This is where my heart is today.
It is where my heart is often. My heart is with the children we left behind. The faces of the children longing for hope....longing to belong....longing to finally be chosen....they are forever etched in my heart.
While in China adopting Stori and Anchor, we were able to visit both of their orphanages. We brought some snacks and toys and spent some time loving on the children.
Before visiting the orphanage, we learned of Stori's friend who had recently aged out. We had the privilege of meeting this incredible girl when we went to visit the orphanage. I cannot tell you the heartache I felt the moment I had to walk away from her. That moment was the single hardest moment of the entire adoption trip, and I could not hold back the tears any longer. This incredible girl was filled with so much potential. If she were here in this country, I could envision her going to school, and one day to college. I can envision her happily married with children of her own. But, that will never be her reality in her country. She is forever without hope at the young age of 14, and I cannot help but feel that we somehow let her down, not just individually, but as a whole. If I had only known. But, the fact is, her face represents the countless children who are running out of hope every single day, and I am having a really hard time understanding it.
Did you know that in Stori's orphanage full of children, there were only FOUR children listed for adoption? Our daughter was one of those four, and she waited YEARS to finally be chosen. We got there the month before she aged out. Of those four, our daughter's friend aged out with no one ever coming for her. Of those four, the other two are still waiting, every day becoming one day closer to a lifetime without hope. Out of that entire orphanage, there were only four listed, and it isn't because the other children aren't orphans or wouldn't be available for adoption. It is because they know WE AREN'T COMING!!! Preparing adoption paperwork costs the orphanage money....money they don't often have. And when no one is coming for the children they have already prepared paperwork for, then why would they spend more on listing the others? Did you hear that? Only one of the four has found a family, while all of the other children don't even have the hope of being seen. WHY? WHY aren't we coming??!
In Anchor's orphanage, only ONE child is currently listed, and so far, no one is coming for him. The director BEGGED me to find him a family near us. They told this little boy that I was going to help him find a family, but so far, I am failing. He thinks he will one day leave the orphanage with his family, just like his friend, Anchor, but every day, he is one step closer to losing hope.
The children you see listed for adoption in China are just a tiny, tiny fraction of the children who are waiting for a family. They represent just a tiny fraction of the orphan crisis world wide. I dream of the day when families are lined up waiting and ready to adopt children as they become available. I dream of the day when we show it by our actions that ALL children are wanted. I dream of the day when "pro-life" in the church also means "pro-adoption".
This was not the first time I had visited an orphanage. Nor was it the first time my heart has been broken by the children I have had to leave behind, but this time felt different. This time, there was no masking my pain. This time the tears flowed as I knew that many of these children would never know what it meant to belong. This time broke my heart to the very core. This time I left even more determined that we weren't doing enough. This time I left knowing that we had to do more. They very lives and future depends on us doing more!
Every single one of these waiting orphans are God's children. If we say that we follow God, then are we not His hands and feet to the world? We are His only physical presence here on this earth. He desperately wants to rescue His children, but He is waiting on US, friends! If WE aren't being His hands and feet, then who is? If WE aren't willing, then who will be? He is waiting for us to bring these children into our homes and show them His hope and His love. What are we waiting for?
No, adopting a child may not change the world, but for that child, their whole world will change.
Stori and Anchor have been home now for a little over 3 months, and the changes in both of them have been absolutely amazing! They were just waiting for someone to show them love....show them hope....and show them they belong. This is their happily ever after.
Millions of children across the world tonight in orphanages and foster homes are still waiting for their happily ever after.
Will YOU be a part of their happy ending?
TO BE CONTINUED