A long time ago I wrote about how T and I were sponsoring a child in an orphanage in the Ukraine. I originally signed us up to do it back before we even started TTC on our own. I wanted to get our names in at the adoption agency through which my niece was adopted from China and a nephew (different sibling) was adopted from Guatemala. I figured if they were used to our involvement through their international programs when it came time for us to adopt we would be a shoe in. Not to mention that we obviously have an adoption friendly family. (I have since decided that should we adopt we would go through a different agency, but we kept up the sponsorship through the original agency.)
We received the first update on our boy O on his fourth birthday back in 2001. He was SO cute with white blond hair and big blue eyes and a great smile. His mother was a drug abuser and unable to take care of him but she visited him in the orphanage. He was diagnosed with "moronity" and showed several delays. I keep the most recent update with picture up on our fridge so that we, and everyone else, can see it. Through the years we have received updates and new pictures and have watched O grow and learn. His delays are becoming less and less of a problem as he is participating in play therapy and working with teachers. He was progressing very well. Last Christmas we received a card from him and a picture of the new playground at the orphanage. It was beautiful, it too went up on the fridge.
In the back of my mind, I kept thinking that someday, eventually, we might be able to adopt him. Every update ended with the same line. They were working on beginning the process to deny his mother’s parental rights, which would allow him to be placed for adoption. Every single update for the last five years has said the same thing. They were working on beginning the process.
This fall I was excited to see the large envelope from the adoption agency, knowing it would be another update on O. Instead, I found a letter explaining that O had reached an appropriate age to be transferred to a boarding school and was no longer under the supervision of the adoption agency. We would no longer be able to get information about him. While this was good news for him, he had advanced enough to go to school, I felt like he had been taken from us. Our boy was gone and we could not do anything about it. So sorry, here is a new boy for you to sponsor. While the new boy, V is adorable and certainly deserving. (He lives with his father and grandparents, not in an institution.) He is not O. We have lost him forever.
Wherever O is, whatever he may be doing, whoever is loving him now, I wish him the best.