Quite irresponsibly and arrogantly, we adopted two
toddlers within thirteen months of each other, including one
child who had significant medical needs. I have since heard an
expert in “children from hard places” Dr. Karyn Purvis, say
that best outcome practice in the world of adoption is to adopt
one at a time and at least three years apart.6 Good advice.
Soon after we adopted our first daughter, discussions
about adopting a second child popped up. For a variety of
reasons, we hoped to adopt another child. Mark, who is very
good at math, was concerned about our current projected age
for the now distant empty nest days. Forty-two plus eighteen
equals sixty. I had some kind of supermom complex. We were
both in a hurry.
Any child that spends time in an orphanage or foster
care comes into family with complex emotional needs. Our
first daughter was no exception, but her temperament along
with my unacknowledged deficits as mom allowed me to
overlook some of her particular needs. Aside from sleep issues,
her approach to the world did not interfere with my
comfortable modus operandi of parenting. We forged ahead.
Though China matched us with a child the first time,
we were more comfortable with the idea of adopting a child
with medical needs on the second go round. There was a
beautiful, big brown-eyed toddler that came to our attention.
A non-profit called Love Without Boundaries provided an
early surgery for this child, and several of their volunteers had
met and interacted with her. One desired to adopt her, but her
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