Monday, November 14, 2011

Doing a little advocating

As I have mentioned, H. is at a wonderful place called Shepherds Field Children's Village.  This home houses ~100 special needs orphans at a time and provides love, stability, and health care for them while they wait to find permanent homes.  For some this will not happen, either because they are not eligible for adoption or because the orphanage which holds their paperwork is not able to do adoptions or because the children reach the age of 14 before being adopted by a family.  A vocational center is being built in the village to train these children and give them a place to live.  I have been so impressed over the past year as I have become more familiar with all Shepherds Field does and look forward to being able to visit when we travel in the spring.

But along with getting to know about this wonderful place, I have also become aware of the children who continue to wait for a family.  These are children who have their paperwork completed and are available for adoption.  Currently there are twenty children who wait.  I wish I could put all of their pictures right here on this page for you to see, but since I can't, I ask you to click through to see them for yourself.  I know that not all of my readers are adept at the internet, so I'll make it easy.  Click on the words:  waiting children and the link will take you directly to the page.

I will share the picture of one boy who has been on my heart.
Meet Joseph.  He is 12 years old and has pulmonary atresia (and had his first surgery in September of 2006) and also has Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome.  Now if you google this diagnosis, it sounds scary.  If I am honest, when I first googled H.'s diagnosis, it was scary as well.  It still is.  But God is bigger than scary diagnoses.  There are plenty of people who have met Joseph and can attest to what a kind and gentle boy he is.  A boy who would love to have a family.  A boy who has watched dozens of other children be told they have a mother and father and have then left to go live with them.  A boy who has two more years before his chance for a mother and father to call his own is over.

Now in full disclosure, there is a bit of selfishness in my request.  Joseph is one of H.'s friends.  I would love for him to find his family here in the US where we could keep them in touch with one another.  Every time I hear of another child leaving Shepherds Field to join their new family, I mourn for my daughter as she watches one more child leave while she still does not know she has a family.  And I can't wait for the day when she is the one presented with a photo album and told the news that she will have a Mommy and Daddy.  But yet I also mourn for this little boy who will watch yet another of his friends leave while he still waits.

I won't paint a rainbows and happy trees picture of what older child adoption looks like.  It's hard.  It involves a lot of change and a lot of unknowns.  It can stretch you as you've never been stretched before.  There will be times when you wonder what on earth you were thinking.  You will learn to look at progress over the course of years instead of weeks.  But I also want each and every one of you to think carefully about what God is asking you to do.  Is He asking you to do something hard so that He can show His greatness?  Is He asking you to care for one of His beloved children even if that child is not perfect according to the world's standards.  Is He asking you to climb out of that boat and join Him on the water?  Because I'll tell you, that's what it will feel like.  There will be moments that you feel as though you will drown, but you will keep your eyes on Him because that is all you can do.  You won't drown but you will be aware, as you have never been aware before, that He is the only reason you don't go under.

And I ask you, is this your son?

For more information, you can contact Shepherds Field directly or you can contact me and I'll put in touch with who you need to talk to.

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