Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Why we have to go -- halfway across the world.

1 Timothy 6:18
Command them to do good,
to be rich in good deeds,
and to be generous and willing to share.

Frequently, we are asked if we have considered adopting from the United States, where presumably it will not cost us so much money for travel and adoption fees and where we are told there are a lot of children who need homes. I am certain that all who ask mean well, are curious about our reasons and are trying to offer us options that are helpful. I look it as an opportunity to educate people about the world of international adoption and about the millions of orphans all over the world who need good homes and how God has called our family to do this thing.

Yes, we considered domestic adoption. We tried that back in 2005. We had was is termed a "Failed Placement" -- fancy words for the fact that a birth mother changed her mind after placing her daughter with us and in our home for a week. It broke all three of our hearts. This was only after having her for a week. Imagine the heartbreak and pain of the children who are removed from their adoptive families after a much longer time because of a technicality or because the birth mom was not honest about who the birth father was and he wants his child. We are just not willing to subject ourselves to that again without direct calling from God. And He has not called us there again.

When people ask us why we chose international adoption, I explain to them that there are 143 million orphans in the world -- not counting the US. The US does not have the same type of orphan problem the rest of the world has -- no where near it. Yes, there are thousands of children in the foster care system and I will not cheapen their plight or discount their stories in any way by saying international orphans have it "worse". I think all children have the right to a family to love them.

I have an "online friend" that I met on the Yahoo Kyrgyzstan Adoption group. He and his family are missionaries who are in Kyrgyzstan right now. He works a lot with the orphanages there. Go to this site. Read several of the last entries. Look at the photos -- see the faces. It will move you beyond words. It moved me to tears. I was literally stilled by the photo of the children in the window. The verse from the Bible that says, "What you do for the least of these, you do for Me" immediately came to me.

The stories and photos from this blog will hopefully explain to you why we HAVE to go, why we have to save at least one, why God has called us to go there, why I would bring home more than one if there were a way.


Several things from this site stood out to me:

1. Children NEVER having seen or eaten a BANANA, an APPLE or a SANDWICH.
2. THREE YEAR OLD street children
3. "The kitchen consisted of a hot plate on the floor." This is an orphanage for goodness sakes!

And finally, this story of a girl from one of the orphanages. Be prepared. I wasn't. I'm certain John will not mind me sharing. It is on his blog.

The first day we arrived at the Orlovka orphanage 3 years ago, we met an incredible young girl. She had faced more in the previous six months then anyone should face in a life time. Three months earlier, she had turned 13. Her alcoholic father decided that she could be his new wife, so he tied her and her 4 siblings to a tree and made them watch as he proceeded to try to cut their mothers head off with an axe. Fortunately the neighbours heard the commotion and were able to save them..... Afraid that the father would just get released , the mother decided to kill the kids then herself...Once again just in the nick of time, plans were foiled. The director of the orphanage arrived and offered to provide a safe place for this family. The kids would have a safe place and the mother could work in the kitchen there. This was great for about 6 weeks then the government came in and tried to evict them all from the abandoned building that was being used as an orphanage.. The building was not fit. There was no heat ,no food, no running water and intermittent hydro. We had only days to bring things up to standard.... As we got busy, Aypery was right there working along side of us. We quickly grew to love her . There is so much more to the relationship that we have developed with her . It was her desire to be a translator that inspired us to have Emma and Bekah give English lessons at the orphanage. I just received this email from Ed.

Hey, I thought you guys should know, to pray, that the girl at Orlovka who you know very well, Aypery, fell off a ladder just before the New Year, landed (tailbone first) on a cement windowsill, and cracked her spine. She's been laying on her back for a couple weeks already and I made a special trip there yesterday to pray with her. She cried while I was praying but I saw that her mood, overall, was fantastic for her situation and she was already getting better. She's an awesome girl and you could see "faith" in her eyes. She was already starting to lay on her side a bit. The doctors told her that she would have to lay in her bed for at least one month.

My heart is there and aches for those and countless other children who suffer the injustices of a sin-filled world. I was listening to the radio today on a Christian broadcast. I'm not sure who the preacher was but he said that God knows when someone's heart is tender and searching for Him and He will send someone to them. He doesn't desire that anyone be lost and He will call, equip and send someone to them. Imagine the joy of being the one God sends!


Hilary Marquis said...

I understand that calling...God said "GO!" and we did. I have seen the incredible blessings that He has given us because we listened. I have a beautiful daughter, and I also have a burning in my heart to continue to help the ones we left behind. Anyone that sees for themselves what these children are going through would never be able to turn away, or question those that would go. Keep you faith, and listen to what God would have you do.

imtina said...

I LOVE John! His work is truly amazing and when you go to Tokmok, they will all talk to you about John. I admire him so much.