to her before us. We then feel guilty for being jealous of these people who jumped through every hoop we jumped through, who had no idea who we were or that she was unofficially on hold for us. We feel guilty that we REALLY want her - because we know we will ultimately adopt again and we will love that child, and if we hadn't lost Oleksandra we would never meet whoever is truly destined for our family.
It's complicated. I hope this sheds some light.
We plan on keeping this blog to document our journey - but we will add one level of complication to it all for the reader - no matter what we end up doing - we will not be naming a child 'Claire' or middle name 'Claire' - we love that name - but it is her name (in our hearts anyway).
We are thankful for her soulful little eyes that reminded us at a very important time that we were meant to adopt a hard to place child. We can only assume she is a great treasure to her new family, and while it will always be a little wounded from this turn of events, we accept what is done is done and was always part of the plan.
Please pray for her new family and that they are just as blessed as can be. Please pray for us, that in the 'rear view mirror' we can see that 'God blessed the broken road....'