Adoption is a loving and personal choice; one that is not short of challenges, personal sacrifices, and loss. Each and every adoption journey has its own unique twists and turns — like a roller coaster; with one never really knowing if the ride will be fast or slow, smooth or bumpy, but hoping it will come to a jubilation.
For Caroline, it was a rewarding voyage, but not without personal sacrifices. Her two-week in-country trip in India morphed into an eleven-week stay. As a single, working woman, she endured navigating India’s bureaucratic policies, but continued to move mountains. Despite the challenges, she recounted the joy of bringing sweet Thea home.
“The memories of the time are still fresh in my mind. I remember fighting for the court documents to be issued so we could go home. Thea was listed as HIV+, I was prepared for this medical diagnosis. Upon arriving home, I intended to have her blood drawn to confirm her HIV status, but that didn’t go as planned. Due to Thea’s tiny veins, the nurses were unable to draw her blood. At this point, and not wanting to force any additional trauma upon her, I discontinued the blood draw attempts.
It took me 8 weeks until I felt comfortable to take Thea back to the Children’s Hospital. With the help of a specialist, lots of Band-Aids, stickers, and a large stuffed owl, Thea’s blood was finally drawn into 8 vials. A few days later, the nurse called with incredible news: Thea was not HIV+.
We were blessed, but a part of me was confused. The life I had planned for was suddenly different. I still read Thea books about HIV and her favorite one is A Positive Superhero: Growing Up with HIV.
Two years ago, I never thought this adoption would come to fruition; a year ago I never thought I would ever be able to leave India… and today, I am a proud momma wanting to slow down time just so I can relish the charms of the present moment.”
It has been a privilege to have traveled alongside Caroline, and all of our grant recipient families in their adoption journeys. Hearing of the personal sacrifices our families make is both inspiring and humbling. We are grateful to our families for their “yes” to adoption and are committed to standing by their side with encouragement and support.