Today was a day filled with kindness and sorrow, with joy and pain. This morning we were up early (as you can tell from my previous post) and were off to Sokolok, the orphanage that Toktogul has resided at for the last year of his life. It is a specialized orphanage where he was receiving spech therapy along with several other children with cleft lip/palate. On the drive Saule and I had such a nice visit, and we both admitted to one another that we felt more like friends than client and coordinator, that we each felt instantly comfortable with one another. She is a beautiful woman with a wonderful heart and spirit. If we lived nearer one another we could easily be fast friends, and I will work at keeping this friendship alive.
We arrived at Sokolok and Tokie was obviously excited to be there. We were met immediately upon entering the building by the Director, and what a warm and open woman she was. We felt very free to ask questions of one another, to learn about Toktogul, American foster care, why we would like "black" children (as she called our asian sons), and what the orphange was like. There was no worry about offending one another in translation, just an understanding that certain things might come out wrong when interpreted but nothing offensive was meant. I truly enjoyed the couple of hours spent in conversation with her, and couldhave easily spent more time there chatting with her and Saule.
While we were visiting, two of Toktogul's best friends came in, Turat and Askar. Both are 8 years old, although Askar is barely taller than Joshua. Askar was mentioned on a post on my blog awhile ago which I removed. I had seen him on a couple of web sites before. Askar is hard to miss as he has a large tumor growing in the upper part of one side of his face. He has the most expressive eyes, and is a very tender little boy who is intelligent and kind. Turat has a repaired cleft and he too I had seen before in older photos I was lucky enough to get of Toktogul. Both bhoys are availabvle for adoption. As I sat in that room on those too small children's school chairs watching 5 little Kazakh and Kyrgyz boys, I asked myself a question...
Why? Why are these dear sweet little boys overlooked by everyone? Why have they never known a mother and father's love? Why does God allow this to happen? Why does their gender and race make them less adoptable, why does their facial deformity and age automatically relegate them to unconsiderable status? As I asked how old Askar was and was told he was 8, the Director said he was so small because he had no one to love him, that he needed love to grow in all ways.
Why? Why can't someone look at our boys and see that maybe, just maybe, they aren't all so bad and they should take a chance. I saw in each of these boys a wonderful son for someone, and believe me, if I were wealthier I would head home and start paperwork tomorrow. These boys are like Toktogul, totally adoptable and adaptable in every way and yet warehoused where no one can see their light, their hope.
And once again, I was in tears...this is so hard...to see children, to hold them and hug them and see their shy little smiles knowing they are hoping against hope that they too can one day have a family. It is hard to have seen photos of a child like Turat as he grew from an infant to a boy, seeing him in the background of photosof your own child knowing that he will remain behind. As I put Toktogul to bed tonight, as I kiss him good night with his big grin, I will see Askar and Turat in my mind and I am sure I will have a hard time sleeping tonight. Why can't an older set of parents look at these 8 year old boys and say "Hey, I have ten years to give..." or why can't a younger couple say "I am willing to do it...they deserve me as much as any other child...".
I found myself thinking of them over and over, realizing I will never forget them and wondering what in the world I could possibly do to help them. I could raise money for Askar's surgery to remove the tumor, which we have already committed to do...but after the surgery, what next? He still goes back to the dreary confines of an orphanage, to a desolate life filled with yearning for love, yearning to be special to someone. I took photos of both boys and will put them on my fridge, and if it give me a little stab in the heart each day, so be it...it is nothing compared to the loss and pain they must feel each and every day of their lives. I will hold them up in prayer and in my heart, and trust that God has a plan that I don't know about and that He is carrying them. I will never, ever forget them.
We then spent the afternoon visiting with Wendy and her family, one of the missionaries we carried items over for. We had lunch with them yesterday and our sons connected and really enjoyed each other so she invited us over for the afternoon to visit, do laundry, and just share some time together. What a wonderful family this is, the kids are innocent and wholesome, and were so pleasant to be around. We stopped by the school that their daughter attends, a private school here mainly for missionary children and it was wonderful. We enjoyed seeing it. Then we were invited to another family's home for dinner where we also met a woman who had visited Toktogul for a year in his orphanage at Belovodske and learned she had prayerfully considered adopting Toktogul as a single mom. She is a kind Kyrgyz woman whose English was fairly good, and she explained that Tokotgul's one dream had been to have a mommy and a daddy, that he had told her that more than once. She said that she ultimately decided not to adopt him because she felt God was telling her He had a family in mind for him with a mommy and a daddy, and she said that when she learned of us and our decision to adopt Toktogul she was not at all surprised, as she had already felt it in her heart. When we all took a photo together before we left, she had a hard time holding back her own tears.
And thus ended our day. We had not a single power struggle with Toktogul today, nothing at all out of the norm for a typical 8 year old boy. He was funny, engaging, and feeling more and more like he is truly ours each and every day. He and we were around several people who had cared about him and his future.
And yet, here I am, thinking about two more little boys who need exactly what Toktogul is getting. And wondering...why?