Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Making a spectacle of ourselves

So the little guy got glasses. 

This happened about 3 weeks ago but I needed time to calm down before I took to the bloggisphere.
 Is that even a word? If so, did I spell it right? He required a current physical to be placed for adoption. So we went to see the pediatrican he had been seeing for the 18 months he was at his last foster home. Upon completing the general eye exam - reading a chart at a distance with one eye covered - the Dr and I both saw that an actual eye exam was necessary. I already had my suspicions and planned to take S to our eye Dr after finalization just for a once over to see if he needed glasses for reading.  Of course having this come to light prior to finalization we had to go to an eye Dr to get further evaluation of his eyes. 

The screening person at the eye Dr's office did her assessment prior to him being seen by the optomologist and she told us to pick out frames because he would definitely be needing glasses. His eyes were not good and he has an astigmatism. We looked at frames - being on Medicaid he had about ten pairs of glasses to choose from and Medicaid does not allow you to upgrade frames or lenses. So we picked out his frames. We then went in to see the optomologist. He was very kind, though extremely concerned about S's eyes - he could not believe that S had never worn glasses. He all but read me my rights regarding child neglect. So he should, I was the adult bringing this child in for a way past due evaluation. It was at this point that I was thankful for the darkness of eye exam offices. I explained I had only known S for four months and we came in as soon as we realized there was an issue with his vision. I had mommy guilt over not getting there sooner combined with extreme frustration of the years he spent "in the system" with no one checking his eyes despite his obvious difficulties in his school work. I sat there trying to console myself silently willing the tears in my eyes to dry before the lights came back on.

I then proceeded to think about all the boys and girls still in care without anyone taking them to check their eyes. Kids don't know there is something wrong with their eyes if they don't know any different. My heart breaks for the children in this system. It is a broken system. I know this term gets overused but it truly is broken. Children waiting to have child studies completed and presented to waiting families. There should be no waiting families and certainly no waiting children. So with this train of thought you can likely figure out - my eyes didn't dry very well.

I am thankful that our family has been able to adopt two children from the foster care system in two different countries. I just wish there were more waiting families and less waiting children. I wish every child could have proper medical coverage and a caring adult to make sure it gets used. Am I wrong to think ALL children need to have their eyes checked as they grow? Is it odd that our three girls regularly get eye exams? I'm glad I waited 3+ weeks to write this post because this is the cooled down version of all that I thought about the foster care system of over worked case workers, foster homes that aren't keeping up with medical needs, teachers who say a child does poorly in class but don't suggest eye exams, yadda yadda yadda.


Okay venting session over. S is adjusting to wearing his glasses. He has had his share of tears too. After his initial "It's like a whole new world" reaction to how clear everything looked - he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror. :-(  After Christmas we will be making a visit to our own optometrist for her to give him an exam on our coverage and get him a pair of sports glasses with polycarbonate lenses. He will have more choice of frames and hopefully a better fit will be more comfortable and make him happier with his glasses in 2013.



  1. Hi! I just came upon your blog from another adoptive mom's blog. We are in the process of adopting from China. I just wanted to say congrats on finalizing your son's adoption. I think he looks SO handsome in those glasses. My heart aches for those kids who don't have families, and I share your wish for more families for waiting kiddos.

  2. Erin, thanks for your comment and good luck with your adoption.

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