Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jude's quilt is done!


Article 5

Dear Adoptive Parent,
The Adopted Children's Immigrant Visa Unit (ACIVU) at U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou has finished processing your child's Article 5, and your file is ready to be returned to your adoption agency's facilitator.  

We thought that we had this 2 weeks ago... but, we didn't... but, now we do.. for real this time!  :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Q & A Time

I have started writing this a few times… and then deleted it because I was mad when I wrote it…and you could tell! We have been asked a lot of questions about our decision to adopt. Most of them are from people who are genuinely interested, which I LOVE! But, some have been harder to answer and some have been… well, just mean! I don’t expect everyone to share my passion… but, I was not prepared for the harsh criticism. I am a “people pleaser”, I crave approval, I don’t like confrontation…so, dealing with the “critics” has been hard for me. Probably harder than it should be. I’m writing this to answer some questions.. All of which I have been asked… from the nice to the not so nice.

* “Why did you decide to adopt?”
Because I have a heart for orphans and because I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mom.

* “Why Ch*na when there are kids here in the US that need homes?”
When we decided to adopt we asked God to lead us to our child. All options open. We inquired domestically and internationally. Some doors opened, while others closed. Eventually, we applied to the special needs program in Ch*na. This was not by chance. God lead us to Ch*na because our son is in Ch*na. So, “why Ch*na?”… because that is where our son is.

* “You already have 2 kids. Isn’t that enough?”
Hmmm… I’m still not even sure how to answer this one. I’ll just say this… there was a time that I thought our family was complete… but, God had different plans and I am SO THANKFUL for that!

* “The child could be mean, or sick!”
Yep… someone really did say this! Children don’t come with guarantees… ever! You do your best, you love them unconditionally, and you pray…a lot! I don’t go into this expecting all glitter and rainbows… being a parent is hard work!

* “How did you pay for the adoption?”
The cost of adoption was really scary for me…especially right now. When we applied, we had no idea how we were going to pay for it. God provided. As each bill arrived, the money was there to pay it. We cut back on things, borrowed from retirement, we had pleasant surprises in our paychecks, and did some fundraising. I struggled with the idea to fundraise. It’s hard to ask for help… but, I was so incredibly encouraged by our family, friends, and even strangers who wanted to help bring Jude home! I am so thankful!

* “What happened to Jude’s birth parents?”
We don’t know the details… but, we may find out more when we go to Ch*na. I really think that anything more that we learn will be kept private for Jude. For now, this is what I do know. The laws are very different in Ch*na. We don’t know the circumstances… but, we do know that his birth mother chose life for him. Facing harsh consequences, she chose to carry him, give birth to him, then wrap him up warmly and take him to a place where he would have a chance at life. My heart hurts for her. I can’t imagine what she has gone through. I wish I could thank her. I wish I could tell her how much I love Jude!

* “Where is Jude now?”
He is living in an orphanage with hundreds of other kids… most of which will not be adopted. Most of them will grow up in the orphanage and age out of the system alone. I am heartbroken. I’m hoping to spend some time in the orphanage while we’re there.. But, I hear that is unlikely.

* “Why do you keep researching this stuff when it is making you so sad?”
Closing my eyes to it doesn’t mean it stops happening… it just means that my comfort level is more important to me than doing something to make a difference. It can be overwhelming, and consuming, and I know that I will never be able to do “enough”.. but, I don’t want that to stop me from doing something.

* “Oh wow… you guys are so great!”
No.. we’re not. This makes me even more uncomfortable than the mean questions! This journey has made me even more aware of all of my flaws and my weakness. It has also made me much more aware of God’s power, His love, and His faithfulness. I have gained far more from this than I could ever give. God is great!

* “Jude is such a lucky boy!”
I know that everyone who has said this is expressing their joy that Jude is coming home to his forever family. I know it is meant in the nicest way possible… I just have a different perspective. Jude has suffered so much loss in his short life. He lost his birth parents and has spent the majority of his life alone in a crib in a cold orphanage. By this age, other kids have bonded, learned to trust, been cuddled and loved on… Jude will have to learn this now at almost 2 years. We are about to turn his world upside down. He will have a dad and a mom, a brother and a sister, a home, a dog… his world will be better… but, how do we explain that to him? He will know in time… but, for now he will be experiencing even more loss… the loss of the only life that he has ever known. If anyone is lucky here, it’s me… I get to be a mom to another beautiful little miracle.