Hallelujah! I am singing from the rooftops! We heard word from China today that we are officially logged into their system and according to our agency, this means we could be placed with a child in roughly 6-12 months (could be sooner, could be later). We had high hopes that we would receive our referral before the end of this year, but we are ecstatic non-the less for the forward motion. Hopefully, this coming up holiday season will be the last for us as a family of three. There is a lot of emotion with that statement; happiness, fear, hope, anxiety. We don’t know how to function as a family of four, but Jay and I didn’t know how to function as a family of three either.
I have to be honest; I had a little bit of breakdown recently. We had not heard word in the time frame we expected from China and while I should be used to delays, I was tired of hearing nothing. I was tired of hearing terrible statistics on orphans and the growing number that Ebola is now responsible for. The number keeps growing and growing and the wait appears to be getting longer and longer. How does that make sense? Why are we letting that be “ just how it is”? I was recently talking to someone at work, whom I have to admit I am not close with, but nonetheless I was sharing our wait story. I don’t know what I was expecting to hear from this person but instead of the “keep your head up, it will happen when it is supposed to” talk I have grown accustomed to; I got a rather unnerving response. I was told that I should reevaluate what I really want in life, what’s REALLY important. “Why on earth would you want to do that?” There were also several eye rolls and exasperated looks to accompany my lecture.
For someone who always has a quip to say, I was speechless. In hindsight, I regret not saying something like this: It is not about me…just like life, even your life, is not really all about you.
Did you know that the United States has roughly 123,000 children waiting for forever families? That’s not to say there are not more children living without their parents than this. The foster care system alone has some 463,000 kids within its broken system. About half are reunited with their families, but many bounce in and out of different homes and nearly 20,000 age out of the system a year. But lets discuss the rest of the world for a second shall we? I know its easier to pretend like everything is fine, but its really not.
Did you know that around the world there are nearly 153 million orphans (meaning living without at least one parent). Of those, 17,900,000 have lost or been abandoned by both parents and are currently living in orphanages or worse on the streets.
Did you know that children living in an orphanage have an IQ score of about 20 points less than their same aged peers living in foster care? Living in an orphanage affects ALL levels of child development-negatively.
Did you know that adoption in all areas has fallen dramatically and this includes from China. In 2011 Americans adopted 2,587 children but that is just 2% of all the children living in government institutional care and just 0.4% of the total amount of orphaned children in China. ZERO POINT FOUR PERCENT. Most have some sort of special need and without international adoption, these children would not have a chance of finding a home or a family.
I did not answer that way, however. Instead I let her words fester inside my heart and mind and as the days and weeks and months passed without word from China, I grew….well….angry and hopeless.
I was sitting in church on Sunday and hearing these awesome testimonies of Gods healing and restoration, actual proof of his living power in real peoples lives and I started crying. Why was healing and restoration not coming to these millions of kiddos, in particular our kiddo? What about all the people dying of a treatable disease in Africa? Why was government BS always getting in the way of helping others when God was clearly so powerful and so all knowing and so loving (and so on).
I angrily shook my fist at God and tried to educate HIM on all the terrible things going on in his world. He remained silent during my vocal frustrations and hurts. However, He did send me a verse through, of all people, my adoption coordinator. She sent this out to us as an encouragement, which she felt we all needed. It comes from Isaiah 40:
1- Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
18-He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Who has measured the waters in the hallow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counselor? Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding?
28-The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
God sees what is going on, and whether I feel it or see it or know anything about it, He is working.
I had my “moment” on Sunday 10/26/2014. I received this verse on Monday 10/27/2014. We were notified by our adoption agency on 10/28/2014, but our official log in date with China was 10/24/2014.