Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Even After 16 Months

Dima has been home with us for a little over 16 months now.  It was this time two years ago that Eric and I were scrapping together money to commit to our son.  It was this time last year that Dima was really just beginning to come into his own within the inner workings of our family.  And now, today, he is at school learning to read, write, add, make good choices, and he rides the school bus like a rock star.  So much has changed for that precious little boy.  Then my mind wanders back to a place where time seems to stand still for little people.  A place where there is not much hope or happiness.  A place where many children, especially those like Dima, do not stand much of a chance at a life like Dima now has.

The orphanage.  Dima's former residence.  The place where time seems to stand still.

Yesterday afternoon I found Dima's Signing Time DVDs and he was so happy.  I seriously think that Dima thinks that Rachel, Alex, and Leah are his real friends.  That and I suspect that he has a little crush on Rachel.  Anyway, Dima was happily singing, signing, and dancing along to a song and I stood in the kitchen watching him through the window (Dima was in our enclosed Florida room watching on the old school big screen).  I suddenly focused in on the lyrics of the song.  It hit me.  Those over whelming emotions.  The deep seeded sobs that seem to come up without warning.  The memories of the little faces who called out to me every day, twice a day, for 3 weeks, "Mama!  Mama!".  Oh the pain in my heart...

Family.  Love.  Security.  All feelings that Dima has experienced in the past 16 months.

The little faces.  While it appears that these children are happy and having fun (and I am sure that to a certain degree they were having fun) they did not get to go home at the end of the day to mom and dad.  They were wearing clothing that was too small, playing on playground equipment that was in disrepair, and did not have the opportunity to attend school.  Some of these children had teeth rotting right out of their mouths.  The one little boy, Vlad, has been there for more than a few years.  He was there three years ago when a lovely Italian family was at Dima's orphanage to adopt their little one.  As far as I know, Vlad is still there.  My heart aches for that little boy.

It is sometimes surprising to me that even after 16 months I can still be caught off guard by such overwhelming emotions.  When I first returned home with Dima I would cry off and on every day for about six or seven months.  I was in no way depressed or upset with our adoption as it brought so much joy to my life.  It was the overwhelming sense of leaving little ones behind who I knew would never have a chance if not adopted.  There was one little girl in particular that had captured my heart and Eric's heart who I would have stuffed in a suitcase and smuggled home if I could have (of course I would not have broken the law, I am merely using a metaphor of how I felt towards these children). I came to learn, however, that this particular little girl was eventually adopted by a Ukrainian family and I was so thrilled for her.  She gets to remain in her home country and have a loving family.

But what about the others?

Adoption has so many facets that I think often times perspective adoptive parents are caught off guard.  As a family climbs the mountain of paper work and jumps through the hoops, they forget to prepare their hearts and minds for what they will actually experience and see.  While I was in Kremenchuk doing the visits and paper work I was focused on getting Dima out and home.  Of course it was emotionally draining every day seeing so many little ones needing love and attention, but while one is in it, there is almost a mental fog.  That and I would think to myself, "I'll see them again tomorrow."  Well, tomorrow has come and gone by over a year.  My heart and mind are haunted.

To be perfectly honest I am not certain what the point of this blog entry is, but I do know that people need to know about the plight of orphans.  People need to understand that it IS our problem.  Fellow Christians I challenge you to seek the Lord on this.  Find out what He wants you to do about it.  Eric and I sought the Lord and we ended up with a wonderful blessing.  Not every family is called to adopt.  But there is always some way that you can help.  Maybe I am merely here to say that I am grateful that my heart and mind remain haunted by little faces.  That is how the Lord allows my heart to break for what breaks His heart.  Maybe I am here to haunt your heart and mind with little faces, too.  Until the Lord calls me back into the adoption trenches I will continue to advocate.  Dima is living proof of the blessing of adoption and redemption.  

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