New York City, one story at a time.

(2/4) “The application process was a nightmare. It’s like a messy divorce where they examine every little detail of your life. People try to scare the crap out of you about how emotionally damaged the kid will be. The agency made us sign a contract acknowledging fourteen ways the adoption could fall through—and there weren’t any refunds. They warned it could take two years. And it’s so expensive-- $32,000. But at that point Miles’ picture was hanging all over our house. We talked about him all the time. He was already our son, but he was sitting in an orphanage. We needed to get him home as quickly as possible. I took out a loan against my retirement. I racked up so much credit card debt. I planned on using the reward points to buy his plane ticket home. Miles spent his second birthday at the orphanage. We filled a box with $300 worth of presents. It cost even more to ship. Inside we put his very first pair of walking shoes. Hip-hugger pants to help with his posture. A t-shirt that said: ‘Someone in Fairfax, VA loves me.’ And Mickey Mouse party favors for all the kids at the orphanage. Then we ordered him a cake from a local bakery. A few weeks later, the orphanage sent us a picture from the party.”

(Special Olympics World Games, Abu Dhabi, UAE)
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