Before we left for our vacation, I wanted to write this post but never found the time. After reading my dear friend's blog over the last 2 weeks as she spent day after day caring for orphans, I want to share my thoughts and encourage you to visit her blog. To be fair, I first must warn you. It is hard stuff to read. It is sad and disturbing. I want you to read it, and I want the Lord to break your heart for the orphan just as He broke mine in 2007.
Amy and I travelled together to adopt her Lulu and our Leiney Grace in January 2012. We have become lifelong friends, and I am so thankful that God placed us together in Changsha, Hunan as we welcomed our daughters into their forever families. Amy and I share the same passion for the orphan, yet we know we can not keep adding to our families through adoption. Our hearts want to yet perhaps our husbands do not or the funds aren't there or the list goes on and on. Yet our hearts remain broken. We want to be His hands and feet for the orphan. Amy did just that over these last 2 weeks. Amy spent day after day serving orphans at Chenzhou Social Welfare Institute. To be brutally honest, I am terrified to even think about doing what Amy has just done. I am scared to go to China to serve in an orphanage. I truly do not know if I have the inner strength. I have obvioulsy done hard things, (bringing Dawson home alone currently ranks right at the top of the list!), but I just don't know if I could ever do it! My heart is already broken - how can it possibly stand to witness all of that hoplessness and despair knowing I can not fix it? Of course, I don't have to go. It's my choice, right? Not really. I think He will send me - eventually.
|Amy with her family and me as we prepared to meet our new daughters last January in Changsha, Hunan and then at the end of our trip with our precious girls.|
Dawson and I have been home for 6 weeks. We are finding a new normal now, and I am no longer in survival mode on a daily basis. I am forgetting "the labor pains" of adoption. For me "forgetting" also means that I am starting to allow myself to remember. I am remembering that there are millions more children waiting to be adopted. Children living in orphanges with minimal care, minimal access to medical care, and minimal education. Children like my precious son whom I just brought home. Now a beloved son who likely would have been a beggar on the streets of China had he not been adopted. I am forgetting how hard adoption is - the paperwork, the money, the stress, the preparation for the trip, THE TRIP, bonding and attachment difficulties, and the reentry into life. As life gets easier post-adoption, I remember that my work for the orphan is not done. I want to forget the overwhelming needs of the millions of orphans that really do exist in our world today - right this very minute! Oh, how I wish I could simply forget. Forever. It is so. very. painful to know. Yet at the same time, I know that He who broke my heart for the orphan will never let me forget. Not as long as there are orphans. There is simply too much work to be done and too few willing workers to be His hands and feet to the orphan - to serve in an orphange, adopt orphans, give money to orphan relief, spread the word about the orphan crisis, advocate for the waiting children, and the list goes on and on. Although I would love to live the rest of my life refusing to "remember" and thinking my work for the orphan is complete, I have realized I can not. As long as I have breath, my broken heart for the orphan will exist, and I will seek His will in how I can best serve "the least of these".
|Amy's Lulu and our Leiney Grace at a reunioun at our house to celebrate a year of the girls being home with us|
It is well worth your time! Please take some time to read about the reality of life in an orphange, see the images of the children who are living in an orphange right now, and then pray about how the Lord can use you! I pray your life will never be the same.