I have been asked by several people for more information on Carolina. I am sure it seems strange, but I actually don't have much information on her. In her country, information is not shared with adoptive parents prior to their arrival. This is done to protect the privacy of the children and their families as many children listed in Eastern European orphanages are not available to be adopted. Many also age out of the system (usually at age 16) and have enough discrimination against them without people being able to look up their names and pictures on the internet and find out they were raised in institutions. The "orphan status" is often a source of discrimination against these kids when they grow up and try to find jobs. The government does photo list the children available for adoption (though it is hardly a comprehensive list as many regions do not update the database). Some adoption agencies and advocacy groups get special permission from the government to list *certain* children who have disabilities and/or need urgent medical care. This is how many American families find these children. Often, families who have traveled to a particular region will get to see other children who are available for adoption and can give personal accounts of the children's personalities to potential adoptive parents. And that is how extra photos and information about some children gets around cyberspace. Real names are not generally used. All children listed with Reece's Rainbow (and most other organizations) are referred to by pseudonyms. So, Carolina was not actually given the name of 2 American states by her birth mother.
Now that I have explained how this works a little bit, I will share what I know. I know that Carolina spent her first nearly 4 years in an excellent orphanage. Although it was not a family, she was loved by her caregivers and by her director. She was well-nourished and hydrated, as you can see by her picture, taken when she was 3 years old. Her description on Reece's Rainbow says that she wore AFO braces on both legs and that she could walk. We also know and can see in her picture that she has strabismus (crossed eyes). I was blessed to receive a document from a blog reader with a narrative from another adopted mother who met Carolina while adopting her son. This is what she wrote:
"...I was only able to see Carolina once. It was during one of our visits with our girls. It was raining outside so we had to visit with them in a play area inside. Our baby house has a big brother/big sister program and Carolina was with a "big sister" in the play area. She was swinging on one of those big glider swings and singing. She was a total doll...and so beautiful. She has gorgeous olive skin...curly hair...and one of those mischievous smiles...like I'm about to get into something. She was wearing afo's...but I'm not sure how well she walked. She was a charmer...that's for sure!"
There are no other pictures aside from her baby picture. As you can see, it's not a lot of information. But every detail is exciting to us. We pray that she is well and loved at her new facility. We know she has endured 2 transfers since the above photo was taken. Transfers are brutal for these children. I cannot imagine never having had a family, and being torn from the only caregivers I had ever known and sent to another facility with older children and an established "pecking order." Being a newly transferred child has to be frightening.
I am aware that adoption will mean she is taken from her facility and her country. She will certainly be scared. She will grieve. There is nothing I can do about that fact, But I can ensure that this will be the last time she has to leave everything she knows. We will give her love, proper nourishment, proper medical care and therapies for her cerebral palsy as well as her emotional needs. We will spend every day making sure she knows she is loved, wanted and of infinite worth to our family and to her Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. She will have two brothers and 2 sisters, a mom, a dad, grandparents, aunts and uncles. She will have a church family that will welcome and accept her. She will get to go to school. She will one day have the opportunity to go to college if she so desires. She will not be limited by her disability. She will be adored just like our biological kids.
I wish I had more information to share. I wish I had more pictures. But I waited 9 months to see anything more than grainy ultrasound images of my other 4 kids. I will be patient and wait a few more months to see my newest addition.
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