Tuesday, February 08, 2005

T minus 9

As of this morning, 9 pounds down. About a zillion more to go, but 9 ain't bad.

To respond to Deanna's question in the comments below, and to further clarify my sad, if unclear, post from yesterday, the state we live in (Tennessee) is only eligible to receive special needs children from Korea. The reasoning for this is that there is not an adoption agency in the state, or surrounding states, that is appointed in Korea. The Korean government requires the placing agency to be within a certain proximity of the healthy children they place. Mostly, this means within the same state or in a surrounding state. For instance, one super reputable agency with a great Korean program is Dillon International. They are in Tulsa, Oklahoma and can place healthy children in OK, MO, KS, AR and TX. There's another reputable agency in Minnesota (name escapes me right now), and they can place healthy children in MN, IA, and WI. It's a requirement of the Korean government, and something that can't be worked around.

However, I should specify that when I say special needs, it could be any range of things. The social worker I spoke with told me that special needs could mean cerebral palsy, missing limbs, or as simple as low birth weight or premature birth (which isn't so simple when you're going through it with your child, but I'm trying to make this clear). Keith and I are in relative agreement as to what sort of special needs we're willing to accept, and it's a fairly low threshold. I have no problems with special needs children, and I realize how wonderful they are, but I have to be honest about how much I can handle, especially having two other children in the home. I think in the event of bringing a child into our family, which is huge for both the child and for us, it's more important for me to be honest than politically correct. We've been down and dirty about numerous subjects, ranging from special needs to race to gender. Adoption will force you to ask yourself the hard questions, that's for sure.

There are several local people who adopted through the local agency we've been in contact with, and I'm trying to get in contact with them. I'm hoping they can shed some light on what "special needs" their children had at the time of adoption, and what their experiences were like. Low birth weight doesn't scare me. Losing a child to a heart disease or brain defect, that scares me.

And so the saga continues.

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