In usual LaJoy fashion, we picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off, and as Dominick so aptly put it “tomorrow is a new day”, and it was. Not necessarily one filled with a lot of hope as we didn’t learn yet about any children available for adoption here as the woman at the Ministry of Education had a big project she was working on which had to be completed before the holiday tomorrow, but she is working on pulling a couple of referrals together for us and did explore one sibling group of 2 girls only to learn that a grandmother has been faithfully visiting them weekly so that precludes them from consideration. It is so nice to hear of at least one sibling group who has not been warehoused and forgotten…whose extended family has made great efforts to be with them as they can. When I asked Angela and Olesya about any other family they had they said they had other grandparents, aunts and uncles in Petropavlovsk who had never once come to see them in 6 years. How sad it is when children are cast aside as if they were so much garbage…and look at what it leads to. We are going to visit a sibling group of boys tomorrow possibly, ages 5 and 7, but already feel from descriptions that this will not be a good fit for us. However, we will respect the process and meet whatever children are presented to us knowing God works in very, very strange ways (You can say THAT again!) and you never know how we might be led to another child or children to adopt.
We made it clear today we could accept many different issues and were fairly wide open to children with cleft, limb differences, spinal conditions, vision and hearing problems, and other minor correctible issues. We do not feel prepared to handle ongoing daily medical needs nor developmental delays beyond typical orphanage delays as we experienced (and continue to experience) with Kenny. We are open to gender and ages from 5-11ish and sibling groups. We do not feel we can go back to the baby or toddler stage, or maybe I should say we don’t WANT to go back to that stage at our ages and with our family the way it is now. The diaper genie is gone, the urge is gone too :-)
The need for special needs parents is a big one, as was evidenced to me by photos sent to us from our friend Tami Snowden who is a child advocate for children at risk. She sent photos of two infants in Kaz who have cleft and facial deformities. One is a precious little girl who is truly facing an uphill battle with severe facial clefting, and if we were wealthy we would take her in a minute…but we are blessed with Kenny’s care at Shriners and can’t take on such an enormous medical challenge, especially where we live.
But how I wish we could. With better medical insurance you can bet we would be first in line.
Today was a down day…in many ways. Down because we had nothing to do but wait for the wheels to be put in motion, and down because we are of course in mourning of a sort which many can not understand. It is not a death, but it feels like it. It is not a miscarriage because again…with adoption…people view it differently regardless of how it feels to you. Of course, other adoptive parents understand it and many have been in our shoes in one form or another, but making such choices and sort of causing the “miscarriage” is a terrible place to be in. As I walked alone this afternoon I saw the tips of the feathers of a bird who was obviously buried beneath the filthy, trodden snow and I thought to myself “That is the best picture I could ever use to describe how I feel right now.”…life walking around me and on top of me, and no one really noticing the death that has occurred.
We sit here wondering if the wait will bring about anything at all, or if we are just wasting time and money. But we also know that leaving without opening all doors would leave us forever wondering what might have been missed due to laziness or lack of heart. So disheartened as we may be, confused and conflicted as we may be, we will wait until we have had a look behind Curtains #3, 4 and 5 and see if we can play “Let’s Make a Deal”. Perhaps you can tell from my sarcasm how distasteful all of this is to us.
As we sit here in a foreign land feeling so far away from all that is familiar, God still reaches out to us, God’s presence is felt so firmly and we are so grateful. Your comments and emails have sustained us in a way I never would have anticipated. But one of the things we have to give thanks for the most is a truly remarkable family in the Oborn’s. Their support here has been tremendous, and having them here has been a God Send quite literally. We have prayed for one another, played around together, had someone to talk with and commiserate with. We may have someone to celebrate with or someone to miss us when we leave if we leave early with no children. They have offered to watch the boys for us as we deal with some difficult issues…and with the tiny apartment they have, adding three more bodies is not easy and a testament to the goodness of their hearts. We can never repay their kindness, and will always fondly remember our times together chatting at the Pizza House as our international contingent of Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Canadian and American kids played together.
We miss home and the love of our friends, but somehow this feels like home in some strange way as well. We have sort of settled in, but the hardest part is not knowing what is going on from day to day. We have yet to put up Christmas decorations as we may end up home for Christmas after all, not by our choice. We are buying groceries day by day as we don’t want to stock up until we know if we are remaining here for awhile or not. We are, again, living in limbo and learning we have become pretty good at it. But I am hoping for clarity soon, if only so we can either empty the fridge or by enough Diet Coke to last a week. Well…OK…maybe they don’t have that much around here :-)
We have so many people supporting us, and we couldn’t manage without our crew at the Jetway Café. We received a touching and reassuring email today that all was well and we could do what we needed to do here without worrying about things back home. We are so grateful to Jeannie, Sierra, Corinne, Dennis and Tim…all of you have been with us so long and are our family, we love you and will never forget this.
We continue to hope and pray, almost hourly I find myself asking what in the world is going on here and why this has happened. I am trying not to take it personally and be the “grown up”, but at moments I want to bury my head and hide. We have joked about our “Siberian Vacation” as we try to lighten the mood, we play round of Rummikub and cards, do our daily shopping and school work, wash and hang the laundry to dry, wash our 5 forks and glasses over and over again, and we pray. We pray together, we give group hugs, we do emotional “check in’s”, we explain, we pray some more.
And we wait on God.
What else can we do?