Seven years ago to the week my wife and I were advised that our daughter suffered from a fatal genetic disease and most likely would not make it to term. Many individuals, including many on this Board, showed us tremendous love and support as we decided to go forward with the birth instead of terminating the pregnancy.
She weighed 2.2 pounds at birth. As soon as she was born, the nurse handed her to me and I watched as she moved her mouth, but could not breath. We had decided not to provide life-saving medical treatment, as we knew it was only prolonging the inevitable. However, the nurse saw the pain in my eyes and asked me if I wanted her to give Baby Caroline oxygen.
I said yes, but then remembered that we wanted her to pass with grace and dignity, so I softly pushed the mask away. I reached into my pocket and pulled out the vial of Holy Water and quietly baptized her. She died in my arms a minute later. She lived for only seven minutes, but those seven minutes changed our lives.
Over the years, my wife and I have struggled to come to grips with the loss and have watched in pain as our only child begs to have a sibling. We attempted fertilization, surrogacy and multiple other options that did not pan out. We went through training to become foster parents and were approved to take in a sweet little 2 year old boy whose mother was a drug addict. However, after approving us for the child, the DHHS decided to place him elsewhere after they learned that I was a lawyer. They thought that my legal training meant I would cause trouble for them.
We then decided to adopt from Russia. We flew over and met a little boy who from all accounts was sweet and healthy. However, we learned that he had severe medical issues that were not disclosed to us. We suffered the agony of having to withdraw from the adoption because we were not prepared or equipped to take care of the child.
The adoption agency asked us to try again, and again paired us up with another child. We were given a video and told how healthy the child was. We traveled to Russia again to meet the child. Again, we were told once we got there that the child suffered significant medical ailments and may not live past 4 years old. Beaten and broken, we came again having to break the bad news to family and friends.
After this, I was prepared to walk away and accept our fate. However, every night, my wife would search the internet for children that needed to be adopted. One night, she saw a special needs child from Haiti who "loved to play basketball and climb on people." After much discussion about our previous experiences, I agreed to inquire of the child's status. We decided that regardless of his needs, we were now equipped to take care of him.
When my wife inquired, the agency told us there was a mistake and that the child was not special needs. However, they did let us know he was available. It turns out the little boy was born in Cite Solie, which is considered the poorest place on earth. He was raised in a 2 square mile landfill that is home to over 600,000 people. His father was murdered and his mother was so ill she could no longer care for him.
We traveled to Haiti to meet him and he hated me from the moment he met me. He was not used to men and constantly motioned to my wife to make me leave. The second trip to Haiti, we took my 7 year old daughter to meet him. They played extremely well. He also learned to trust me after seeing my daughter and I play together.
After seven years of a long and frustrating journey, we learned today that the Haitian Government has formally approved our adoption application. God truly works in mysterious ways. The mother and father who lost a child will soon be with the little boy who lost his mother and father. Things have come full circle.