The matching part of the adoption process is never easy. Not that any of it is easy, but since this is the point of the entire ordeal things are especially high stakes involving identifying the child who will be yours. Some people can’t handle waiting and want to see that face as soon as possible. They scour photolistings, both their agency’s and others, and advocacy sites until they they find their child. Other people are completely uncomfortable “choosing” a child. They all need homes and it feels wrong somehow to single out one from so many to give a place in your family. People who feel this way prefer to have their agency select the child who seems to be the best fit.
We’ve done things both ways at this point. In our first adoption, I kept a close eye on our agency’s photolisting. When we were close to being done with our homestudy (or so we thought) I saw a picture of an adorable little guy who had needs which seemed so minor. My husband wasn’t sure about choosing a child, but said it was okay to inquire with our agency. Although he had been on the photolisting for over a month, we were told only one other couple had asked about him. We didn’t have that “I just knew he was ours” moment which seems so common among adoptive parents. But he was ours anyway, and he’s been home with us for two years now.
When we began the process this time, the one thing my husband asked is that we let our agency match us. He was very uncomfortable with the idea of choosing a child, although he loves the result very much, but he wanted to try having our agency match us to see if it felt better to him. I dropped out of the China waiting child advocacy group and stopped cruising by our agency’s photolisting. Our medical conditions checklist was very open so I didn’t expect to wait too long after our homestudy was finalized. But a week went by and then two and three. I might have accidentally run across the photolisting and I knew there were at least three children with our agency that met our criteria. Why didn’t they call us about one of them? Were their needs greater than it appeared or some other reason they didn’t think these children would be a good match for us?
I finally realized that we wouldn’t be matched until our dossier was in China. I focused on that goal and stopped waiting for the phone to ring. In fact, when the phone did ring and the caller ID showed it was my agency, I assumed they were calling about a problem with one of our documents. Instead it was a referral call! I commented to the China program director that I hadn’t had a referral call before, which made her laugh. She began to tell me about the child they thought would be a good fit for our family. A little boy, younger than Leo. As she told me more about his special need I realized this child sounded familiar. Back in January, there was a little boy on the photolisting who was really extremely cute. Gorgeous, really. He was only just turning two at that time and I remember thinking that he would be matched quickly. And he was. I asked the director, was this the same boy? She said yes, it was. She was surprised that I remembered him. She said that he had been matched with a family but that they had to stop the adoption process for personal reasons unrelated to the child. (If you’re wondering–this could be a lost job, divorce, pregnancy, not being able to come up with the needed funds, something like that). Now they needed to find him a family again, only now he is further away from the easier to match age of “under 2” and much closer to 3, the age when adorable little boys with minor needs seem to linger on photolistings. They were referred him to us and we said yes.
So if you’ve been keeping track on the sidebar you can see that our letter of intent to adopt has been sent and our dossier has been logged in to China’s system. We are now waiting for approval to adopt this little boy that I first saw on our agency’s photolisting nine months ago. How ironic that we were matched with one of the photolistings boys that caught my eye in the end! As I mentioned earlier, I will not be sharing pictures on the blog until after the adoption is finalized.