I've mentioned before that we're in the process to adopt. I hadn't given many details yet because nothing was "official" and I don't like to put the proverbial cart-before-the-horse. No paperwork was signed, nothing had gone to court, we hadn't signed a referral. But we were working towards all of that.
Well, last week all of our plans fell apart. Big time. You see, what I hadn't told you is that there were two waiting children that God had burdened our hearts for, that we prayed for, that we felt led to adopt. Oh how we wanted these children in our family. But last Tuesday some things came to light about one of the children and we found out that we will no longer be able to bring them home. The situation is out of our control and the bottom line is that our family is just not right for these kids. We know it, and even if we didn't, our agency knows it and wouldn't allow us to proceed anyway.
My heart hurts so incredibly badly, and I am praying that they will still find a family, and soon. They've waited so long. It's a horrible situation all the way around. (I feel the need to give the disclaimer that this is NOT something where a previously undetected medical issue with one of the children arose. We are very open to most medical needs. I'm sorry I can't give any more information, but out of respect for their privacy, I just can't.)
Ultimately for us that means that we will continue working on our homestudy and will eventually end up adopting other waiting children. Small issues compared to what these kids are facing.
The past week has been a bit of a roller coaster of emotions. We're doing fine, but it's sad. Orphaned children are vulnerable children. To lose your parents, to grow up in an impoverished society, to spend years in an institution, to have very little hope of ever having family again...that is beyond devastating. Yet it's the reality for millions of children around the world. That's not me making an emotional appeal, that's the TRUTH. Hunger and abuse of every possible kind and fear rule the day. IT'S UGLY. And real. Too real.
When I was in Minneapolis I had the opportunity to see John Piper give a message about adoption. It was timely, and real, and painful, and beautiful, all at once. You can go here to listen to/read/watch it: What Does It Mean to Live by Faith in the Service to the Fatherless?
I loved what he had to say at the time, but it is relevant to me in a different way now. We walk by faith in our service to the fatherless, no matter what. No matter what.
Obviously there are different ways we can look at our situation. Some might say we must have mis-heard God...or just plain shouldn't have embarked on this journey in the first place...and truthfully I DON'T know why things have taken this turn. We stepped out in faith. I told God that if He wanted, I'd follow Him into the beauty and brokenness that this adoption would be. I was terrified. But clinging to God's promises, and to the fact that I belived with all that was in me that this was what we were supposed to do.
As I'm still trying to process and make sense of it all, and figure out what portion of my heart these children should now occupy, I find myself coming back to the idea that...still I will follow. God is leading us somewhere, is doing something. We've been sure of that for months now. The outcome will obviously be different than what we'd imagined...but it is the path God has us on.
I'm honestly not sure why God compelled us to pursue their adoption when it wouldn't end in adoption...why our story mingled with their story for a couple of months. Honestly, I have literally.no.clue. I do know that as sad as I am that I won't be their mother, I am infinitely more sad for them...because they need a family...need healing...need to know that they are treasures and valuable in God's sight. They are victims in a cruel, unjust world. Their story is horribly tragic. And it's probably not that uncommon of a story.
I received an encouraging email from a sweet friend this week. (I have some amazing friends, both in real life and in the blogosphere.) This woman had graciously and candidly shared her wisdom with me while we were making our decision to bring these children home. I emailed this past week to let her know that it wouldn't be happening, and her reply ended with this:
They are victims, but they are not without a Father.
What more is there to say? These words pierced my heart as I read them through teary eyes. God is there watching out for those kids. He loves them. He knows their fears and their wounds. He's been with them from the beginning. Yet why must they suffer? Why is their life so hard when mine's been so easy? Why has God broken my heart for them to the point of my wanting them to become my own children...when they wouldn't? What bothers me in all of it is NOT that my adoption plans didn't pan out...it's NOT about US in that sense.
I'm bothered for these children, for what they've been through, for what their future may hold.
They are victims.
But not without a Father.
And I'm holding tight to that tonight.