Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Full circle

Back in late February when I first saw Sam's picture and we started our adoption journey, I would never have dreamed the twists and turns that would happen. In case you haven't been following along, here's the Reader's Digest Condensed Version:

I found Sam's picture and information on a friend's FB post. After a week or two of scrambling to find a home study agency that could work with us on such short notice, we committed to Sam. Duncan soon had a family committed to him. Then the first twist, which you can read about here Details on Duncan. So now we were committed to both boys! We were overjoyed to be adding two precious sons, and began preparations. A room was remodeled, we began to look at adaptions that would need to made to the house to accommodate Duncan's CP issues, fundraising, and working on our homestudy and dossier. Every conversation revolved around the boys. Not just about the adopting process, but things like "here's a soccer camp for Sam he may like", "I can't wait to take them camping", "I wonder how they will like living out in the country". We began studying Russian, which is not easy, since you have to learn a whole new alphabet! I did lots of reading on issues they would have and adjustments they would be making, to help them make the transition as easy as possible. We were so excited for the opportunities they would have. 

But then we had the worst news possible. Sam's birthday was coming up, and our homestudy still wasn't finished. Tears and Prayers We had to make the unbelievably tough decision to back away from the adoption, to make sure we didn't cause them to lose their last chance to be free. I could not have lived with myself if that happened. We knew there were other families that were waiting to step in, so that helped trememdously. Soon we got to "meet" their new families online. The Daughtons for Duncan and The Stokes family for Sam. Both incredibly nice families, and I could see the boys fitting in so well with both of them! We prayed constantly for them and followed their journey.

As you may know, the Stokes family went over and Sam decided not to come to the U.S. after being misled by others at his orphanage. The rumors that were fed to him are crazy, but very prevalent there. We were all devastated of course, as we had no clue that might happen. Then the Daughtons went, and Duncan also said no.  Again, everyone was heartbroken. 

We could say that's the end of the story, but that's not true. There have been so many blessings for us along this journey. I have made new friends that I truly love. I've been able to follow so many stories of seeing orphans, once abandoned and forgotten, come in families where they have flourished and grown. I've seen and hugged some of these precious kids, not once forgetting that if not for the families who have sacrificed so much for them, they would still be lost to the world.

Here are some kids who are changing the world, through adoption:

Keith was adopted from one of the worst orphanages in Eastern Europe. He was basically being starved to death. The picture on the left is him at 5 years old, and he weighed 12 lbs. Yes, 12 lbs! One month after being home with his family, look at him!! Look at those chubby cheeks, those fat little arms! His family's blog is one you need to read. There are so many children still in that orphanage that need OUT. They need families to see the potential these kids have, and are willing to answer God's call and DO something. Not because you need another child in your family, but because this child needs a family. Look what a family did for Keith!

Another family, one I have gotten to know and love, is the Rhodes family. Here is one of their two new sons, Vaylo. (Hope you don't mind me stealing a pic Mandy!) He's a very snuggly sweetheart who just melts in your arms when you hold him. I could sit all day and snuggle him! Their story is also incredible. They are headed back to Eastern Europe to rescue Samuel's best friend, and they have some really cool fundraisers going on. Check out their blog and see if you can help them on their journey.

The Pickett family is also very dear to my heart. They are in the process of adopting a son and a daughter from EE, and I can't wait to have their daughter in our Girl Scout troop! She will be an inspiration to all the girls, I know. You can click above to their link on Reece's Rainbow, or click here for their blog. They could also use some financial support in their journey.

A lot of people don't understand why adoption advocates are always wanting others to help out financially. They don't understand, and say things like "if you can't afford to adopt them, you shouldn't do it", or "why should I help pay to get your kid here". Well, for the first comment, "if you can't afford to pay for it", let's think for a second. Did you have cash up front for your house? Your new car? Your boat? Your tv that you put on a credit card? Adoption is very expensive, ranging from $17,000-$40,000+. I don't know anyone who has that kind of money lying around. But why ask others to help? Because God said to. Ok, not exactly. But, He told us to help orphans and widows. Read James 1:27. Not everyone can adopt themselves. That's ok. Some have reluctant husbands. Some don't qualify for the requirements. For whatever reason, some just can't do it. But that doesn't let you off the hook. Your church may send part of the offering to a children's home. Yes, that's helping. But where's the personal sacrifice in that? And what is it doing? It's keeping the children's home going, sure. But God adopted us, he didn't leave us as orphans. Don't you think He would rather we do the same? We can help a child go from being an orphan, to being a son, or a daughter. Which way do you think makes the most impact on that child's life?

And one more family. Of course I can't do a post about adopting families and NOT mention my favorite kids, the Rogers! Jessa and Caleb, formerly known as Bernadette and Mason, Lord willing, arrive home in the United States in about 48 hours! When the call first went out about Jessa, a 15 year old girl with Down Syndrome who would be sent to a mental institution if she didn't find a home, and FAST, the adoption world rallied around her. Her family found her, her fund shot up like a rocket, and now she is Jessica Dorothy Rogers, with 10 siblings!! Her world is getting ready to explode with color and fun and love, and the world will be changed forever. Because Erika and Mel said yes, we will be her parents. We can be what she needs.

What can you do?

I guess the title "Full Circle" is a misnomer. This leg of my journey may be completed, as far as Sam and Duncan go, but I can't wait to see what's next. Once your eyes are opened to special needs (the biggest need being that these children need families) you can't turn away. And I won't!

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