Moved to action by a simple little picture.
I had seen the little one when he was listed before. Thought he was cute and moved on. A family committed and discovered he had an older brother, and were determined to keep them together. So they leapt for both of the boys, fighting to get their files together. Unfortunately, after they had first trip they were unable to continue with the boys adoption.
Thomas has been after us to adopt more "brothers", and we always kinda laughed and said some day. Then our agency listed the boys again. And my heart caught. I saw my sons. I saw my son's brothers. I begged for videos from our agency and watched them over and over and over. I sent them to Jared and pleaded with him to just watch and think about it. He wasn't sure he was ready. I understood but my heart wouldn't let go. I waited for the "no" I was sure would come from Jared. Much to my surprise, Jared's heart was also moved. He said yes. He knew they were his sons too.
I was scared to be honest. Not of bringing more children into our homes. That I knew we could handle. Scared of the reaction we would get. So I debated. Should we not tell anyone? Should we be an anonymous family? In the end, after some gentle encouragement from the hubby, we went public. We've gotten all kinds of reactions. We are either crazy people or amazing depending on who we talk too. Truthfully, we are neither. Not saints or nuts. We get frustrated and yell too. We have great days and awful days. Just a normal family.
The difference? We have seen the children who don't have families. We have had children literally scale our bodies and beg, beg us to be their mama and papa. I don't think I will ever be the same after our first trip when we adopted Eli. His orphanage was a nice place. There were still issues of course. But the nicest place can't replace a family.
One little girl in particular would come up to me and ever so sweetly kiss my hand, b/c she saw me kiss Eli's hand the first day we met him. She was so silent, so patient. She would wait until I wasn't paying attention and then I would feel the softest little mouth on my hand, gently kissing. Oh how I wept when I left her. I was so afraid of what would happen to her when she was transferred. She was so gentle. So quiet. I knew what that could mean. Thankfully she is being brought home now by someone who has turned into a dear friend, but that transfer? It wasn't good for her. She didn't fare well, just as a I feared. I don't think I will breathe easy until she in in her mama's arms forever, which thankfully will be soon! She is one of the lucky ones. Even with a bad transfer, she is still being rescued. She will have a mama and papa to help her heal. Most of the kids? They won't ever get their happily ever after.
Most people don't want older kids. Especially older children who are disabled. And older, disabled boys? Well they are the least wanted of all. Our boys are 8 and 6. Disabled, health issues, cognitive issues, medical issues. People aren't beating down the door to adopt kids like this. But I remember. I remember the "older" kids in Eli's orphanage. The ones who still had hope. The ones who begged to be held, or just climbed up us b/c they knew we wouldn't say no. They knew we were "soft", unlike the nannies who didn't have time to sit and cuddle b/c they had so many children to care for. They knew we would have a kind word and a gentle touch. Amazing how they didn't need to speak our language to understand love.
And love them we did. I whispered love in so many ears that 10 days we spent in his orphanage. Over and over again. How I loved them. How I prayed my whispered words would help them hold on a little longer. I prayed for families to come for each of them. To see their worth too. I won't know what happened to most of them. I won't be able to follow their stories b/c most of them have been transferred at this point. I can only remember them. I won't forget them. They had meaning to me.
So we aren't afraid of adopting "older" children. I won't be afraid of what people think of our family anymore either. Love us or hate us. It's all ok. We are doing what we think is right. We will claim these two as our beloved sons too, and we will rejoice with those who rejoice with us. Hopefully others will come alongside and cheer, but it's okay if they won't either. We will follow along on our little path, with our not so little family cartwheeling behind us.
It all happens for a reason. If the first family hadn't committed to both of the boys, then our older son might have been separated and transferred at this point. B/c they are together still, our adoption process will be a little smoother (hopefully).
So, here we are. Leaping again. Joyfully rushing towards our new children. Our new sons. Won't you rejoice with us? With them? For them?