International adoption is in the news again. I am sure most of you have read about this story. This on the heels of the death of Lydia Schatz (a little girl who died at the hands of her adoptive parents) is very distressing for us all. I am so thankful this mother did not harm this child physically, but still what was done to him is wrong and harmful.
****Edited to add-I have friends who have found themselves in the hard situation of having to disrupt their adoptions. This is not a judgment on disruption. There is a difference in making a plan for a child you are unable to parent and what happened in this situation.
We look to each other and ask how and why this could happen? What went so horribly wrong?
The adoption process is not an easy one. It takes a considerable investment of time, effort, emotion, and money. There are many hoops to jump through and many obstacles to overcome.
These parents wanted to parent these children. They actively sought them and I would hazard a guess... spent many days and nights dreaming of the day they would be home. How then could they have reached the point that they did?
I truly don't have an answer. As I went to sleep last night I was praying for the little boy who was sent back to Russia and the Holy Spirit prompted my heart to pray for the adoptive Mom too...honestly, at first I resisted. I didn't want to..but she needs prayer too. It is very hard for me not to be angry with her. I have many questions ..and I will leave it at that.. Much will be discussed about her and about this boy and about adoptive families.
Sadly, those in process to adopt from Russia (like those who were adopting from Liberia) will suffer. Doors will close. The process will become harder. Children without families will sit in orphanages.
What can we as an adoptive community do?
1. We can pray. We need to pray for children and families that God will surround them with wisdom and grace.
2. We must reach out to each other. Our children who come to us through adoption are many times children who have experienced great hurts and wounds. It can be different parenting them than our biological children. Please, don't misread what I am saying. I didn't say we love them any less or they are less than.. it is different parenting when children have been hurt. There are times when we have to dig deeper and longer into our spiritual and emotional reserves. It takes time to mesh into a family and to truly know one another and work together. It can take years.
This is where we adoptive parents need each other. We all need a "moving buddy" if you will. We are all on this journey together and there are going to be times when we are tired. We need someone who has been there or is there to talk to. We need someone to let us know we are moving in the right direction even when it feels like we are stuck. Or someone to tell us that it is o.k. to be stuck. We need someone to cheer the victories that others may not understand (I can remember when one of our sons came home he used to gorge on food or anything he could eat. It was such a happy day when I realized I could turn my back and he wouldn't be shoving Play-doh or dog biscuits in his mouth. It's not a victory most Moms in my Sunday School Class could relate to, but I was blessed with friends whose children had been there and who understood how great this was for him.)
As adoptive parents we have a great resource in each other. We can storm the gates of heaven together for our children and for each other. We can encourage and help one another. We may not all parent the same or follow the same parenting philosophy but that is o.k. God is leading us all to parent our children in their uniqueness and individuality. None of us are experts and none of us have all of the answers but we can give you a word of encouragement.
So please, if you are struggling and need a kind word or prayer reach out and let someone know. There are many wonderful families who would love to talk with and pray for you or who may need you to pray for them.
By yourself you're unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn't easily snapped. Ecclesiastes 4:12~ (The Message)
-Has everyone picked a moving buddy? Woody (from Toy Story)