This chapter of the story is a sad and difficult one to write. It is one of loss and heart-break. It is one that represents a wound on my heart that still gives me pain. If you look closely, you will see there is a missing piece. This piece belongs to a little girl in China whom I will never hold but will always love. It is held by my little Zoey.
When I got into the house, I broke down. I didn't even really know what had happened. I just knew that our dream of bringing our little one home was somehow gone. My husband suggested we go for a walk to be able to talk openly away from the kids. We went for a walk and he told me of all the information in the email from our case worker. She told us that when we asked for the updated health report, the medical staff "suspected" that our little Zoey had a genetic disorder. The testing would take 6 weeks. So they sent the report without the results of the genetic testing and without mentioning they had tested her. If they would have, we would have proceeded with caution and probably waited to see the results before moving ahead.... but they didn't mention it. When they got the results back, it was confirmed that she was missing her 7th chromosome and had something called Williams Syndrome.
This part of the story can be tricky. I don't want to offend anyone and would never want anyone to think that a child with this syndrome doesn't deserve a family. That is the farthest from the truth. My husbands brother is mentally disabled and we know what it entails to care for him. But as I said in my previous posts, we had set up boundaries that we felt our family could handle. I want everyone who decides to continue reading that I never want to offend anyone.
My husband and I, thankfully, had a trip to California planned for the following weekend. We wanted to sit down with our kids and discuss what was happening before we left. We shared with them the info our case worker had given us and what we had found on our own. We wanted to know what they thought about the situation because their lives and futures would most certainly be affected. Our 19 year old told us he understood why we would take Zoey and he understood why we wouldn't. He needed no explanation and would stand by whatever we chose. Our 14 year old felt a little differently. He said that he couldn't believe that we would turn our back on her just because she wasn't perfect. He couldn't believe this was his family. It killed us. We understand that it is the narrow sight of a child, that he couldn't see the complete picture, the full repercussions on a family to have a child with this syndrome, but it was still like a punch in the stomach.
Was this the reason? If we didn't take her, could I even look at myself in the mirror everyday? We had a lot to talk about on our trip.
Needless to say, we cried many tears in California. We walked on the beach and talked about our Zoey. What we could handle and what we couldn't. We kept coming back to the boundaries we had set back when we chose to look at the special needs list. If it were just the two of us, we would have taken Zoey in a heart beat. But to choose this for our sons futures, we just didn't think it was fair. We had no idea if her issues would be a huge financial strain on us and then, in turn, our boys and their families. This syndrome has mental issues along with medical and we also worried that a huge change might magnify her mental issues. We also had first hand experience of how a medical need could financially cripple a family. We didn't feel right making that choice for our children and their future. But it didn't feel right not taking Zoey either.
Even though it took us a few weeks to say it out loud, we decided not to take her. My case worker said she is cared for by a foster family who loves her and is fully sponsored through her foster home.
I know some may read this and think my sorrow was brought on by my own choices. One would be correct in saying this. But I do know that it was one of the hardest decisions my husband and I have ever had to make. We felt as though we lost a child. We will live with the sorrow of this decision forever. Zoey has a piece of our hearts and always will.