I have thought about writing something quite often, but yet I have hesitated. I don't have to think too hard about why I have hesitated. This has been a difficult month. With our going out of town, we threw our family system into a state of chaos that we hadn't seen in a while, and dealing with chaos doesn't leave a whole lot of energy left over for anything else.
And honestly, when I am living in chaos, I seriously wonder whether I should really invite anyone else to voluntarily join me in that chaos. Why should I even suggest to someone whose life is running pretty smoothly that they should abandon that and actually choose what could be a much harder road? In my darkest moments, I fleetingly ask myself why we did.
There is a framed portrait hanging in my living room of my first five children. D. is a baby, and the others stair step up from him to M. at age 10. Four of my blond, beautiful children are sitting in a line, each holding onto the sibling in front of them, while the bald, chubby baby is facing all of them and grinning. It was at this moment in time that I would rock and nurse baby D., a wonderfully happy, joyful baby, and sob. I wasn't sobbing for D., but for a little boy somewhere who didn't have a mommy or a daddy to hold and rock him as I was rocking my baby boy. My heart was broken for a child I couldn't even name.
It was also at this time the J. and I started to seriously discuss adoption. It had a 'now or never' feel about it, as if if we didn't choose to pursue it now, we never would. It was a nearly three year process as we slowly made the decision and then did paperwork in order to complete our first adoption. We went into it with the same expectations that most do when starting down the adoption path. We wanted to give a child who needed one a home and we wanted another child to love. It all seemed so simple.
If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know it wasn't simple, and it continues to not be simple. It was and can be hard. Very hard. And hard not just for J. and I or for our other children, but hard for that first adopted son as well. He, perhaps, has had the hardest journey of all.
But during the hard times, I sometimes go back and remember. I remember sobbing for the little boy I didn't know, except I know him now. That time period during which I was weeping for him lines up exactly with the time frame of him going into orphanage care. It was during the months he spent in the orphanage that I spent crying for him. I may not have known his name, and he may have felt as if he had lost everything in the world, buy God was already working to redeem his story.
So now we come back to the question of voluntarily taking a more difficult path in life. My life may not always be easy (or quiet), but there is something to having a role in a redemption story. (And I want to be clear. We are not the ones doing the redeeming. Not by a long shot. This is God's work, God's story, God's work of redemption. We just get to tag along.) And redemption is costly. In this case it is costly in terms of comfort, ease, and resources. But those costs pale in comparison to the ultimate redemption that is offered to us by Jesus.
As this National Adoption Month draws to a close, ask yourselves what is really important. Ultimately important. We are instructed to imitate Christ. How better to imitate our Lord and Savior than to sacrifice our comfort and ease to provide love to a child who is without hope. It won't be easy. It will be hard, and some days you may ask yourself why you chose the path you did. But you will understand God's love for you in a way you never did before and consequently you will experience His joy and peace as well.
Who doesn't want front row seats to a miracle?
This child is 10! That is a crib she is in, now imagine any 10 year old you know in a crib. All day. Every day.
How can we live with ourselves?
Continuing to advocate for the children in Bulgaria. Their files were sent back which means that they cannot be advocated for on Reese's Rainbow or have any funds donated towards their adoptions. It means they are essentially invisible and unwanted. It tells the government and the agencies that yes, indeed, their initial assumptions were correct. No one wants a child like these. They are not worth it.
But they are! They are created by God in His image and we are called to care for them. They are truly the least of these. I cannot let them go; I think about them in nearly every free moment that I have. I'm going to post one of their pictures here at the bottom of each of my posts each day. Would you join me in praying for each of these children? Pray that a family would come forward who is willing to adopt them. Love them. Pray that they will know they are not forgotten. There is still hope for these little ones as their files can be specially asked for, it just adds time to the process.
This is Garnet. She is 10. Ten years old and lying in a crib. It's all she's ever known. How can we let this happen? How can we leave her there knowing now that she is there? Despite what she has lived through, she still looks as though she has life in her eyes. Imagine what she would look like with the love of a family.