I mean it. Don't adopt. The whole process is hard. Saying it is a roller coaster makes it sound like too much fun. It's more like you are the ball on a wooden bounce-back paddle. Every time you feel like you are getting somewhere you get jerked back into a wall. Don't adopt.
Unless. Unless your heart is so broken for the orphan, you can't fall right to sleep. Unless you look at your family photo and you can't shake the feeling that someone is missing. Unless you find yourself praying for some child you've never met, but somehow have begun to love them already. Unless you have fought the idea and tried to talk yourself out of going and realized how utterly insane you must be and you have wrestled with adoption ethics and you've learned about RAD and you have dropped to your knees in tears and told God that you don't want to do this ... and then He unlocks the door and opens it for you. Don't adopt unless God says go.
If He says go, go. Go now. Go quickly. A child is praying for you to walk through the door to bring them home. Go now. Go quickly. Your sweet one is waiting for your hugs and snuggles and bedtime prayers. Go now. Go quickly.
I put off going to the orphanage. I wish I could say I don't know why, but I do. I didn't want to see that the two we were bringing home didn't make a ding much less a dent in the orphan crisis. I didn't want to see the beds. I didn't want to see the lack of bathroom. I didn't want to see the walls that kept them in and bad people out. Mostly, I didn't want to see their faces, because when you see their faces... when you hold their hands... when they smile at you... they can no longer just be a waiting child. They become 100% real to you.
Laughter. Smiles. Thank you's said with their adorable accents. New toys being played with and shared and traded. I could have stayed and not left. I could have left and brought them all with me. These children. Their loss. I want them to receive something only God can bless them with... a second family. Adoption as sons and daughters. And even without a family they were so full of joy and so thankful. Something I need to learn myself.
We left with our two sons. We left Mr R behind. Imagine leaving your cousin behind and not knowing if you'd ever see him again. I held them a bit tighter the rest of that day as their moods were different from days before. I've heard some say that their kids seemed shaken when they went back to the orphanage as if they were going to be left. I don't think that was the issue with our sons. They were fine going and seemed comfortable walking away from us knowing we weren't going anywhere. I think the problem was our older son was sad to leave the others behind. He wants for them what he has. I let him help me send updated photos to the parents of some of the children. We sat and he named the boys and girls in all the pictures. His friends. He is excited about his new family, but what about his friends. Will they be adopted too?
We all have the ability to receive adoption as sons from our heavenly father. He sacrificed so much to make away for you to be a part of His family forever. When you receive that adoption, you want nothing more than your whole family and all your friends to be saved too. In the same way we want salvation for those around us, we want homes for the least of these. That's our hope for Mr R and each child in that orphanage. Orphans no more. Each one loved. Each one cared for. Please join us in praying for them to be home in families soon!