What happened? And does this affect other people who are adopting from the same country?
We were waiting for one last signature before our paperwork could officially be matched with Aida’s (our agency was hopeful that this would happen this month) when a governmental official in her country decided to send 20 children back to an orphanage in the region that they came from so that they could only be adopted there. Aida was one of these 20 children. This official considered this a “win” as he/she does not support international adoption. As of right now, we only know that this effects these 20 children and the families that were supposed to adopt them. International adoption is still considered open in her country.
Will you know what happens to Aida?
The very short and hard and honest answer is no.
Is this the end or will you still adopt?
As hard as it is to wrap our head around “moving on” right now we don't believe that this is the end. We still plan and hope to adopt. Our loss of Aida does not make our desire (or sense of calling) to adopt any less real.
At the moment we’re at the top of our agency’s list of families who haven’t already had a child referred to them. However, there aren’t any eligible kids in our agency’s care. It’s difficult for the agency to give us a timeframe, but if we were to stay with this program it looks like the best case scenario would be later this year, but more than likely it would be closer to another year.
There are still a lot of details and options and questions to this that we still have to figure out and sort through. Currently our plan is to stay with the agency that we know and trust and that we have grown to love and who has loved us and grieved with us through this process. But we are still praying through all of this.
Isn’t it better for her to be adopted by someone in her own culture anyway?
Mostly, yes. If there is someone in her own culture that can love her and provide for her then absolutely what a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, avenues of adoption in her country have already been pursued for Aida (twice) and so tragically, we fear that the chances of her being adopted are slim and the likelihood of her growing up in an orphanage our high. This is what grieves us the most.
How are we feeling?
Grief stricken, angry, cheated, lost, confused. Above all those emotions for ourselves, we are most deeply grieved by this loss for Aida and what it means for her future.
How can we best pray for her now?
From what we understand, it is most likely that Aida will be (or has already been) removed from her transition home this week. The nice, clean transition home with its wonderful staff (one particular caregiver that she is attached to) and small number of children is practically all she has ever known in her two years of life. We always dreaded how difficult it was going to be to take her away from there but we also knew that her leaving to have a forever family would be what’s best for her in the end. Our hearts are breaking, with the knowledge that she will now be removed from there and will not be going to a family that will do everything in their power to love her and help her through the transition and heartache. Please pray for her as this huge change happens for her. Please pray for a special orphanage worker that will love and care for her through this change. Please pray that God is already working out a plan for someone to step forward and love and provide for her and call her their own. Above all, pray that someone will share Jesus with her and that one day she will know and understand the peace and comfort and healing that only HE can provide.
How can you pray for us now?
Pray for healing. Pray for clarity as we make decisions as to where to go from here. Pray for Tucker and Libby whose hearts are so confused. Pray specifically for Tucker who is old enough to understand the reality that this sister that he has prayed for by name for the last 18 months (and without a name for 17 months before that) is not coming home. Pray for all the other families and children also involved in this incident and for the person who made this decision for them.
What we want you to know:
-Adoption is almost always hard but it doesn’t always end in heartbreak. We have held beautiful testaments to the power and grace of adoption when we work in the children’s department at church, we hug them and listen to them laugh when we have family reunions, we see them all over our friends’ Facebook pages. One of the most upsetting thoughts to us during our process and especially now has been that our story might discourage others from adopting. When we began our process, it was common for people to tell us a heartbreaking adoption story that had happened to a friend, a family member, or their friends’ friend’s cousin. Almost everyone who decides to adopt doesn’t come to that decision lightly. It is not something they woke up one morning and spontaneously decided that it would be fun to do. They know it’s going to be hard. They know that the process is going to wipe them of almost every ounce of energy and time and hopeful thoughts that they have. And they know that then when the child comes home and they go through years of transition and adjustment and bandaging of broken hearts that it’s going to be even harder. Please don’t use our story to discourage them anymore or try to persuade them not too. Tell them all the beautiful, hopeful adoption stories you do know. Many things that are worth a great deal are hard to get to. Let us commit to be people that choose the hard things and encourage others doing the hard things – we believe our world will be better for it.
- We need you and we like your questions. We never meant to shut people out or push people away when asking for your grace in not writing a long blog post with lots of answers right away. Feel free to ask us questions as long as you know that our answers may not always be happy, spiritual answers. We actually love questions because they allow us to talk about our hurt without us having to bring up the subject ourselves and they make us feel like you care. Sometimes we want to talk about our pain but we just don’t know how to and don’t want to make you uncomfortable.
-We have been overwhelmed these past few days with calls, emails, food delivered to our door, friends in our living room, cards, text messages, Facebook messages/comments, etc. We are sorry that we haven't been able to respond to all of them but your encouragement have been heard by us and your prayers have been felt and we are just so thankful for everyone of you loving us and loving Aida through this journey.
May we be found faithful in the good times and bad.
-Ben and Beth