I have had a million thoughts running through my head for weeks/months/years now. I am pretty sure if I started talking it would result in a jumbled mess. So here's my attempt to sort through it all.
It all started when Patrick and I were dating. We talked about having children and adopting. It's something I have always wanted to do. As a teacher, you 'adopt' children five days a week for part of each school month. Throughout that day, you learn what makes each kid happy and what makes each kid sad. As an elementary teacher, children will tell you EVERYTHING and you will learn to nurture where it lacks. You will learn to tell a joke to make a kid laugh and you will learn to parent each child in the unique way that they deserve. Each year you get a brand new set of children that you watch blossom and grow and deserve the best life possible. As a teacher, I have sent home meals with children because their parents lost a job. I have picked up kids for school because their house burned down and they didn't have a way to school. Some think of those things as unethical or it's not your job or what if something happens and the parents sue you? I guess I took all the what ifs with a grain of salt and treated each kid the way that I wanted to be treated. Did that make me the perfect teacher? No, but it allowed me to teach children to respect each other and make the best of each situation. Did I see eye to eye every day with each parent? No, I didn't but we settled for a solution for what was in the best interested of the child.
The recent miscarriage was sad. I am not even going to lie and say it wasn't. But you know what is just as sad? The number of orphans in this world. There is an estimated 163 million orphans and many countries that have such strict laws that it limits who can take this child. They would rather the child stay in the orphanage than have two moms or two dads or be raised in a single home. Just SAD!
And the thoughts of the little girl crying her heart out in line for the safari at Disney. Why on earth the Dad didn't pick her up and nurture her and hush her to sleep is beyond me! As an adult if he wants a hug, he simply reaches for someone to hug him and they probably do. She was reaching and he was ignoring her. I just don't get it!
Also what's been on my mind alot lately is sorting through International Adoption and Fostering to Adopt or just Fostering. It's all overwhelming because I feel like I should travel the world and just collect the orphans.
Let me say this first though. When you mention adopting or fostering to adopt to some people, they smile and say you are awesome and others may say it's amazing, but they have this look on their face of pity or shock or something that seems untouchable to them. But this is how I feel about it all. It is our choice as a family to embrace this one day. We have talked to Raileigh about sometimes a baby grows in Mommy's body and sometimes it grows in someone else's and that would mean we would have to go get it from another 'home'. She prays every night for a baby sister and she asks almost daily when we are going to get her sister.
Adoption is a choice you make for whatever reason. Mine is I have always wanted to adopt. I feel like sometimes God picks a child for you mother and father. It's not one you carry but one chosen for you. John 14:18 states I will not leave you orphans, I will come for you. This scripture has been running through my head a bunch lately.
Looking into adoption is very emotional and very overwhelming.The videos that families have made to share with the world are amazing. I often wonder how we survived without google or youtube! But the questions for adoption based on which route you take are: How long it may take? How much it will cost? Who they will pick? etc etc etc! So if I talk to you about it and I tear up, it's just happy tears so continue on, It's just very exciting that somewhere out there, whether it be Texas or another place there is a child that is ours that we need to bring home. It almost makes me want to run out and buy a van just to fill with precious children. I can't imagine the heartache that it feels like to not have a Mommy or Daddy. I grew up in such a nurturing home and I want the same for other children out there. When Patrick and I got married, I told him I wanted four. We often joke about four on a teacher salary = poverty level, but I feel like if it is meant to be, it will happen.
In researching adoptions, it annoys me how LITTLE money actually goes to the orphanage that cares for your child. It just seems bizarre that airlines don't give up the cost of the flight or let you fly minimal so that you can bring a child home forever.
Patrick and I were driving in the car the other day and we had this discussion. I said, "You know babe, if 400 people gave us 100 dollars, we would have it all paid for." (May I insert right here, that having Raileigh, being a NICU baby and with many weekly visits to the doctor/gastro/cardiologist we hit 25,000 out of pocket the first month she was born.) So 40,000 isn't really that much more if you say it really really fast! He said I don't know 400 people that will give me a 100 dollars. So we looked at our facebook friends, then we subtracted who we knew in common. I have 415 friends. Patrick has 491. We have 122 friends in common. Do the math! We have 784 friends together. Even if they couldn't give 100.00, I said they could find ten people to give ten dollars. And then he became cynical. Would you give ten dollars to someone you don't know because they want to adopt? YES I WOULD! Why not? It's not like I am handing a homeless person ten dollars to go buy more crack. I am sending paypal or a bank money to direct the parents into bringing home their child. And what money you can't raise this way, you fundraise. Then he said our community is fundraised out. And he's right, people are always being hit up for meal dinners or fundraisers. But we always try to help where we can and I can cut ten dollars out of a monthly budget just for not eating meat for a meal or getting a starbucks coffee! So it was almost like he challenged me right there. Do I think it would be that easy? No, but I do think that we have enough loving friends and family that would push for us to give a child a forever home.
As a matter of fact, I gave ten dollars to help bring this child home! Can you spread the word for my best friend's sister's daughter if you can support it? If not can you just share the link so that maybe someone else can donate? Robin Bracken's Ethiopia is CALLING
And then there's this family that I have been following for about a month that I have never met. $7.00 four our 7th
I am going to close by saying this: we are always referring our friend's children for picture contests. We are always liking a picture so someone will win something. We are always sharing something to help our friends win something or spread some sort of awareness. Is it really any different trying to cut a dollar or ten out of your budget and spreading the word? I don't think it is.
Now comes prayer. We will see where we are led. Will it be overseas? Another state? or right here in Texas. Will it be now? or next year? But I am sure this is a path that God is calling us to follow. What do you think friends? Is it IMPOSSIBLE to get to the goal since we clearly don't have $40,000 laying around to bring home a child?
As my friend Lizzy would say: With much hope and a lot of PRAYER!