"When she eats, stuff comes out of her nose," he told me.
"That's perfectly normal in a child with cleft", I tried to reassure, thinking quietly to myself that surely they should have known this before they traveled.
"It's really freaking us out," he said. "We don't think this is the right child for our family." After listening for a few more moments, I knew the decision had already been made in their hearts. They would not be bringing her home despite anything I could tell them.
I hung up from that call troubled, as disruption always makes me sad, but I was also realistic in knowing that if the family felt disgust towards their new daughter, then that certainly wasn't a good situation for the child. But I did have to ask myself how someone could go a whole year of paperchasing and waiting to adopt through the waiting child path and NOT take the time to educate themselves on their new child's special need.
And so that is the question for today's blog. Were you prepared to adopt internationally? What books did you read to get ready? If you adopted a child with special needs, did you do research in advance? Was there anything that you absolutely weren't ready for? Did you have any moments during your adoption trip when you thought, 'I don't think I can do this?" Let's share any and all advice for people considering international adoption, especially through the special needs path.
I am a firm believer that education is essential. What have YOU learned from the journey?
And don't forget to keep following our cleft exchange in Shanghai. Visit our story blog for more details and links to absolutely great photos.