As the men prepare to leave for Ethiopia, it seems almost surreal. While we are obviously beyond excited, time is flying by, and we are not sure what the direction of our adoption will go. With all that is going on in preparation of the trip, we decide to just focus on the trip ahead and be prayerful knowing that a direction would be made clear.
The day before Dustin is to leave for Ethiopia, we are looking through a waiting child list. Now, mind you, we were approved for 1 or 2 children, of either gender, up to the age of 8 yrs old. So, I sort through the waiting list to the children that meet that criteria, and have Dustin look through the list.
"What about her?" he asks as he points to a sweet looking young girl with a beautiful smile. "There is just something about her." he explained. "My heart aches for the older children." he continues. She is beautiful, and she has a gorgeous smile. More than that, there is a sweetness in her eyes, a kindness. My heart melts.
As I read her profile, it says that she has been waiting for a forever family for over 2 years. So, she was the age Bryce is right now, when she entered the orphanage. I try to imagine Bryce all alone in an orphanage for two years, but can't. It hurts too much to even think it.
But...we already have a path planned out: The boys are going to have a younger brother. They are going to share a room and share clothes...An older sister? How would that work? What would the boys think about an older sister? What about the language barrier? What about schooling? ...How quickly I had forgotten, the path is not for me to decide, but for God.
I too feel compassion for the older children who wait so much longer than the infants. They understand what is happening, and they witness the younger children and infants being wisked away to happy new families as they no doubt wonder if they too will ever find a family to love them. I wonder if they question their worth pondering why they are not chosen. I imagine they pray nightly that they too will be welcomed into the family they deserve.
Unfortunately, many of them will age out of the system to a country that, unlike America, doesn't have support systems, medical and housing assistance, food stamps, welfare, college assistance, and so on. No, these children age out onto the streets to fend for themselves with no assistance and all odds stacked against their survival.
My heart felt heavy with the weight of these thoughts. It is easier to avoid even thinking of these despicable truths, the staggering statistics, and the overwhelming realities that these innocent children face daily. But, refusing to allow the thoughts into our minds does not alter the actuality of their suffering.
Dustin and I immediatly began to pray about it. We pray together, and we pray separately. In the morning, Dustin will leave as planned for Ethiopia to visit the Tullo Kebel School with Starved 4 Hope and Hope Chest.
We are not making any quick decisions; instead, we are going to "be still" and pray incessantly.