Survivor’s Guilt

I love my adoptive mom’s support group, I really do.

And I’m over-the-moon excited to be so close to bringing Little Brother home, I really am.

But I am also acutely aware of the several families in my support group who should have brought their kiddos home before me. Families who are stuck at the finish line due to the shutdown of all DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo] adoptions .

It kills me. I have survivor’s guilt.

I will not willingly wait an extra day to bring home our own son, but I pray that one friend in particular miraculously gets a green light from the DRC before we leave for China. As much as I want her to be at the airport to welcome us home and meet our sweet boy, my heart aches for her and recognizes how very hard it would be to attend yet another airport party. Like a woman struggling with infertility who bravely attends baby shower after baby shower.

When I was pregnant with our second daughter, my dear friend announced her first pregnancy almost simultaneously– we were elated to have due dates so close together and just knew that our blessed children would soon be the best of friends… And then she lost her baby.

Months later, her arms still achingly empty, she put on a brave yet sincerely happy face and held my new precious baby, surely thinking of her own child in Heaven, tearing open her scabbed over wound anew.

After losing our third daughter, I met a mom with two little girls and a newborn son in a sling.  I saw her from across the room and just knew. Swallowing the lump in my throat, I sought her out and introduced myself, asking about each of her three of her kiddos. I couldn’t help asking the birthday of her baby, which turned out to be the exact original due date of our sweet Alexa’s… As I knew it would be. That sweet mom became a sweet friend, and as hard as it was, it became a bittersweet blessing to be able to glance at her little boy and have a wistful, visual picture of what might have been with our own third baby.

I know my friends are happy for me, and I know they are also heartbroken.

It’s hard. And unfair. And stretching. And worthwhile.

Now, on to the good news: We received our i800 approval back from USCIS Monday and are now working on obtaining our visas. (!!!) We have begun talking to travel agents and strategizing the best way (read: the cheapest) to get to and from China. Flying home through Portland for an additional airport party might not be feasible, but it is still our wish. We’re also conferring with medical professionals about any additional vaccinations our girls might need to travel. This is more stressful than it sounds as none of them are mandatory, but rather suggested. Husband and I are pretty much immune to every ailment on the planet from our previous travels.

foundusyouOne more good thing (I realize I sound like Martha Stewart.): The girls and I reviewed a touching adoption themed children’s book for Clever Carly at It was probably my first book report since sixth grade! The book was from our personal library, a thoughtful gift to Little Brother from his god-parents. You can also review a book on Carly’s blog, as well, need not be an adoptive family to apply. Read our book review- and submit your ownhere.


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