Or maybe this should be called, “what we don’t know”?
When it comes to adoption, you just don’t have much control. And international adoption? Apparently you don’t have much information either. One does well to realize that early on, surrender that expectation or desire to God and instead, step out in faith.
This is the information given to us, until we reach Justin’s country.
Justin has Down syndrome, and congenital heart disease; he is said to have a double discharge of the great vessels from right ventricle, with stenosis of pulmonary artery. Secondary defect of chamber divider, cardiac insufficiency 1st degree.
We’ve omitted his approximate birth date for his protection and the protection of our adoption. We also cannot list his specific country, but we will say it is in “Eastern Europe.” Besides that, the above is what we know, and we can’t quite count on all of that information, to be honest.
“Congenital heart defect” is a blanket term for a heart condition that someone is born with. After spending a decent amount of time decoding that odd translation of his condition and conferring with Dr. Google, I believe he has Double Outlet Right Ventricle (DORV) with pulmonary stenosis. This includes an atrial septal defect or ventricular septal defect (don’t know which, or if somehow it is both) and he has mild cardiac insufficiency.
At some point I’ll go into what I believe all this to mean, but honestly, who knows if it is accurate. Medicine in his country isn’t like medicine in ours. But we have nothing else to go with. And the mere diagnosis of something so serious and rare (even if inaccurate) would at least indicate that something is most certainly structurally and functionally wrong with Justin’s heart. So even if the details aren’t right, we do know for certain that a pediatric cardiologist will be in our future, and likely surgery.
I trust the Down Syndrome diagnosis though. That one is easier.
We don’t know where he is in his country. We don’t have any health updates or know if a doctor checks up on him. We don’t have more recent pictures. We don’t know if he is fed enough or if his diaper is changed more than once or twice a day. We don’t know the condition in which he lives or if he’s taken out of his crib. We don’t know if anyone visits him or if there is any family history.
We don’t know if he is held at all during the day. If he gets to play. If he’s ever been outside. If anyone talks to him. If anyone looks at him.
We do not know if he is still alive… We know he was alive in early October, when his pictures were probably taken and he was posted to Reece’s Rainbow. We can only pray. And please do pray. Pray that we make it to him in time. He lives on borrowed time.
Oh, and his name isn’t Justin. We don’t know his real name; “Justin” is just the name given to him by Reece’s Rainbow. His country doesn’t release his name for his protection. I affectionately joke that his name is either Sergei or Vlad. Sergei because I recently watched Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Vlad because, well, because the name Vlad is amazing, so it is completely fitting for him.
This is wrought with unknowns and we have no control. This used to concern us and made our decision to adopt more difficult. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. When it comes something like this, control isn’t important and trust is essential.