Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

True Story

Right Here.

The same is true of "freezers." Some of us don't have bloody noses, but we have bloody and tired souls. The rest still applies.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Hello My Name Is....

Naive Oblivious Ignorant Clueless Heartless Idiot Child Stealer Complicit Guilty by Association ... And:

I've come to the conclusion that, yes, I am naive. Even now. Not was. Am. And I'm going to be OK with that. I refuse to live in a world where you can't believe the best about people. And if I live in a world where people are going to believe the worst about me, well, not much I can do about that.

Happy "Hello I'm a Loser" Day

(Because all you get is this crappy card and the heart shaped pancakes I made for the kids.)

We don't do gifts of flowers, jewelry, chocolate or dinner.
I probably won't even shave my legs. It is February, after all.
We don't go to bed at the same time.
We don't vacation in normal places at normal times.
But you know my love for a fabulous sunset.
And you bought me a second tour to see Aurora because once just wasn't enough.
We may not do it the way the world tells us we should, but it works.

(I might even shave my legs.)


Thursday, February 13, 2014

And then there was that day when the already shaky floor you were standing on dropped out from under you and the people you expected would prop you up began to throw stones of accusation.

The leaders of my (Ethiopian) adoption agency are in prison for bribery/forgery/corruption, what basically amounts to child trafficking.

As one woman aptly put it, "No one wakes up one day saying, 'I'll take the trafficked child, please.'"

People can be so self-righteous.
Have you never done something you regret that you started with the best of intentions?
How about we throw around compassion instead of condemnation?
I don't know about you, but when a person has been shaken to the core, I'm not sure that words like "special order children" and "oblivious" and "naive" do much to help.
Could we skip the "why didn't yous" and realize with us that the past is past. What's done is done. Can we look to how to restore the future without slinging around the past as if we live in a world with a time machine?

HOW was I supposed to know?! Call me naive, but the thought that buying and selling six-year-olds was even a thing never occurred to me. Babies, maybe. But you you BEEN to Ethiopia? Children swarm. We couldn't leave the compound without someone trying to give us a child. You wouldn't NEED to buy them.

People are scared. My friends are scared. We are looking at our children and asking ourselves is she one of them? And how do you know? And if you find out she was.....

What. Then?

I got four "praying" texts. An, "I don't know what to say...." email. A "I had a couple minutes and thought you could use a hug" friend on the porch.

But the majority of what I got was condemnation.

I'm angry. I'm hurt. I was mislead. I'm scared. I'm unsure. I don't need your negativity to add to that.

I didn't choose an agency. I found a child. I took the agency that had her. When you look at a photo and know, in your heart of hearts, that she is yours and the agency that has her is Hague accredited and the only thing you really know about international adoption is that Hague=good, not Hague=bad, why would you look further? Some of us that step out in faith have NOT been on the boards for a decade. Sometimes we just saw a photo and moved when our spirit said, "move." That does not make us naive, morons, oblivious, idiots, we are not child traffickers or hustlers, it is not our fault. It isn't. You, sitting there on your high horse that knew better. We saw a child and acted. A child who can't help where she came from or what led her to this moment in time or agency with which her mother left her. We are people who stepped out to do the right things for, hopefully, the right reasons....and some of us got burned. Many of us caught in this mess did not sign up with an agency and get a referral. We signed up for a child and got an agency.

I knew where to get a perfectly healthy newborn baby. The US has those in abundance. It just seemed a little greedy for me, who'd already had four of those to ask for more.

And for miss "special order," let me tell you about Special Ordering children. There's another place you can do that: domestic adoption. Newborn private. Newborn public. Newborn open adoption. Newborn closed adoption. The US Foster care system in general. It happens EVERY DAY. Go into any agency and say you want in and the first thing they do is hand you a four page checklist of what you will and will not take. So take your accusations and shove them up your nose. You can't tell me you didn't fill one out with your Completely Ethical Agency. Because you did and I know you did and YOU know you did. If you didn't, you haven't adopted and you have no legs to stand on while you are slinging around your hurtful words.

I'm disappointed in the international adoption community. The adoption community in general. I thought we were better than this.

Sadly, the people who need to read this, won't. But writing is my therapy and it needed to be done.

I'm scared.
I've hired an investigator.
We may never know.
And we may find out things we don't want to know.
And then we will have to make decisions we don't want to have to make.
And what we need is prayer. Lots of it.
If all else fails....If you can't think of anything nice to say, please, for the love of all that is holy,
SHUT UP.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Monday, December 16, 2013

What Dreams Are Made Of.

I had a dream last night that rocked me to my core.

We were leaving the church Christmas program and piling into our van like we do when a dirty little girl with uncombed hair wordlessly climbed in on my lap where she appeared to have no intentions of leaving. She didn't speak, just sat. Brent and I consulted and we came to the decision that we needed to find someone who knew where this child belonged.

Brent stayed in the van with the kids and I took the girl into the.....hospital? Orphanage? Projects? Colorless hallways where I did, finally, find an elderly woman who told me the girl's story. Her mother was dead and she was looking for another one. What about her father? He beat her. Where is child services? No one cares about these children.

Somehow I got up and faced this little girl. I prayed for her protection. I prayed she would find a mother. And I promised her I would not rest until she was safely cared for. She grew up before my eyes as she drew up, into herself, steeling her resolve and she told me, "Never you mind. There's more of me. There's always more of me."

I looked around and I was surrounded by dirty children and no adults save the one old, tired, grandma and I felt completely hopeless.

When I dream like this, detailed enough I can write it down, I generally ask, "Lord, what am I to do? She's right. You 'save' one and there are always ten more. Not only that, you look back and ask yourself if you did the right thing 'saving' one in the first place."

My husband, in his wisdom, reminded me that this is why we sponsor through organizations like World Vision. And sponsor some more. And encourage others to sponsor.

He's right. We need to keep children in families. And we need to give families the resources necessary to care for their children.

Please, for the love of all that is holy, come alongside me and help these kids.

Twelve years ago, we accidentally happened upon being one of the very first sponsors of a brand, spanking, new ADP (Area Development Program, I believe) and we were able to see, with our very own eyes, what World Vision does from beginning to (near) completion. It is truly amazing.

You have that opportunity now. World Vision is opening a brand new ADP in The Democratic Republic of Congo and you can get in on the ground level. All the kiddos on my page are in the same ADP. You can sponsor one and a friend of yours can sponsor another. And your grandmother can sponsor a third. And you can see synergy happen. You can talk about something more important than the weather. You can visit them together. Imagine....

We've done this before. Let's do it again. Help me help this little girl.
Be the change.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

For the Tired Mommies in the Thick of the Christmas Trauma

Go Again.

Because some of us need a daily reminder of why we can't just give up.