Moving right along with our adoption. One major thing I have noticed with this adoption is the lack of support this time around. When we were adopting Eli, everyone was so excited for us. I think bc it was new and people thought we were great for helping this kid (not our thoughts, but comments we would get from others). I guess, foolishly, I thought we would have the same excitement this time around. I was warned by my friends who have adopted more than once not to get my hopes up, but I was sure they were wrong. Unfortunately, they were right. With a few exceptions, it has been a very different experience this time.
Another friend of mine just posted that she had a family member who actually said she was concerned that by adopting they would be taking things, like brand name clothes, away from their other children. REally? First, we don't buy our children brand name clothes anyway, but why can't others, outside of the adoption world, SEE that things don't matter. Should we leave our girls in orphanages, to whither away, so that I can give Thomas and Gwen THINGS? Do I want to raise children who would value toys over a person?
Is it okay for me to choose jewelry over rescuing these children? Some would say we have done our part. We adopted once already. Aren't we done yet? Hasn't the novelty worn off? How will we know when we are done? I would say right now that even after bringing the girls home we may not be done forever. How do you stare at pleading eyes, eyes that scream, hold me, love me, please, and say no, I need this THING more. I can't stare in those pleading eyes, and say, your life isn't worth it to me.
This is a ten YEAR old girl. Look closely at this picture. Notice how tiny she is? Notice the shaved head? Notice how she is tied hand and foot to a crib? She is tied so she can't get out of the crib and explore. She is tied so the caregivers don't have to deal with her. She is tied so she can be ignored, left year after year, not to grow and be loved, but to remain, to exist, to only exist. Is my life worth more than hers? Is it my place to decide her worth? I don't think so. This could be my Lillie or my Jocelyn in a few years. Jocelyn is already VERY small, 15 pounds or so at 6. Should I have left her?
This is a 13 year old boy. His hands are tied together to prevent him from hurting himself. I might hurt myself too if I was left in a crib and ignored all day, just to break up the monotony. I see you sweet boy, I see you.
I wish I could tell everyone who has doubts, or fears for us, or thinks we are crazy, how my heart will never be the same after leaving Eli's orphanage (which was truly doing a very nice job). I wish I could make them see the joy Eli brings us. I wish I could make them understand, that even on the hard days, the days I end up exhausted and worn, that I would never choose to go back to my old life. I wish their hearts would break just a little for these children, who have no one to rub their thin bodies and give them comfort. Who have no one to kiss them and love them and help them learn and explore. I wish I could explain the absolute joy I feel when I look at Eli, when he calls MAMA impatiently, when he holds his sisters hand in the car, when he comes to me and asks me to take him somewhere.
Everyone has worth and value. We will continue to value and love those we are entrusted with, and be open to anymore who may be brought our way.