Joy, Shame and Fear

I would love to be able to say that I was the one who told the Thomas family about “Gavin”…I was not…you see I had given up hope.  I did not believe there was a family for Gavin.  I did not think there was a family with a heart large enough to open their home to a child who was in the midst of a life ending health crisis.  

Oh, yes, it was the Thomas family who found Gavin’s profile and came to me asking for information about him.  

I like to say that “there is a home for every child we just haven’t looked hard enough to find it yet” but the reality is that there are too many children.  The stream of information about children needing homes is overwhelming.  Babies, toddlers, boys, girls, teens….all  growing up without knowing what a family means, without proper health care, without proper nutrition, without compassionate or kind caregivers….is overwhelming.   Some of the children you know will be easy to place…the pretty babies with minor issues…those are exciting to see because you know there will often be a family the same week you get the file!  The older boys, the children with cognitive issues and the children who may not live long, like Gavin, those are the children who eat away at me.  They are the children who I despair for.  Who will adopt them?  What will happen to them if the “age out” of the orphanage?  What will happen if they are transferred to a mental institution? What will happen if they don’t get the medical care they need?  The answers are never happy, never good.  So as hard as I tried to not put up a wall around my heart I did. I failed Gavin.  I stopped telling his story, I stopped looking for his happy ending.   He had waited so long that I really believed I would soon get the message that he “had been removed from the register of adoptable children”…code words for a child’s passing.  


When the Thomas family called me to ask if I knew about a boy in the register who fit Gavin’s description I thought…wow, it couldn’t be…then…REALLY???….then overwhelming joy and shame and fear.  Joy that Gavin had a chance for a family, shame that I had lost hope and fear that we would not be able to get his adoption processed through the miles of red tape created by our government and Gavin’s home country before he died.  

to be continued….

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