Adoption 1: WHY ADOPTION
Sam (me), Emma and Gabriel
We've always wanted siblings for Gabriel and I'd always thought that about 4 would do the trick. As the second oldest of 7 I've always loved kids, and figured that many of my own would surround Gabriel with love while he is alive and surround me with love when I bury him - my most special boy. Morbid yes, but since he has Down syndrome his life expectancy is much shorter than mine. The other down sides to Down syndrome being that he can't biologically be a Dad and that he won't ever share my intellectual life. Ah well, more about that later.
As Gabriel reached 5 years old we decided to try and adopt a 3-5 year old girl - someone about his developmental age. My wife couldn't stay home to have and raise a baby as she was in an intense healthcare profession. We figured through adoption we could choose the age, ethnicity (Hispanic, Black, or both), and gender while taking a risk on having another kid with special needs. While the process through the County of San Diego can take as little as 6 months, two and a half years later we finished the paperwork. We weren't ready until we were ready, and then it got done.
By 2004, we were starting to wonder whether the right child would ever become available. Most older kids in the system either had siblings or serious issues like molestation or violent behaviors that we didn't want to risk exposing Gabriel too.
Then, in late March, my wife received a call from our Adoption worker who said that a lot of 1 year olds were going to be entering the system and asked whether we were interested in taking one. My wife said, "Sure," and when I returned home I said that we might as well take a baby. One week later we turned in some updated paperwork and received a call saying they'd found one for us......
continued in next post "Adoption 2: The Day We Met Her"