The Family

The Family

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Journey Begins

Wow. I can't believe I am actually starting a blog. I have thought about it many times, how it would be so fun to get my ideas down, share them with the world, keep our family (who all live far away) updated on all our goings-on. But I never did it. Didn't really feel the pull. Until yesterday. As I stated in the description, this blog is probably going to be about a lot of things. Our kids, our homeschooling, our pets and our everyday mundane activities. But what really drove me most recently to decide that I wanted to have a blog, no that I needed to have a blog, was the subject of adoption. Our family is currently at the end of a 2 year long process to adopt a daughter from foster care here in the US. It has been a journey filled with ups and downs, easy times and difficult ones-- as I am sure most adoptions are. We have laughed, cried, rejoiced and been dismayed. But thankfully that journey is soon coming to an end, we'll be able to say that we have all come out on the other side, and as a result we will officially-- both in our hearts and on paper-- be able to say that another daughter has been added to our family. And we are thankful.

But although everything going on with that is wonderful and blog-worthy, her adoption is not the one that really made me want to begin this blog. It is the adoption or adoptions that have not happened yet. The ones that are hopefully still looming on the horizon of our future.

You see, the other day I was told of a website through a link my friend sent to my Facebook page. It was a plea for a little boy named Monroe who desperately needed a home. The link was through the website Reece's Rainbow- Maybe some of you have heard of it? I hadn't, until that day about a week ago. From that time on I have felt like my life has taken a big turn. You see, Reece's Rainbow is a site dedicated to finding loving homes for special needs children living in orphanages in other countries. They are truly doing God's work. The children listed on that site are precious, sweet children of God-- albeit not "typical". They all have different special needs from Down's Syndrome to Cerebral Palsy to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, as well as others. Because they are not considered "normal", in many of these countries they are looked at as lesser-than and not worth having. So they are given up to orphanages where often they are poorly treated and given sub-standard care. Sometimes it seems the orphanages try to care for the children the best they can, but they simply lack the room or resources. Thus these children are simply left in their beds, denied of much physical contact and given only the bare minimum of food to survive until they are adopted. For the unlucky ones who are not, they are most often transferred from the "baby houses" to asylums by age 4-5 and left there until they die. Oftentimes this happens all too quickly. They really don't have a chance.

It was a grim realization for me when I came upon this website, and then the blogs of many others who have found their children through them, to learn that there are still so many countries who treat their children in this way. So sad, so inhumane. The pictures of these sweet children, their descriptions, the stories told by some of their adoptive families brought me to tears. Uncontrollable tears. How could this be happening to these babies? I immediately started feeling something moving inside of me. God was stirring me to action. As Proverbs 24:12 states, "Once our eyes are opened we can't pretend we don't know what to do." I can't pretend.

So for about the past week, since I first came upon that message from my friend, I have been praying. Praying to God that I know what to do. And I have been talking. Talking to my husband, to friends, making them aware of this atrocity and the need to do something about it.

I have always known that I wanted to adopt. I told my husband of that need before we were married 15 years ago. I knew that I wanted to add more children to our family after this adoption we are presently going through was completed. I have never kept it a secret. Our social workers know we want more children too, but unfortunately because of NC laws we cannot take in more foster children with hopes of adopting them. With 5 kids we are at our capacity. So, a private adoption was our next logical step, and I have already been looking. Looking at profiles of different children, agencies, countries etc. But did I ever consider a special needs child? Never once. I can honestly, shamefully say the thought never occurred to me. I am not sure why, but it just never did. Maybe it was because I thought it would be too hard, too scary. I would be jumping into uncharted waters there. All of our children so far have average or above-average abilities. None of them is cognitively impaired. So why would I want to add that challenge to our lives-- the challenge of a special needs child? Well I never did until now. All I can say, honestly and simply, is that it is God who put that desire there within my heart. He lead me down the right path, at the right time-- as He always does-- and opened my eyes to a desire for something I never knew I wanted. He is pointing me in the direction that our family must go and I need to follow Him.

I don't think I can fully express in words how powerful and emotionally overwhelming this last week has been. You could ask my husband, he has been experiencing this change in me too! These children who need our help have been all I can talk about, pray about, dream about. I feel the desperate need to DO something to make the world a better place for them.

So, that is the main thing that spurred me on to finally starting a blog-- a purpose bigger than myself and my rantings about our family's daily life, as fun as that is. It was a need to make a difference, to take a new journey down a road that I did not even know existed for us, and to share that journey with others complete with the bumps in the road and the rainbows at its end.

I don't yet know what this new revelation of mine will hold in store for our family. We are still in the process of figuring that one out. I pray right now that it ends in another adoption for our family, and at the very least a greater awareness of the orphans of this world and their plight, but only time will tell on that one. In the words of Ghandi-- "You must be the change YOU wish to see in the world."

So how can my eyes be closed again to this need? They cannot. How can I believe the plight of orphans is just someone else's problem? I cannot. How can our family continue on with our happy, comfortable lives knowing that there are children out there suffering, needing a loving family to bring them home, and not do anything to help? We cannot. Thus begins my blog as we slowly, carefully and deliberately, through the grace of our God, begin to make a change in the world by taking baby steps.

1 comment:

  1. I will keep all of you in my prayers as you go through this journey. Each of you has so much love to give and any and every child who enters your lives, no matter if it's for a moment or a lifetime, will have a more blessed life because of that love.