Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lucky mom thankful she beat adoption bankruptcy

Jul 29, 2009 - 04:30 AM

By Nancy Gummow

Every night since my internationally-adopted daughter has joined us 20 short weeks ago, I have taken her to her room, fed her a bottle, looked into her beautiful, deep dark brown eyes and smiled.

One night a couple of weeks ago, the routine was the same, but the significance was entirely different -- not for Gracie, but for me. Not surprisingly, it was the same day I discovered Kids Link, (also known as Imagine Adoption) the Ontario agency to facilitate my adoption from Ethiopia, filed for bankruptcy.

Filed for bankruptcy? I couldn't believe it. Forgive me for being selfish and self-centred but hearing those three words rocked my world. My disbelief quickly gave way to a heavy heart.

On that night, it wasn't Gracie's beautiful eyes I saw. It was those helpless, innocent children I saw playing so well on the floor when I visited her old room where she stayed. Little faces now suddenly and forcibly burned on my soul forever because I will always wonder if they found a mama to feed them a bottle and gaze into their eyes at bedtime.

Gracie is a lucky girl. And we are an even luckier and more blessed family to have her in our lives. My girlfriend, Cynthia, who I travelled with -- also to be joined with her cute girl Tia -- said it best: "Go and give Gracie a million kisses and be thankful she's here."

If the bankruptcy had happened only 12 months ago, it would have been me. And I think about what our lives would be like without her, how I would have felt never seeing her face, the joy I would have missed now seeing Alex and Nicholas laugh and play with their treasured sister. And I can't imagine it. I can't bear to feel the searing pain and grief. It's like breathing in a steel dagger.

Then I hear the stories of others. Parents who have waited years for the privilege of becoming a parent, one day woke up to news that must have been like a like a nuclear weapon attack on their heart, mind and spirit. Their stories will make you weep. Two days before the official news, I had to tell the rumours to a friend in Ottawa, who was with the same agency. It was a heartbreaking phone call. And who knows if the money they spent will ever be returned.

Trust me, this was not just another bankruptcy. There is a river of tears and a path of destruction from here to Ethiopia that will affect my life -- and the lives of others -- forever.

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