There are many “Heroes” in the story of bringing Gavin home to the Thomas family. International adoption is a highly regulated process that requires multiple, seemingly redundant steps of processing. The intent behind these steps is to be certain that the children being placed for adoption are legally available and that they are going to become part of an appropriate home. Each step of the process can take months. Months a fragile child like Gavin doesn’t have. Each person involved in each step of Gavin’s adoption process needed to be convinced that Gavin would die in his orphanage unless they expedited their step. Every person who assisted in pressing the case forward was a Hero. The doctor who wrote the strongly worded medical necessity letter stating Gavin was dying, the congressman who pressed USCIS and the FBI to expedite their approvals, the foundation attorneys in Gavin’s home country that worked overtime processing his case and pressed for their country officials to act quickly, the Ministry in Gavin’s home country…..Every single one of these people was in some way a Hero. Heroic for stepping outside of their zone of comfort. For caring and taking the time to press this case forward.
Every family adopting a child who is living in an orphanage wants their child home as quickly as possible. Because the officials processing adoptions get calls from MANY families insisting their case needs to be expedited there is push back from many of the officials that no case should be expedited. That they work as quickly as they can on ever case.
The team of doctors reviewing Gavin’s records felt he was likely in stage 4 renal failure. Information on how Gavin’s health was being monitored and managed was not available. Every day of the 8 month process from the Thomas family being matched with Gavin until they traveled to bring him home was fraught with worry that he would not survive long enough to be evaluated and treated in the US.
8 months WITH expediting, pushing, begging, and pleading along the way.
8 months to process paperwork for the adoption of a child that was clearly legally available for adoption in his country.
8 months to process the adoption of a child who WAS DYING.
I don’t know how the Thomas family did it. How do you wake up in the morning knowing there is a child you hope to make your son living in a place half a world away that might die today. How do you eat your breakfast, how do you look at the faces of your other children knowing your child in another country might be dying? I honestly don’t know how ANY of the families I assist do it. For that, the biggest Heroes in this story are the Thomas’. I may be giving Gavin a kidney, but they have given him life, love, comfort and care.
WE are all Heroes in our own stories. We all have the capacity to do something to help the balance of good and evil in this world tip towards the good.