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.
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