I found out a few weeks ago that Sara's orphanage closed. It made me really sad but I couldn't figure out why. I visited the orphanage briefly but I didn't really have any emotional connection to it. Sara hadn't been there very long. It's not like she had spent most of her young life there. But still, it made me sad.
I touched on the history of adoption in Colombia here. Basically, during the 80s and 90s (and into this century), Colombia was a baby factory for families in Europe (and some in the US) seeking to adopt infants. Private adoption houses were created. Pregnant young and/or poor women could come to the house and receive room, board, and medical treatment. Their babies were then adopted out to foreign families. These adoption houses could conduct private adoptions separate from the social service agency. Most of them had (and still have) private foundations that support them.
While I won't get into Sara's social history here (some things are only for her mama to know and be heartbroken over), I will say that she was moved to one of these private adoption houses in order to find her a family. (It worked!) In the middle of my process, her house lost its license due to some financial indiscretions. I was able to complete her adoption through social services but her house was not allowed to complete any more private adoptions. I was told at the time that social services was taking over the house and children in their care would continue to reside there and be placed there.
A few weeks ago, I asked the agency about another little boy with Down Syndrome that was in Sara's orphanage. They told me that the orphanage had been closed and that all the children had been moved. They no longer have his file so they are not sure where he was transferred. I didn't make a big deal about the closing but it did make me really sad. We were at my parents at the time so I didn't really have time to figure it out.
A few days later, Sara and I attended a fundraiser for a great grant organization that helped us out with travel expenses. (I could write a whole post about that. They kept thanking us for coming. I went to thank THEM!) One of the questions they asked was about the timing of the adoption. What would it have meant to Sara if the adoption had been stalled because of a lack of funds? I hadn't thought about it until then but it suddenly came to me: She would have moved AGAIN. The orphanage closed 3 months after we got home. If I had hit any more snags; If I had waited to commit; If I had to wait for grant funds; If I had to wait for loan approval; If, if if.... If the timing had been a little different, my poor baby would have moved again. She would have left behind everything and everyone she knew days or weeks or months before leaving it all again to move in with her mom.
Sara is very adaptable. She will go anywhere with anyone. I used to think this was a good thing. (It's great that your child gets on the bus and doesn't cry or stays with a baby sitter, right?) Now, I'm realizing it's another sign of her young life. She has moved a lot. A lot for a four year old. She is used to going with new people to new places.
I had to list all the addresses I've lived at in the last 25 years for part of the adoption process. The list was so long. It was almost embarrassing. The difference is that I always moved with my family. She has moved alone from place to place. She has given up everything she knows countless times. I am so glad to know that if she ever moves again, she will move with her family.
I'm so grateful that Sara came home before the orphanage closed. My heart breaks for all those other children that had to move again.