Where are the “Adults”?

Psalm 72:4

He will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; he will crush the oppressor.

On the 2lst, the IAC and the MOJ suggested to our facilitator in EE that we chose another child, a healthier child, and closer to Cara’s age, to have added to our adoption. They said they understood we did not want to raise Cara as an only child, and would be willing to approve a healthier child. We asked to add a 4 year old little girl with no special needs other than normal institutional delays to our adoption. We were again denied. Now it is personal. This has nothing (and we’ve learned never did have anything) to do with our age, and everything to do with a show of power. We appealed to their sense of compassion  for a little girl who desperately needs a family, and they have now determined we are nothing but trouble, nothing but a huge boil on their butts, and to show us, they will not allow us to adopt another child. It is a sad, sad situation when adults act like the children they are supposed to be protecting.  A group of adults who sit and determine which of these children can have a family, which ones cannot. A group of adults who play God, deciding which children can live and which ones can die. A group of adults who can decide that they don’t like you anymore, because you don’t play by their rules,  and since they brought all the toys to to the table to play with, they have the power to take them all and go home, slamming the door behind them. A group of adults who would rather see children die, before they will allow them to be adopted into homes where they will thrive, and by thriving, embarrass them.  A group of adults who would hide the children with special needs so there can be no embarrassment, and they can all save face. Adults. Adults with power. Adults without compassion. Adults in charge of children, who are unconcerned with the best interest of those children. Adults who still think the world revolves around them and think only of themselves. Adults who have absolutely no business making decisions that affect so many abandoned children.

Once upon a time there were several children living in a very bad orphanage in an Eastern European country. I’m not naming the country, because this is happening all over the world. Children with disabilities are unacceptable; a stigma to society. They are to be hidden, and ignored. If we don’t see them, they don’t exist. They are confined to steel cages like animals, and treated like animals, fed once or twice a day, diaper changed once a day, and ignored the rest of the day. The opinion of the caregivers is that these children don’t really see, feel, experience pain, joy or suffer in any way. Sort of like “the light is on, but no one is home” mentality. They honestly believe this. So these children are hidden. On the upper floor where no one ever goes. No one is allowed up there to see the disgrace, the freaks of nature, those that should never have been born.

But one day, Jesus says “Enough!” and sends his angels down to crack open a door, and a child’s information is sent out to the adults that determine if this child can be adopted. She slips through the cracks, and an American family snatches her up! Near death, this angel arrives in the U.S. and receives healthy, nourishing food, and an overabundance of LOVE! And she starts to smile. And she eats, and she loses that gray, near death pallor, and starts to grow, physically and emotionally. And the adults back in Eastern Europe, those adults that allowed this child to slip through the cracks and escape her upper floor prison, are horrified! They are embarrassed! They don’t feel the joy and excitement that people here are feeling at the miracle this child is! She is not only alive, but she laughs and she smiles, and she loves, and is loved! How can this be? This child was nothing! How can she be something? And instead of saying, “Open the doors! There is life in these children! Find them loving families! Give them a chance! Let them bring glory to the God that created them, and bless their new families with their lives!” No, there was no joy. There was no excitement. Instead there was fear. Fear of being wrong about how worthless these children were. Fear of how “they” would look in the eyes of the world. Fear of losing face. They did not open the doors far enough. Yes, a few more of these children were given the opportunity to be released from their iron barred prisons, but not enough. And only in that very bad orphanage. Many other children were hidden again. Children from other orphanages. Children who were as yet unknown. Children who should be allowed families were hidden away. Several families asked for them and were denied. We were one of those families. Our paperwork arrived two weeks after the information about “the little girl who lived”. And the adults said “We can’t let this happen again. We cannot let a child from another orphanage slip through the cracks. If the same thing happens, we will again be embarrassed. We must hide her/them! We can open the crack in the door of the very bad orphanage a little bit wider,  because we can pretend we didn’t know what was happening. We can turn this into a huge plus for us, and we’ll  look like heros for  letting more children out. Look at us! We found out how bad this was, but we’re making it better!” Yet, at the same time, hiding many other children so there won’t be further embarrassment.

In another orphanage, far away from the very bad orphanage, lives another little girl. She has special needs the “adults” have determined are too severe to allow her to be adopted. Because she isn’t in the very bad orphanage, no one has to know she exists. She can literally be hidden. She lays in her crib, alone. If she is taken from her crib, she is left in a stroller, behind a door, facing a blank wall, alone (true witnessed story!). She is 2 1/2 years old, and deemed worthless by the adults who care for her. She is damaged goods. She has no value. She doesn’t feel anything, so she can be parked in a stroller behind her bedroom door, facing a blank wall. When she smiles at someone offering her a little kindness, those “adults” say it is nothing but an auto-response. It means nothing because she cannot feel pain, or experience joy. She is just an empty body.  Yes, these are the adults who determine whether she has enough value to deserve a family. Yes, those wonderful, loving, compassionate adults who are more concerned about saving face, not allowing children to be adopted from other orphanages because they might somehow embarrass them. Children that may thrive, and grow, and smile, and walk and talk and prove that the “adults” were wrong. NO! We cannot be wrong! Hide them! Sweep them under the rug where they can never prove that we were wrong.

I bring this injustice to your attention because it is our duty as Christians, and everyone’s duty as human beings, to stop this from continuing! Not everyone is called to adopt, but everyone single one of us can help!!

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27

By doing nothing, we are no better then the adults sitting in power in Eastern Europe, playing God with children’s lives. It’s time to learn about these children and do everything we can to advocate to save them. We can no longer sit by and ignore what is happening.  Help someone with adoption expenses if you can. Get the word out to your friends and family as to what is happening to these children. Raise money to help better their lives! Do not allow another child to spend their days in a crib, or sitting in a stroller facing a blank wall.

I know this little girl has a family out there somewhere. We’ve tried desperately to bring her home to our family. In my heart she is my daughter, and we are heartbroken that she won’t be coming home to the family that wants her! That wants to love her and see her grow. I will talk about her to everyone I know until someone comes forward to be her family. Please share her story and contact me if you find them! With God, all things are possible. I am continuing our fight for this beautiful little girl, and know God can move mountains. Please pray for us and with us. We ask for prayers to win the battle. Either the battle to bring her home, or the battle to find her a family in time. We just ask for you to pray for God’s will to be done and a family to be found.

I didn’t get that memo

The news from Eastern Europe was not good. Our facilitator there and the IAC went at it again over Irina, and allowing her to be adopted by older parents. We learned a few things from their interchange. The Minister is really not child-friendly, and is more concerned about the their pride then about the children. Sad, but seems to be true. There is a bigger push to hide the children with special needs, and refer much healthier children than some people request. Many people are interested in adopting children with specific special needs, and those requests aren’t always honored. Maybe they already have a child with Down’s Syndrome and want to adopt another child with DS. Many times those requests are being ignored. The Minister feels Irina’s special needs are quite severe. I’m not sure where that information is coming from. American doctors feel Irina has a chance at a good life IF someone gets her out of there in time. No one truly knows what her needs are because no one has ever held her, picked her up, talked to her, or interacted with her. I doubt she acts much older than a 3 month old baby since she’s been left in an iron crib for 2 1/2 years now. There was hope the ministry would add her after this past meeting, but it just seems to get uglier. I don’t know what God has planned for Irina. I wish I knew. I hope He is as incensed as I am over the minister’s remark, “People over 50 are incapable of playing with a child.” I guess I never got that memo…

Tick tock…

The countdown begins. We may have news about Irina as early as Wednesday morning. I ask those of you who pray to please continue to do so. Our family and this beautiful little girl who is literally wasting away in an orphanage in Eastern Europe, really need all the prayers we can get. I know God is listening! 🙂

*And they lived Faithfully every after…

Every now and then you come across something that speaks to you in ways you never dreamed. I received this email today from the website “Empowered to Connect.” These words really spoke to me today and I hope they speak to you…

…And They Lived Faithfully Ever After

His Master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant…” Matthew 25:21 (NIV)
Everyone loves a story with a happy ending It’s the stuff that best-selling books and box office hits are made of. Happy endings lift our spirits and inspire us to dream. They get us started, keep us going, and give us reason to believe.
When families adopt they too dream of living out a story with a happy ending. And well they should. After all, adoption is full of joys and blessings, and for many these experiences are the hallmarks of the journey itself.
But there’s just one problem when it comes to our enchantment with happy endings – they don’t always happen. Not in life and certainly not in adoption. Happy endings are far from guaranteed, no matter how much we pray or believe. Even if God has called you to the adoption journey, none of us are promised a fairy tale ending. And far from being a letdown or a depressing thought, this reality can, if we allow it, re-focus our hearts and minds on how God desires the story that He is writing with our lives to unfold.
As we turn the pages of our story with each new day, we discover that the story is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, unexpected lows and unimaginable highs. We quickly come to realize that it is not so much what happens to us that creates the meaning in our story, but what God is doing in and through us. And what He, not us, accomplishes ultimately determines how our story ends.
No matter where we are along the adoption journey we must remember that God’s call, God’s provision, and God’s blessing is not defined by or even reflected in our circumstances. Instead, He has called us to be faithful…and to live in the hope that is able to do so much more than we could ever ask or imagine, according to His power at work in us…until one day we stand face to face and hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Surely that will be the happiest ending of all.
Lord, help me remember Your unending faithfulness and guide me by Your Spirit to respond faithfully in each and every moment as I travel this journey You have called me to. Amen.

*Adapted from …And They Lived Faithfully Ever After: Devotionals for Adoptive & Foster Families, due out by December 2012 from Empowered To Connect.

High Anxiety

This past week has been incredibly hard. The Ministry of Justice comes back to work tomorrow, our Labor Day holiday. They will discover their decision to deny us Irina is being challenged in court. My stomach is in knots, and my hands have been shaking. I have prayed so hard over the past 5 weeks that there is no doubt that God knows that we want to add this precious child to our adoption. My prayer is for God to soften the hearts of the MOJ and they quietly add Irina to our adoption without forcing us to go to court. Like Katie Musser, Irina has been left in her crib since she arrived at the orphanage. She does not have downs syndrome, but no one knows what her potential is. Little Katie suffered in her crib for 9 1/2 years. I would like to get Irina home before she spends another day in her crib. Unlike Katie, she will most likely be transferred to an adult mental institution at age 4 where she will most likely die within her first year of being there. All we ask for is prayers for us and this little girl. She deserves so much more.