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Monday, September 2, 2013

The Two Hardest Parts of Adoption

There are two things that are hardest for me with this adoption. Two things that break my heart more than anything else.  The longing and waiting for our children is hard.  Not knowing how they are doing is hard.  Wondering if they are healthy is hard.  But two things are harder-- 

The first is knowing the children we are saying no to. Seeing the faces of the children we are leaving behind. That made it hard for me to choose our two. Yesterday morning I was reminded about these feelings when a friend who is adopting mentioned that her little one is in the same orphanage as two sweet girls, Nadia and Nancy. Nadia and Nancy, precious twin six year old girls with fetal alcohol syndrome that we had to say no to in order to commit to V and Z. They were two we were thinking about and praying about. It was painful to hear their names this morning and remember that they are still waiting for a family, that no one is coming for them. It makes me so sad that we can't save them all. That we are only equipped to adopt two right now.



I hear the Savior say
"Thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness, watch and pray
Find in me thine all in all"


God used the words of this hymn this morning to comfort my heart. My strength is small. My resources aren't large enough to save all of these children. But I can find everything I need in Him, and these little ones can find everything they need in Him, too. And He loves these sweet little ones with a love unimaginable.

What other hope is there when you learn that August 31st is the day when so many orphans (not ones with special needs- they have no choice but to stay in an institution for life if their government deems they can't function well enough to be a part of society) age out of their institutions and orphanages and are forced to go to the streets?  They might get to live in a dorm and receive some start up cash, but since they haven't been given life skills, they don't know how to manage the money and end up on the streets.  Large percentages of these young men end up as hardened criminals and large percentages of the young women end up as prostitutes.  Another large number won't make it to their twenty-first birthdays.  Where might they be if they only had the love of a family instead of being forced onto the streets?


Knowing the reality of what is happening to children with special needs across the world and other orphans, the second part of adoption that is hard is watching others not act. There's a real loneliness that comes with adoption. I'm a big dreamer and I think that I thought that once we started this process for kids with special needs that others around us would step up and act. That they would see us step out in courage and see that choosing to adopt a child with special needs isn't so scary after all. But it hasn't happened. People care in affection, but it isn't translating to action.  I think this has always been the case, but I wasn't aware of it before we started this adoption process- I was also one who was caring in affection and even in prayer, but not translating that care to any other form of action.

(***Many friends and family members have acted and helped care for orphans by supporting us financially and emotionally and praying for us and our children. We are SO thankful for all the support and encouragement along the way! We have felt VERY blessed and overwhelmed by the care and generosity of others. :)

And granted, we only started the process at the end of April. It hasn't been that long (but when you are waiting for your children, it feels like foreverrrr). But in the lives of these children, those months matter and everyday that goes by without a family matters. Every day means one day closer to an institution where they're not likely to survive their first year after transfer. Every day means one more day without the love of a family. And every day means a day older, and each day older means they are less likely to be adopted.

And then there are tiny little Otto and Noble. They are very young, just born in March, and would benefit so much from early intervention. But they've been sitting waiting for months when I thought a family would snatch them up within two weeks of them being posted because they easily could have been home by their first birthdays. It baffles me that no one has scooped these little guys up.

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Not everyone is able to adopt or in a place where it's a suitable time to act. I understand that- that was us too. We had to wait until we were able. But for those that are able, I wish they could know adopting kids with special needs is totally worth it.  We don't have our kiddos home yet, so we don't know what the day to day experience is like with these kids in our home.  But we have read the blog posts of many parents who have biological children with special needs and have adopted children with special needs, and hands down, every single one raves about what a blessing these children are to them and their families.  Don't let the diagnoses scare you away.  Most have also said that parenting kids with special needs isn't more work; it's just a different kind of work.  Your parenting will look different.  You will be blessed by these children. :)

I just can't get over hearing that if just a small percentage of the church adopted that we could find homes for all of the orphans available for adoption.  As one person, my strength is small, but if the whole church rises up...well, if even a small percentage of the whole church rises up to set the lonely in families, then we could make a really big difference together.  
(As an aside, I am aware that this does not solve the root of the problem of these children being up for adoption in the first place, but it would help the ones who are waiting in the meantime while we work on the root issues.)

"Child of weakness,
watch and pray.
Find in Me thine all in all."

My heart longs for others to step out in faith and know this privilege and joy of preparing a home for someone across the world, a child of your heart from another Mama's womb. With deeper joy comes deeper sorrow as your eyes are opened to what is happening in the world, but you get to know the heart of our Father. Lord, break our heart for what breaks yours, and when you show us what breaks Your heart, give us the courage to step out and act in faith to be your hands and feet in this world, as your tool to repair the brokenness around us.


If you are excited about caring for orphans and would like to help us bring V and Z home, please give here: http://reecesrainbow.org/58850/sponsorseay

2 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post, Cortney! We wanted to commit to V and Z, but you guys beat us to it by a matter of minutes. :) My husband was just waiting to find out if the travel requirements would be feasible with his work. As he was writing the e-mail to his boss, I suddenly had a strong feeling that V and Z had another family and that God had someone else in mind for us to adopt. I called him up and told him to wait. A few minutes later we got the e-mail that another family had committed to them. But your two little sweeties will always have a special place in our hearts. They are the ones who got us to leave our inertia behind and start taking active steps to adopt (we're now working to adopt "Abraham" on RR). God bless you, and we're praying for you guys!!

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  2. This is beautiful, and spot on. As a family with hearts to adopt, and a current financial status which prohibits our eligibility, it is all theory...yet my heart struggles with all of the same things you just shared. I feel so urgently that these souls need homes where the love of Christ and the provision of their Father will be made real to them. Oh, but where to start? Special needs or no, my heart is heavy for all waiting children. Praying!

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