Friday, December 28, 2012

Russian Adoption Ban...

You may have already heard. The president of russia signed today. Americans are now banned from adopting from russia. This greatly saddens my heart, having been to russia twice in my lifetime, both times visiting orphans in the orphanages there. I wonder if those making this law have ever stepped foot in one of their dismal, cold orphanages with crumbling walls, little heat, little electricity and water? I wonder if they are aware of the abuse at the hands of local drunken men these children are enduring? I wonder if they really know what goes on inside these "detsky doms"?

Their eyes...they haunt me. The loneliness, the brokenness, and the emptiness is something I am not accustomed to seeing here in this country. They are hungry, cold, and many lacking just basic love and nurturing. So many with attachment and other mental issues now, due to the lack of love, nurture and positive parental guidance.

Russia changed me, 12 years ago when I was there. I fell in love with this country, it's people, and especially, it's children. My heart broke into a million pieces as I witnessed...touched...experienced the great need and the plight of the orphan there. I was horrified, sadened and compelled to do something. The orphanage I stayed at for two weeks was in the back woods of a small town. These kids were the cast aways, I guess, the difficult ones, the challenging, some of the most damaged by all the unfortunate events of their young little lives. It was rough, and hard to see how they lived out each day. They didn't go to school. They survived. Life was all about survival, and surviving at the hands of sexual predators in the village became thier norm.

One thing I know is that if this ban holds, and it not soon overturned, we cannot lose hope. Our God is bigger than any government, and if Americans are meant to adopt from there again, it will re-open. When we adopted from there in 2001, things went smoothly, fees were minimal, and it was quick and easy. In the last few years it has been an incredibly strict and difficult process. I know some children have suffered at the hands of their american parents. I do not discount that, but I also know that most have lived a life full of love and acceptance, and now have a future. I understand that kids from russia can be very difficult, ours was, as he came out of that very place I speak of, and the damage was far more than anything we could treat on our own, or even with professionals involved. Although our son was not a disruption, I do understand when parents have to make that difficult decision, and in many cases it turns out to be for the best. I know many are alcohol affected, and damaged before birth, but they still need love. They deserve a chance to be chosen, and loved in a family of their own.  I know other countries may still get to adopt, however, I read that a ban on all international adoption from there is in the works.

Another thing I know is this...if kids are not allowed to be adopted from there, they can still be loved and supported from here. Let me give you an example. When we went on our first mission trip to russian orphanages, we had a pastor from Florida on our team with us. When he returned home he simply told his church that there is a need and they adopted two orphanages. They go on approx. 2-3 trips a year to these orphanages to provide, love, supplies, food and nurturing to these children. There were also some teenagers on our mission trip who had already been there before, and they had sort of "adopted" certain children that they would check up on every time they visited. There are many organizations and ministries that work with the orphans of russia, and we can still "visit them in their distress".  Hopefully these options will still be ways in which we can be hands on showing the love of Jesus these children so desperately need.

In the meantime, let's all keep praying, and hoping the russian orphans will be safe, loved and find families as soon as possible.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Are you compelled?

Just had to do a blog post on this date 12-12-12!!! There will not be another triple number date like this until Jan. 1, 3001!!!

I need to update this blog but with six kids have found that very hard these days. I will give an update regarding baby Riah. He is now 18 mos. old! He is doing a lot better, however, he is still a very intense child! He is attaching better, and talking up a storm! He seems to be on track developmentally. And...he will more than likely end up being a permanent member of our family. Despite all that we have tried to help him get placed with his bio. brother and great aunt and uncle, we have been told this is not going to be a possibility. It seems so odd, since the brother is doing great there, is well loved, and thriving, and these relatives are heartbroken because they want him so much.. God must have had another plan...and when I think back to the fact that the Lord had a put a little african american baby on my heart right before he came to us, I know God's hand is in was me that tried to mess with it!  Yes, a month or so before baby Riah came I had thought about looking into a possible domestic adoption of an african american child. I "knew" there was not a possibility of fostering to adopt an african american child in my area, because there are very few black people that live here! So you can imagine my surprise when I went to pick up this baby boy 14 months ago, and was handed this little chocolatey bundle! I was shocked, but immediately felt the Lord's hand in this as the Lord (and my husband) were the only two that knew my heart in this matter!

God is the one who sees and knows, so although it seems to make sense in my mind why He should be with his relatives, the Lord knows much more than I and there was abviously a reason he was sent here instead of there. Isn't it amazing that the Lord can send you the desire of your heart even before you present your requests to Him? I had not really intentionally prayed about this yet, and I definately was not yet thinking of taking another foster child at that time either!  That is how much the Lord knows us! He knows everything, from every hair on our head to every thought that passes through our minds. And, sometimes these things come to pass even before we can get the words out in prayer. That is why our thought life is so important. It is like a prayer to God. Everything we think, act, do, pray is all known by the one who knows us best. Our thought life can be prayer and praise to the Lord every day. We should always be thinking, "Is this pleasing to the Lord"?  I can think of so many other times the Lord has answered unspoken prayers in such specific ways all because He knows me and cares, and wants what is best for me. I wish that every christian and those that don't yet know the Lord could know this type of relationship with God. Once you see God working in your life this way, you are convinced that God is real, and God continues to reveal himself in your life all the time. So many people I know have not experienced that true presence of God, and I so wish that for everyone. The presence of the holy spirit is something that cannot be explained. I think you have to experience it. I have had so many amazing encounters with God, and following Him is the greatest desire of my heart. It is a challenge with six kids because my flesh is constantly driving me to act differently, and thankfully I have the Lord to guide me or I would be totally lost, and these kids, the precious ones He has entrusted to me...I have no idea where they would be! I am so thankful for Jesus. In fact, I am going through one of the hardest trials of my life right now, and although my tears flow, my hope is in Jesus, and I can find Joy even in the midst of extreme hardship and being completely misunderstood! I know my God will deliver me!!!

Sometimes blogging is good. It is good to share a testimony, share how the Lord is working in the lives of people who are caring for the fatherless. I would not trade this life for another. I have had the beautiful oppotunity in the last couple weeks to witness two new precious children join the families of friends of mine. They are two of the most adorable little girls I have ever seen. My heart is so full just thinking of it!  I wish I had more room. I wish I had more time. There are so many little ones in need just in my little area of the country right now. I would love to welcome more, but the truth is, my arms are full. My two youngest children are both very very intense and needy little ones that need a lot of one on one attention. I am stretched...and because of that I am going to continue to stretch and reach out to others the best way I know how to assist others in opening their homes to babies and orphans in need. I can't stop. The need is too great...I thank the Lord that he has placed this passion within me, because it is one that I can't ignore, and I will continue to be disturbed by thoughts and images of children cold and alone, broken and abused and if that doesn't compell me to keep fighting for them, nothing will. My prayer is that it will compell you as well....and God will take it from there.