Friday, July 13, 2012


I realized I neglected to announce - happily, of course - that we received our actual, written, stamped-with-the-country-stamps referral for our future son! 

The photo of him was an older photo and made me heartbroken and sad.  It shows a little boy, not yet walking, horribly small, with those cute cheeks, puffy and round.  Though they make look cute, they are, in fact, NOT cute.  They are a sign of malnutrition.  A slim little body with puffy cheeks. 

We read details of his biological mother.  There is no known information about his father, sadly.  I have an actual birthdate for his mother and some very basic information.  I've been told I'll receive more when the adoption is finalized.  I found that she is actually older than me, with mental impairments and a spotted history.  I was initially interested, then almost immediately sad and concerned.  I will be responsible for telling our future son about this information.  I have to find ways to fully embrace it and report to him without ever making him feel that he was to blame for anything.  I also do not want to paint her negatively - ever.  I have a background that helps with this, especially as it relates to mental illness.  Mental illness is not shameful.  It is an illness just like many other things.  It doesn't degrade who the person is or what they are like.  His mother lives in a place where medical care is not comprehensive and where medications are not readily available. 

Some may wonder, "How is this possible?  How can she have a referral for a pre-identified child?"  I've gotten more than a few "super brave" (um...YEAH.  Right.)  folks who want to tell me all about Russia and Ukraine and how illegal it is to have a photo or adopt a "pre-identified" child.  They want to warn me, or laugh at me, or convict me because I, too, am adopting a pre-identified child.

Although I know it has to be patently "out there", yeah.  We are adopting from BULGARIA.  Not Russia.  Not Ukraine.  Not anywhere else. 

I can't speak to the legality of pre-identified Russian or Ukrainian children.  It's not my place and it doesn't impact me personally.  Like I said, if it's not clear...we're adopting from BULGARIA.  The blog you're visiting is called Our Son In...say it with me! BULGARIA.  Not 'Our Son In Russia'.  Not 'Our Son in Ukraine'.  I know it can be challenging for some, but really try hard.  Bulgaria.  BULGARIA.

Bulgaria, if you haven't deduced it already, doesn't work quite like Russia or Ukraine.  This is why I have a referral, stamped by government officials, that says, in translated words, that "the adoption of the child [name given] may proceed."  We are going to Bulgaria to accept the referral of a pre-identified child, already referred to us, published openly on the Ministry of Justice's website.  This is legal and part of the process of adoption in Bulgaria.  It is the method of waiting children in Bulgaria.  We will meet our future son and accept his referral - the referral we legally and already have - in 8 days. 

I don't know about Russia, or Ukraine, or anywhere else.  I'm not qualified to offer an opinion of legality or ethics on the practice of adoption of pre-identified children, photolistings, and so on.  For our purposes, from the country we are adoption from, the practices alleged to be illegal in these other countries do not apply to Bulgaria.  Therefore, threats of "just wait and see what letters get sent to Bulgaria!" or "You're doing some criminal" or "You can't legally adopt this child because it's illegal in Bulgaria" or anything else are...well...just not correct.  We have shared the photographs that we are legally permitted to share.  We have refrained from identifying his exact location and have not divulged his birthday.  Nowhere in this blog does it mention our adoption agency, or the facilitator we are using.  This is how we were told to behave, and we have been proper in our actions.

I also want to be clear in stating that this child is NOT our son yet.  I refer to him as our "future son" because we have every intention of completing his adoption.  However, he is a Bulgarian citizen without parents, who currently resides in a terrible orphanage.  His mother terminated her rights to him a few years ago.  He is a child who has been presented to Bulgarian families for adoption and was not chosen, likely because of his special needs.  This is why I do not and will not plaster this blog with his photos or videos.  Even when we accept his referral, we will be in process to adopt this child, but he will not be our son.  Though pre-identified and certainly a boy that we care about and expect to be our child, that has not happened yet.  We respect and understand the delineation.  It is not a distinction without a difference. 

Regardless, we are traveling, in just EIGHT DAYS, to meet the little boy whose referral sits on my countertop.  In eight days, I will meet the little boy who will be our son.


  1. Thanks for being so bold. I am also adopting from a country that allows pre-identified adoptions. I can't wait for that official referral!! So excited for you.

  2. Hi! My name is Maria and I got your to your blog from theblessingofverity. I wanted to introduce myself as we are also adopting from Bulgaria and THE BAD place. We just got our commitment posted on Reece's for Gemma ( I wanted say 'hi' and let you know we're so excited for you and would like wish you the best!

  3. Feel free to explode my comment. ;)
    I do think, an adoptive parent several times over, that it isn't a good idea to put any details about your future son's biological family AT ALL on your public blog. As you say, it's your responsibility to carefully and lovingly talk with your son about his biological parents. But now, everyone who reads your blog already knows more than your (future) son knows about his biological roots. I don't think that's a good thing. People can and do remember these things from blogs and mention them to children at a later date. I've seen it happen. Tread carefully.

  4. I don't know you, and I will probably never meet you. I have somewhat been following the photo listing drama and I find it completely disgusting that anyone would try to prevent a child from being adopted by suitable parents. Praying that everything goes smoothly for you and you will have your son soon!


Kind comments are welcomed. Poorly researched, ill-informed, horrifically biased comments are exploded. :)