So many that know me have heard me say, "Adoption will mess you up!" And
everyone that knows me, knows that I mean that in an absolutely good way. I think if I ever write a book about our adoption story, that's what I'll call it: Adoption Will Mess You Up. Will you buy it?
So yeah....I am SO messed up in a big fat wonderful way. Wes has watched me go through these last 9 months (that's about when we started this whole process), and with each month, he sees me cry more and more. Even if you take away how freakin' hard this adoption process is, with all the paperwork, waiting, home studies, waiting, fingerprinting, waiting, wishing....did I mention waiting???....well, yeah, even if you take away all that, you are still left with this big, ginormous, overwhelmingly huge awakening in your heart for orphans, and pretty much everything that surrounds them, and well....you can't help but cry. I think people have started to think twice about clicking on any link that I post on facebook, because 99% of the time, it will make your eyes go bonkers with tears, and not everyone wants to cry every day. But for me it feels....so.....good. I feel alive. It is not the kind of crying that makes you depressed or causes you to lose hope. Not at all. The tears I have shed over this past year are tears of revelation. They are tears of a new recognition of a piece of God's heart. And up until a few days ago, my heart and my tears were purely for the orphans who are being joined with forever families, and are orphans no more. My tears have been for those families who have longed to be joined with these children without even knowing their names or faces. Well, a new little piece to this adoption tapestry has been woven into my heart and understanding.
A friend of mind recently loaned me the book, There Is No Me Without You.
It is the true story of an Ethiopian woman who lost her family. She was so depressed and lost without them that she was about to go into seclusion, when a local church asked her to take in a young girl who had no one. And from there began her new story. She began to take in one orphan after another. She loved and loved and loved. And as Wes and I were driving to a friend's house the other day, I was reading this book. For the first time I was blown away by the stories of the parents of these children...the parents who were dying of AIDS or other fatal diseases....parents who loved their children dearly, but knew the only chance their children would have at life was to go and live with this amazing woman. And from out of nowhere, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I started sobbing, and Wes looked over at me and asked me what was wrong. Once I was able to contain myself enough to speak intelligible words, I told him that I was so ashamed. I was ashamed of myself for all the times I have been walking through the streets of Ghana, India, Nepal....all the times I saw these adults begging for money or for food, and I felt nothing. I even judged without knowing their stories. Yes, there are people all over the world that may just be pulling the wool over your eyes, but there are SO many more who have real needs. And for the first time I thought of the biological parents of our future children. I thought of how difficult it will be to give their precious babies to strangers....how difficult it will be to say good bye. Many of these parents are loving individuals who adore their children, but because of health or economic status, can no longer care for them.
Please don't misunderstand me. I am not sitting her wallowing in guilt and shame because of my past complacency. Rather, I feel even more alive. Once again, God is revealing His heart to me, and He is making one itty bitty teeny part of my heart a little more like His. That is amazing to me.
On our own adoption story, there is not much to tell right now. We are waiting, waiting, and waiting. Our agency gives us no indication of where we are in line compared to anyone else, nor do they tell us how many families are adopting from Ethiopia through them, so we literally have NO clue when a referral might come. We are literally in the dark now. Some days are so very hard. Everything feels so heavy. But many days ( i like to think more often than not), I feel filled with hope and excitement at what is to come. When I had my little cry fest, Wes looked at me and said, "God might just have a little more for us in Ethiopia than our children." Yeah....He just might. :) So who knows what will happen next.
I had a dream a couple of days ago that our agency called us with a referral for 10 month old twins: A girl named Charlotte (who knows why?), and a boy named Jember (actually an Ethiopian name, meaning sunset). It was awesome, and I woke up with my heart racing with excitement. In passing, I laughingly mentioned the dream to our agency's program coordinator. She said that pretty much never happens, and made it evident that it was not likely to happen for us either (in a very nice way, of course). But who knows?! I will be happy with ANY referral! Let it come soon!