Friday, May 14, 2010

Hope deferred

I know I haven't blogged in forever. And how's that for a blogpost title? :) I like to think of myself as an advocate of adoption, but I would also like to believe that I am an honest person, and if I'm being honest, then yes. Adoption is hard.

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 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'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.


Allie said...

I'm sorry for you and for those children, but I love that sentence you ended with. Something I need to drill into my heart as well. We had a similar (although we were not as far along in the paperwork by any means) situation and though we don't understand what happened either, we take comfort in the fact that "our" kids do now have a forever family. I'll pray for these two to find that as well.

Rachel said...

I'm so sorry... just the other night Aubrey was talking about her new cousin that "didn't grow in aunt Brianna's tummy" and how she shared a Birthday with her. (We were talking about all the Birthday's in our family in the different months).

Sometimes God just asks us to obey. Think of Abraham taking Isaac up that long hill, wrestiling with God about the agonizing decision God had asked him to make. His obedience was the true sacrifice, and through Abraham we are all heirs to the throne!

Our Father has a plan in all of this and I pray that you will hear the rest of the story someday, and that it will be a great blessing in these girls lives because you couldn't adopt them. Perhaps they are called to do great things in Ethiopia?

Praying for you all, and sending our love!

Ginger said...

Its so hard when you have a heart for older waiting children, but families with younger kids like yours & mine aren't always the best place for them. Hopefully the right family will be led to that sibling group very soon...I know you'll be led to the children that are meant to be in your family. Do you get the AAI In Process email updates? There were four different waiting kids mentioned (2 babies & 2 preschoolers) with some medical special needs that are waiting...Erin H. has their files.

The Fearnsides said...

Oh Brianna, I am so sorry. Keith and I had a similar experience with a waiting child in Russia. I had paper work all ready to begin the process and Keith had us stop. I spent many nights crying (and sometimes yelling) out to God asking him why he would have burdened me with this little girl. Why I had to love her so much when she wasn't meant to be part of our family?
Then I remembered that His ways are not my ways. If nothing else, it was my priviledge to pray for her and to trust that the Father had a family better equipped to care for her. I still pray for her when I think about it.
This was not you misunderstanding God. This was part of his perfect plan for your family and for the waiting children. Think of all the prayer that He is now receiving on behalf of these kids through you, your blog and your church family.]
Big hugs! It is hard. I will be praying for all of you and for these precious children.


Sugar Plum Invitations said...

Hi B- I can honestly say that when things fall apart, I am left to only run back to the sovereignty of Christ. He burdens us with children to love and when we can't bring them home, He grieves with us. I don't know why He allows it, but in his abundant mercy, the Lord gives and He takes away... and I struggle to say "blessed be the name of the Lord." Those are easy words to say, but difficult to live out. It's so frustrating, depressing, and down right maddening!! I love you so and send my biggest hug to you and K!!! b

Kristen Borland said...

i'm so sorry, brianna. and i'm so, so sorry for them. i have no idea why we were led to go through the adoption process with amanda when God knew she would die before we could bring her home. i don't know His whole purpose for that, although i do see some of it. just keep following God and His leading.

Lizzard said...

I am so sorry that your heart is breaking. This life journey can be such a hard one for so many (especially the beautiful and innocent children). And it is so hard to understand why we are led to certain times/places/people and things don't work out as we think that they should. However, we can't pretend to even start to understand why God leads us where He does... and really, I don't think that it is our place to be analyzing the will of God. Instead, know in your heard that things work out as they should (somehow). You will find the child(ren) who are meant to be in your family and they will find you. [And the ones who aren't going to be your children will remain in your hearts and encourage you to continue to advocate for those who need a voice and don't have one!].
Take care, Liz.

Haley Ballast said...

Thanks for sharing this... We just went through a very similar experience and it is good to know we're not alone. We're in a similar place of not understanding why we've been headed one direction for several months only to find a dead end... or what FEELS like a dead end in our hearts; in our heads we know it is only a hairpin turn in the long road. And it is a GOOD road, but yes - a hard one. Amen.

Mommy Laity said...

Oh dearest Brianna. =( My heart breaks too. I will be praying with you for those beautiful children that they will find family. Love you.

Charla Liedahl said...

I am sorry for your loss, Brianna. Sometimes it's such a roller coaster ride to trust in God when His plan doesn't seem to make sense. Take heart in the fact that He has wonderful things in store for you all.

Emily said...

I can't tell you how I needed to hear these words this morning. We are foster parents and we have two children in our care now that could either be here forever or leave in the morning. They are victims, but they are not without a Father. We will remain obedient to the call to care for the orphan - no matter what. No matter what.

Thank you for sharing your story, as God writes it. He knows what He's doing. And sometimes, I've found, He calls me in a direction, merely to test my loyalty to Him. The question was whether I WOULD go. Then it's up to Him to decide if I should. You went. He closed the door. Rest in His sovereignty and know your obedience in going will be blessed.


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