"The Elkins family was matched with *Betsy today, so now the family is matched with both *Gabriel and *Betsy!!!"
That's right, we are now expecting twins!
(*these are their list names, not their real names. We will likely keep Betsy's real name since it sounds fine in English. In fact, I have a friend with the same name.)
Our tiny boy and our dainty girl are not in the same town, but aren't far apart, by Texas standards. It will mean a few days more in country on the first visit, and some additional fees for Betsy's adoption, but only about a quarter of what it would cost to go back and get her later.
I know some people will not understand, some may question our reasoning. Here is what I wrote for the update to our FSP:
"What was meant to be a single adoption has turned into a double- when they saw Betsy's photo in April, Charles' and JoLynn's hearts were opened to having a daughter. They prayed, asked hard questions and reevaluated what was a necessity in life. Finally they decided that their lives would be blessed by having Betsy as a daughter, and her needs were more outside of their comfort zone than outside their capabilities. Those who have met her have high hopes for her future, and think she and Gabriel will do well adopted together. The adoptive parents of blind children and even blind adults encouraged them again and again to take the leap- that the rewards were innumerable and the challenges are much smaller than imagined."
We have been praying for this little girl since a week after we started this adoption journey. This is no rash decision. We were sitting at a point of disagreement as how to proceed, when a little girl just 7 years old was listed. Her only special need is her blindness. Her condition is, quite frankly, horrifying. And it is the normal treatment of the older blind children. Another family who is also adopting a little boy with mild special needs has already submitted paperwork for her.
We were told this would undoubtedly be Betsy's future in a few years. We knew we could not allow that to happen. We would not allow her to suffer any more unnecessary pain and neglect. We wouldn't because we love her. The same welling-up of our heart that we felt with Gabriel has been pushing at us since we saw her in April. How could we deny it for her? Just because people say it will be "too hard"?
Guess who isn't saying it will be "too hard"? The people who have adopted two at once either one or both being blind. They are telling us "Go for it! It isn't as big a deal as you think." and "Once it is your new normal, it is great." or "If you are committed to making it work, it does."
I know this is going to be hard. I know this is going to stretch us. I know this will be worth it.
Several families from my agency traveled to this country in September to meet their children for the first time. Two of them are working with the same agency in country as we are. Both of my friends spoke at great length to the representatives who traveled with them, as they had all met both of my children. My friends asked questions for me and got their professional opinions, as well as their personal desire to see these children in a family. These professionals who have dedicated their lives to these children and who have a reputation of being brutally honest, said that these children were charming, a delight and would do well if adopted together.
Our home study was left open for a second child, and so was our USCIS application. Partially in case we found out if Gabriel's older siblings were available for adoption. So far it appears they are not. So we are serendipitously in the perfect position to add Betsy with minimal fees and no delay to the rest of our adoption. We will have to pay the US government another $720 for no real reason, another $230 for a visa, another $100 for a "medical check" before she can leave country, another $500-850 one-way ticket and about $5,000 more in agency fees.
Yes, this IS a lot of money. Once. To save a little girl the horror of growing up in the dark with no love, no guide and a herd of predators circling about her for the rest of her short life.
We will not leave her to this fate. We are coming for our Princess. We will embrace our Daughter.