Friday, January 24, 2014

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!

Today is your birthday sweet boy.
I have this tradition of writing memories and thoughts of the year to my children, all the things I am proud of and what I love about them each year on their birthday.
Today my heart breaks because we do not get to celebrate with you. Last year, about this time we made the real decision to adopt YOU! We started the whole process and paperwork, the week of your birthday.
I was sure that by this time this year you would be home with us. We would eat cake and give you presents and we would be getting into the swing of what "normal" would look like.
A while ago, I new it would not happen.
But I still hoped, that maybe today I would get some good news. It seemed like a stretch in the ever waiting of adoption, but maybe we would get news, news about a signature or my hope, a court date.
None of it came.
The only update I got was yesterday, that nothing had been done. No signature, no movement on our requests for medical tests, nothing, just more waiting.
I wish I could do something! I do not even know if you know today is your birthday. If anything happens.
I wish I knew how you were doing. It has been two months since we have seen you.
We pray for you every day. And today we have whispered and shouted and said throughout today,
"Today is your birthday!"
and, "Oh how we wish you were here!"
It has been said and wished, but that is about all we could do.
And NEXT year, we will celebrate!
Today you are seven. You are so small. And I worry about you like any mom does. I have cried a few times wishing I could hold you today. I have looked at your pictures. And prayed for you to hold on.
And I continue to hope that soon you will be HOME!
And I remember looking out the window with you. Dreaming about the day you would walk from there. Dreaming about the day you would ride a bike. And swim in the pool.
When I close my eyes and dream of you in my sleep you are fifteen and grown. With a smile and laugh that lights the room. You are sitting at the table, eating breakfast, part of OUR family. And it fills my heart with hope!
We LOVE you! and cannot wait for you to come home!
Happy Birthday!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Biggest Lie We Believe....

This post has been sitting in my head for months. I have tried desperately to put into words these thoughts, and I am not sure I know the best way to do it. But I think it is worth saying.

I am generalizing, not speaking to anyone in particular, except maybe myself. And I am aware that this does not apply to everyone. But, I believe that a lot of us are believing this lie, "Doing nothing is better than doing something." And Satan is celebrating.

Throughout this adoption process, we have faced many skeptics, people who have told us that adoption is not the answer. There needs to be reform in orphanages; children should not be taken out of their own countries; and families are being tricked into giving their children up for adoption. All the people that have said these things have meant well and believe what they are saying is right and true. And I believe that some of it is true as well. But there is a fear that adoption will cause things to happen that should never happen and will prevent things from happening that should happen.

Not every child in every orphanage has been stolen from their families. Not adopting will neither help these children nor prevent children from flooding orphanages. Also there is an idea that if we adopt, no one will reform orphanages. I believe the opposite is actually the case. The more people are aware of what is happening in orphanages, through adoption, the more likely people will DO something to change the orphanages.

I do not know the best answer. But I do know that if we do nothing, it will fix nothing. I know there will be kids that will spend the rest of their lives in cribs without a family. I know that if you said those things as an excuse to not act, you are wrong. I know there is no easy answer, but doing nothing out of fear of doing something wrong, cannot be the answer.

There are stories about children on the street in India begging for food. If you see them I have heard you are not supposed to give them food because they are only getting it to bring back to someone who is beating them or selling them or using them. I am simplifying this. And I do not mean to be trite. There are horrible, unimaginable things happening to children around this world, children on the street with no one to protect them. But not giving a child food when they are hungry seems wrong. There is no easy solution but again, I feel like we live in fear that doing something is going to cause harm and end up doing nothing, we walk by, telling ourselves that we are really helping them because I am saving them from this thing I heard happens. And they are STILL starving.

But we are to help the least of these. And these conversations play in my head. And I tell myself something has to be better than nothing.

And the man on the corner asking for food or money. We drive by because we are sure they will use it for drugs. And we do not have the McDonald's gift card we usually carry and we would not dare give cash because what would they use it for? So we drive by and do nothing, because we fear doing something is worse than doing nothing.

And I do not know the best solution. But I think when the least of these were described in the Bible, when we were told to care for them, it was not with an asterick or footnote stating when caring for the least of these should not be our priority. Principles and theories and things we have heard should not stop us from acting. Fear comes in and lies fill my head. And I do not act because I am afraid that doing something is worse than doing nothing.

And I am wrong.

All of this I say knowing there is a lot that needs to be done. And yes, we should fight for parents to keep their children. We should not promote child trafficking or child exploitation. But this should not paralyze us from acting.

We should be wise. We should be overly gracious.

We should do something.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Too Damaged"

Some days it seems too much to bear, the weight of all the hurt that happens. This past week I struggled I must say with so many friends on Facebook, begging for their children to go back to school. Christmas break turned into snow day after snow day and they ran out of ideas. Everyone was bored, it was cold and they needed some stimulation. I get it, but I wanted to say, "I don't care what you do, treasure them." "Hold them." Even if you just sit all day watching television and eating cookies, reading books and playing games. The same thing again and again it is okay because they will have those memories that their parents spent the time with them. They were loved and treasured.
And it probably is because daily I see these children who have no one to hold them.
Like the little girl who passed away after her adoptive family visited her. Someone wrote on their blog or facebook or something, that in her seven years of life, she finally had FOUR DAYS of someone who loved her. Oh how I wish those four days would have turned into "snow day after snow day" that she could have been held another day more. She would have been happy to be just held and loved. But, I know she is now being held in Jesus arms.
And I see more children that need homes. I do not know if in any way God is speaking to someone to adopt that might be reading this blog or someone knows someone who is thinking about it but there are hundreds of children, I am sure thousands, that just want a mom and dad to hold them and tell them they are precious and loved.
I want to share a little about a little girl, "Patty," who needs a family desperately. She is twelve years old and about the size of a five year old the reports say. She is in Eastern Europe and has untreated hydrocephaly. She needs surgery. Her life is worth saving.
They have not done the surgery because she is deemed "too damaged" Tears burn at my eyes
How is it that a child, any child, can be "too damaged" to need life saving surgery!
My stomach is burning, the kind of burning that wants to SCREAM "THIS IS WRONG!"
How do we live in a world where people get to make these decisions?
People as damaged and full of fault as anyone to deem someone unworthy of a family. Apparently she was not even going to be listed available for adoption because "they" thought she was too damaged to be placed with a family. But now, she is listed, available for adoption. And she NEEDS someone. Here is a picture of "Patty."

Please pray that she can find a home. That this child who has been deemed "too damaged," will know she is not, that she is treasured and loved! If you have questions about Patty or are interested in knowing more about adoption you can contact Nina, I am happy to answer any questions I can too about the process, fundraising or our experience as well. 

And just a little update on us, today we got Article 5 approval, they will pick it up tomorrow and we wait for a signature, then a court date. Each step is a step closer.

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Little Update and A Prayer Request

It has been over a month since we have been back, and I feel like we are in just a holding pattern. We have done everything we can here. And we are waiting on there. 

I have felt peace and been patient. We have worked to get our doctor to order some tests, and sent that order overseas in hopes that maybe if he is seen by someone outside of the orphanage they might realize he is starving. Eyes might be opened and he might be fed. The government there has agreed. Now we wait for the director. 

Today we heard that our article 5 interview is next week. I am not 100% sure what this means, but I  know it is the next step in the process. Once it is issued, hopefully right after the interview, we need it signed, then we need a court date, another signature and we can go get him. It seems so simple, but it takes so long.

And this week... something horrible happened. A little girl in our son's orphanage died. Her family had just gotten back from their first trip. They were there just a week after us. She died on Sunday night. I am not sure what caused her death. But I do know she turned seven a couple of weeks ago. I also know she weighed ten pounds. My heart has broken and ached for this family. And fear has gripped me as we wait. Wondering how much longer he can wait. Our little boy turns seven in two weeks. He weighs twenty pounds. I thought and hoped that these ones, the ones that had made it this far were the ones that were going to make it. To hold on just a little longer. But this little girl could not. And I wonder how much longer so many others there can wait..for a mom and a dad and a family. 

Please keep praying for our little guy, that he can hold on, that the things that take so long, won't. And for these children that wait. That hearts will be opened to give them homes.