This Post's Questions -- Haiti & Hernias & Heck-Who-Knows?!!!!
ManyBlessings said... Do you ever consider going back to Haiti for another adoption? Or are your boys the completion of your family? Does one of your little guys have an umbilical hernia (the nurse in me has wondered for awhile)?
Hello ManyBlessings! We do consider going back to Haiti for another adoption. When we went to get Kyle and Owen at the orphanage Braydon and I each had about 30 beautiful children hanging onto every single inch of us, and longingly looking up into our eyes saying "Mama? Papi?" Taking only two felt selfish, like we should be doing more, and we wanted to each bring home about 10 kids from that place --- it would be hard to not consider adopting more after an experience like that. However, we don't think we will adopt from Haiti again. Mainly this is because we both (Braydon and Heather) feel very very strongly that if we have a third child we want to have it from the time it is newborn. It is very hard for me to write that even now - because I feel so selfish about that. There are so many children who need to be adopted (in Haiti and everywhere), and so it feels so self-centered for me to say 'no' to that. But here's the real deal: When we were planning and doing Kyle & Owen's adoptions, I didn't think I would feel the way I do about this -- so this has been surprising for me -- but I deeply deeply long for a newborn baby. I see tiny newborns and want to weep (still--- and it has been 2.5 years since we brough K & O home!) It is hard (impossible?) to explain, but I feel the loss of not having had Kyle and Owen from the time they were born. In some ways I feel that I can relate (just a teeny tiny bit) to what it must be like to be 'infertile' (I HATE that phrase), i.e., unable to birth a child. I feel like I really missed out on something (not to mention what Kyle and Owen missed out on) by not having my babies from the start. We are unsure as to whether our boys are the completion of our family. We had always wanted three children, and had always hoped/planned to have one biological child. I/We have never tried to get pregnant so we don't know if we're able. But right now we're considering having a third child, and if we do it we will probably be via the bio. route. If we decide we are committed to a third child, but we don't go the bio. route (either by choice or because we find after trying that we can't get pregnant), then we have already decided that we will adopt a newborn domestically. The honest truth of it is that we are so maxed out right now (in terms of our crazy fast paced lifestyle mainly due to the fact that we both have serious careers) that it feels crazy to even be considering adding a third child to the mix. Our thoughts and our feelings don't line up on this. We think that it is totally ridiculous to even consider a third child. But... for some reason (some things in life are impossible to explain - right? - well, this is one of them), Braydon and I both feel that we want a third. I could actually see K & O going either way on this. I think they'd be happy to stay just a duo. But I also think they'd be happy to become a trio. They say they want a baby (they have been expressing that to us for months and months and months). But they are still too little --they totally don't get it what the implications of that would be!!! So... we will see. We go back and forth on it every day. We will see, we will see, we will see.
Re: umbilical hernia --- I have always found it interesting that no one has previously asked/commented about it. I don't try to hide it, so it is always noticeable to me that people don't ask about it (probably the "hush hush" something *different* mentality, but I probably shouldn't assume that). Anyway, it is interesting about the belly buttons----Kyle and Owen had pretty severely distended bellies when we first got them (due to malnourishment). They also both had herniated belly buttons -- the "haitian belly buttons" as "Malia's Mama" calls them. :) Our pediatrician here is an adoption specialist and had already explained everything to us, so we were not surprised to see it when we got them, but still -- K & O's were soooo severe that it was kind of hard to look at. The distended bellies due to malnutrition pushed through the hernias and made their belly buttons even HUGER than usual in Haiti. Check out the above photo. Owen is the one closest in the photo. You can see how severe his umbilical hernia is. Kyle's, actually, was even worse than Owens (if you can believe that). Once we got them home, after several months, our pediatrician did refer us to a pediatric surgeon because she (our pediatrician) said that in all of her years of working w/ orphans she had never seen such severe cases. We went to the specialist. He said that if they hadn't naturally repaired themselves by the time the boys were 4 then he wanted to do surgery. Kyle's has healed almost 100%. He has a beautiful perfect precious belly button now. Owen's is still distended (as you can see in photos on our blog). At this point my guess is that we will do the surgery a year from now because I don't think Owen's will completely heal. At their 3-Year-Old check up last week our pediatrician said that she thinks it has healed about 75% but she's not sure if it will be able to completely heal on its own. But the surgery is purely for cosmetic reasons -- so that other kids don't tease him and he doesn't feel self-conscious of it -- there is no actual medical problem, per se. So, ultimately it is very interesting that Kyle's healed so well (given that his was actually WORSE in the beginning), and Owen's is the one still visibly herniated. I have to add here--- it is also amazing to me how *LITTLE* K & O comment on the differences in their belly buttons! They are both aware that Owen's is "an outie" (that's what we've called it for/with them), and Kyle's is now "an innie"... but it has been left at that. We've gone out of our way to not make a big thing out of the belly button issues, and to not try to "hide" Owens (thus, we don't refrain from posting photos of him shirtless on this blog, etc.), and we conscientiously act like everything is perfectly normal and natural (which, as a nurse, you know, it actually is!)... I think that contributes to their lack of self-consciousness about it. But still, I'm surprised that they haven't made a bigger thing of it.