This post is a two part account of the season we are currently facing with our adoption – a hers and his double feature, sharing the facts and feelings of our current progress within our adoption journey. Thank you for taking the time to step into our journey.
Hers – Our Season from Charlotte’s Heart
Dear friends, we call on you for your prayers. We have come to a very challenging stage of this adoption. We have been informed that the oldest of our sibling group is unsure about the adoption. We know that he is fond of us, but he is wrestling with his decision to leave Ukraine. This is heartbreaking, as our hearts are broken for this precious one who has to be responsible for such a major life decision. His one decision affects not only him but his three siblings. What a weight of pressure – yes, he is being offered a family and a home, but in a new country apart from all that is familiar for a life so marked from change and uncertainty. His parents made the life choices that placed him as an orphan but now this sweet boy has to make the decision to stay where he is familiar or abandon his land to come to a new family and new country. I am so broken for this sweet boy who for so many years has had to be daddy and mommy to his siblings – how I long to free him to just be a teenager. We love him so much.
We are also heartbroken for ourselves. What if he says no? What if he says yes now, but changes his mind in court? What will come of our adoption?
We have a few options. Sweet boy says yes, and we continue on as planned – please Jesus, let this be the case.
Sweet boy could say yes now and change his mind while we are in Ukraine … we do not really know what we will do in this case. There are other children that we met in the June and August group at Bridges of Faith. It is possible for us to pursue them while we are in Ukraine, assuming they are eligible for adoption right away. We have met some incredible children and our family would be blessed to call any one of them our own.
Sweet boy could tell us he is not ready to join our family. *long pause* Reading that back to myself … it feels too hard to imagine. This precious sibling group is who God used to spark this journey from the very beginning, we have grown to care so deeply for them – to imagine them choosing to stay as orphans – we are just so broken for them. If this is God’s design, then we have a few options. Again, we can look at pursuing others in the other groups we have met, we can wait and see who we meet in the December group of children coming to Bridges of Faith, or we can simply complete our process and select children from files when we get to Ukraine (as this is the usual process when adopting from Ukraine).
We have been rather discouraged by all of this. I suppose we had assumptions that this would be a fairly easy process like rescuing people from a burning building – we never really understood that these children would refuse our rescue. We trust that this is all in God’s will. A crisis can either serve to destroy or serve as an opportunity for growth. We choose to see this situation as an opportunity to understand and share the challenges that can come with adoption. We choose to see this possible loss as a path to the exact children God wants to place in our family. This has always been His journey, so we welcome anyone He desires to add to us.
We are also experiencing frustration with our adoption process regarding paperwork. We are experiencing delays due to loss of records that is out of our control and we are at the mercy of organizations who do not seem to share our urgency. This is completely normal from what I see from others going through their adoption journey. It is frustrating because we have been trying to get certain documents for months and now are on our third attempt to settle this part of the process, which is now delaying everything for at least two weeks.
My friends, we ask for your prayers. We know that God is going to provide our financial needs – though we always appreciate donations as the cost is immense – but your prayers, they are everything. There is a major battle going on for our minds – an attempt from the enemy to make us doubt this calling, to discourage our journey, and to break our hearts from the joy that is our in the Lord. We ask you to pray that God’s favor be poured upon every step and turn in this journey and that God would grant us the endurance and peace to stay the course.
His – Our Season from Daniel’s Heart
Transparency….is revealing. To be transparent right now at this current phase in our adoption story is difficult to provide and humbling. Nevertheless here it is, me being transparent.
As I think of the adoption story thus far the following enters my mind; Frustration, aggravation, questions, doubt, and fear. Trust me, it is as shocking to write as it probably is to read! And yes, I am aware of all the “Christian-ese” comments and phrases that are supposed to sustain me through this period, but let’s all be honest…in times of struggle those phrases rarely provide comfort.
I am frustrated. I am frustrated with this ridiculous process that seems to encourage children remaining orphans rather than getting them into families. I am frustrated that we are working with a social system that places little value on their orphans, yet wants to tell the world they have the problem under control.
I am aggravated that we have so many willing families ready to open their homes and hearts to orphans, to be stalled or even stopped because of the “process.” I am aggravated that I can’t seem to take one step forward without taking two steps back like some ridiculous looking waltz. I am aggravated at the lack of care within our country to address the problem which lay before us. I am aggravated at the lack of financial and social support provided to those in our community willing to adopt; I am speaking to “the Church” here. We have a population of willing individuals ready had they only the support to make them able.
I have questions. Questions for God who put this on our heart, or did he? Questions such as “are we really supposed to adopt” and “are we supposed to adopt these specific kids” or “are we supposed to adopt from Ukraine?” I have questions for myself such as “am I pursuing this adoption simply because I said we would;” “am I being stubborn” or “am I missing the voice of God?”
Doubt…is here. Are we doing the right thing? Can we handle this? Why haven’t I seen the confirmation from God about the path we are on? We question if this is the right move and wonder why it is so difficult. Is this the path we are to follow and the struggle we are supposed to break through; or are these collective issues a “sign” that God does not want us to continue this path, and if so what path are we supposed to follow? It is true that Paul survived a ship wreck and endured beatings for the mission of God, but he also was restrained by the Spirit from moving to all the places he wanted to. I have doubts that I am clearly hearing the voice of God.
Fear – Is this going to break us and our family? Am I making a wrong choice? Am I wasting money? Can we recover from this if it does not work out? Is the region safe and if so for how long? What effects of sin are the kids bringing into our family and how can we educate and protect our kids and the new kids at the same time from the consequences of the “sins of the fathers?”
So that’s all encouraging right? The truth is that I believe many enduring the adoption process would admit similar thoughts. So we are not alone. The truth of the matter is that there is a painful and traumatic story that surrounds every orphan; there is a reason that they were violently torn away from their family unit. Thus it is expected that there will be equal pain and trauma to retrieve them into a family unit. The destruction is there and must be faced. The process, though frustrating just … is. I know the devil is the master of doubt and fear and maneuvers most effectively in our minds like a terrorist.
In my season of frustration, aggravation, questions, doubt, and fear what can I stand on? I know Christ, and I know him crucified. That’s my answer. I too was an orphan; and I too became an orphan in a painful manner surrounded by sin and brokenness. That destruction had to be addressed, and it was addressed by Christ who met me where I was and struggled, suffered, bled, and died. He lifted me out of the muck and mire. It was no simple feat he accomplished to provide my freedom. He did all of that not knowing if I would accept his gift. He loved me still, even before I was his, and he bought my freedom before I knew it was even offered. So how does this help me in my fear and doubt? Because I know that Christ understands. I know the Lord’s universal will is that all his children help the destitute and needy, and I know he has blessed us with possessions, wealth, and a strong marriage and children so that we can be a blessing to others. Not so we can show up and “look” like a strong family at church on Sunday, but so that we too can sacrifice and pay a price to meet these orphans where they are; to address the destruction in their life. I know that Christ understands. I know his heart’s desire for us as a “Church” and I know that my family and I “can do something.”
So I know the testimony of Christ; I understand his heart and universal will for the church (James 1:27); I know what he has given to us; and I know what I can do; therefore I mustn’t wait for trumpets ion heaven to announce the will of God for my life. We will do what we can do knowing Christ has promised to equip and provide for what he has asked us to do. In truth, we have to trust this simply because we are told too, especially when we don’t want to. The exercising of our faith is inherently painful. The sad truth is that it has been so long since I had my faith rigorously exercised that I forgot how difficult it was. Praise the Lord he cares about me enough to develop me, even when I don’t want it.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.