Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wee One Wednesday: It's Not for the Faint of Heart

When we began on our adoption journey, I was naive and uneducated. 

I assumed that, of COURSE we would be bringing home from China, within 12 months, a young girl who only had minor to moderate special needs because that's how I thought this adoption stuff went down. 


Currently, there are more boys than girls available for adoption from China. And while there are some absolutely precious little guys waiting to find their forever families, we felt strongly that we were meant to bring another girl, another sister, into our family. Because my sisters are my best friends and I wanted Raleigh to have her sister and her sister to have Raleigh. And, we already have two boys. So, we felt we were meant to add another sweet girl to our family.

Also, we did not want to disrupt birth order, which meant we were searching for a little lady who was younger than Harrison. 

And because we already have three children, we were careful when acknowledging which medical conditions we felt we would be able to truly take on and be able to address to the absolute best of our ability.

So: a little girl younger than 3 with mild to moderate special needs. That is who we were searching for.

Guess what? That is who MOST families are searching for when they adopt from China. And ever since the one-child-per-family rule was done away with in Chinese culture, this particular subset of children has become the smallest cohort available for adoption. In other words, the smallest subset are the most highly sought after.

What does this mean? It meant that a 12-month timeframe would not be happening.

I also assumed that it would be no problemo for our family to be able to adopt. We met the requirements for potential adoptive families according to China's standards (which include specific rules related to health, wealth, specific marital status standards, family make-up, etc.). Why wouldn't China approve our loving, stable family for adoption (isn't my ego just fabulous? I mean, looking back, how narcissistic of me to assume such things). 

Wrong again. 

Here's the thing. Adoption is not a guarantee. There are many, MANY hoops to jump through, NONE of which mean we will bring our child home when all is said and done. China can say, "No!" to our family at any time for no rhyme or reason. And there will be nothing we can do about it. 

No, adoption is not a guarantee. Adoption is a privilege. To be given the gift of bringing another precious little one into our lives will be a great honor. And just because we have our i's dotted and our t's crossed does not mean we will be bestowed that honor. I hope and pray with all my might that we will. But in the end, I have to trust in His plan (easier said than done, if I'm being honest! [see also: I am a work in progress]). 

And then, oh and then, if we are oh so lucky and blessed to be able to bring our girl home, the real work will begin: the parenting of four littles; the soothing of grief; the transitioning to a new culture; the adjusting for all members of the family; the beginning of therapy sessions; the start of our new chapter. 

So. Here's what I know now that I didn't know then: Adoption is not for the faint of heart. 

Adoption is HARD. And, we don't even have our daughter yet! We are in the middle of it all. And it is HARD. Hard, hard, hard. 

Not everyone is called to adopt. And that's okay! We are each called to do different things in different ways, ALL to glorify God, and spread his message of love and faith, in our own individual ways. 

But also. Please hear this

Adoption IS a calling for some. An absolutely amazing one. 

Are you being called? Stick with me for a second...

There are millions upon millions of children in this world without parents, without families. Millions of children who are institutionalized. Millions of children who are beautiful blessings and have no one to tell them of their worth. Millions of children who have yet to know the love of a momma. Millions of children who cry themselves to sleep. Millions of children who wake up in the middle of the night with no one to comfort them. Millions of children who have no one to kiss their boo-boos. Millions of children who have no one to hug and kiss them every single day. Millions of children who have never heard the words, "I love you." 

And there are millions upon millions of families who have not (yet) been lucky enough to welcome one of these amazing children into their homes. Millions of families who have not (yet) met their beautiful child, who is living on the other side of the world. Millions of families who do not (yet) know what they are missing by not following their call to adopt.
So. I just have to ask: Have you felt the nudge? Have you heard the whisper? Is there a question in your heart? Are you meant to add another to your family, via adoption

If so, what's stopping you? Are you worried? Are you worried about the sacrifices you will have to make? Are you worried that your life will look different than you pictured it? Are you worried about the financial toll? The emotional toll? The physical toll? Are you worried about the effect it will have on your biological children? Are you worried about how it may affect your marriage? Are you worried that you won't be able to acquire more stuff? Are you worried about the impact it will have on your social life? Are you worried about the unknown? Are you worried about the what-ifs?

So was I. I was worried about all of those things. Still am, about some of them. But then, I read this quote, and I never looked back:

I always questioned If I was ready to adopt and then realized no child was ready to be an orphan. -Unknown  

Adoption is not for the faint of heart.  

Adoption is for the strong in heart.

If you have felt the calling and yet you are scared, worried, uncertain, hesitant, stuck in indecision: you are not alone. In fact, you are me, about 15 months ago. If this sounds like you, I would love to talk to you more about it all. Please don't hesitate to reach out. Because in the stillness of our family's wait, I want to continue to follow God's plan and encourage others along the way, in whatever way, shape, or form that may be. Are you being called? Are you ready to strengthen your heart? Let's chat... <3

Many are the plans in a person's heart but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21. 

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