Thursday, November 3, 2011

Last Visits

A week or so ago, Shawn and Sarah witnessed a little boy and a younger, smaller girl be dropped off at the orphanage by what looked to be social workers.  It was a very unemotional process, the children were immediately changed out of their clothes and dressed in the orphanage's clothes.  Then the orphanage director's looked at each child's passport, glanced over 2 huge piles of paperwork (I'm assuming 1 for each child), then the kids were handed over and that was that.  No hugs, anything.  After Sarah told me this story my mind begin to wander to 'those' places...What happened to their parents?  Did this little boy think he was just coming here to play?  Did he witness something horrible?  What does he know?  Will this little baby girl every remember her mommy?  Or will the orphanage be her only memory of home? She has to be SO sad.

Ugh.  Makes my stomach churn.

Today we were having our playtime with Blake in the music room and 2 people on staff at the orphanage appeared.  One carrying the blue backdrop that we saw in this picture...and another one carrying a little boy.  I knew immediately he had to be the boy Sarah and Shawn were talking about.  He looked so scared.  His eyes were wide open.  His manner stiff and uncertain.  They stood him up against this backdrop and begin loudly directing him in their language...he kept looking at us with these eyes that made my throat close up. I could just feel his heart racing.  Fear dripped out of his little quivering lip.

I thought it could not get any worse...until they brought in his baby sister.  I would guess she is maybe 1 or 2.  She is very tiny.

They stood her in front of the same backdrop, expecting her to stand and smile.  She immediately crumpled up into a little ball.  Her knees buckled, her hands went to her face, and the tears streamed down her face as she screamed...screamed for someone to help her understand.  Cried tears of sadness.  Her little body shook as they tried to comfort her enough to get a good picture. Over and over again they brought her in to try to take her picture, but to no avail.  They gave her candy, gave her toys, gave her silly faces...but they could not give her what she wants and needs.  The love of her mommy and daddy.

It took all I had to keep my rear end planted to the seat Blake and I were sharing.  I just wanted to scoop her up and hold her, whisper to her, comfort her, sing to her and promise her that someone will be coming to rescue be her family.  But then I realized I couldn't make a promise I didn't know if I could keep.

I realize the orphanage did all they could to help these children know it's okay.  They were doing their job.  They were working to get a good picture/profile of these 2 children, so they could find a new family.  But they can only do so much.  An orphanage is not a family.

It was a long, quiet taxi ride back to our apartment as my heart continued to break for these children--these poor, broken souls, with no voice.  I prayed for God to continue to help me remember these continue to be broken by these images, to not be ignorant. As we plan to go home for a few days during our 10-day wait, my prayer is to not get caught up in the 'fluff' of life, by all the distractions that keep me from thinking and praying for these children and these orphanages.  I pray that I will continue to make children like Blake my passion.  I cannot leave this place unchanged.  Not with what I know now.

You just can't understand or know the brokenness in this world until you witness it, make it important, and clear all other unimportant things in life out of the way.  I used to think that how we live is a matter of where our hearts are, of how we live with what we have...but no longer is this my thought.  No.  Our hearts can't be in the right place until we go there...until we live in reckless abandonment of the temporary things of this life...until we surrender it in total faith of God's power and sovereignty over all.  It has nothing to do with material things, giving them up or keeping in a smaller house or a bigger  It has nothing to do with waiting for His calling, waiting for a sign, waiting for the Holy Spirit's prompting...NO.

It has everything to do with Going now.  Moving.  Acting.  Being.
We all know about the poor, the sick, the starving, the lonely, the hurting, the abandoned.  Yes, we all know about these things.  Yet, we still wait.  Wait.  Wait.

...because we don't believe God is strong enough.

Tomorrow at 11:30 am (4:30 am central time) we will petition to the court to be named Blake's parents.  We ask for you to pray for the Holy Spirit's presence in this time, for His will to be done.  For our words to speak to these people, to this country that every child deserves a family.  No matter what their race, color, or disability.  Pray that the court's decision is favorable upon us.  Pray that we can be transparent in this setting as God's hand moves over the hearts in the people in this court room, as He glorifies Himself.  Pray His love will shine through.  Pray that the judge finds it in her heart to grant us the 10-day wait as just that...10 days in a row, including weekends.  Different regions follow this 10-day wait rule differently.  I would love to be able to bring our son home before Thanksgiving, if it is in God's timing and will for us.  So please pray. 


  1. Again your post reduced me to a puddle of tears. Trying to focus on the words and picture those sweet little ones so afraid not knowing what is going on in their world. Yes I will be praying with you for these little souls.

    May your court be uneventful, granted the parents of such a sweet little boy. I've fallen in love with him over the time you've been there watching the videos and looking at his pictures. How could you not just want to scoop him up and run so quickly out the door. I so get it!

    Prayers coming your way.

  2. oh, that story above makes me feel ill. I can't imagine how hard it was to sit still and not run over to that little girl crying. Praying for God's will to be done over the next 10 days. Have a safe trip home!

  3. How heartbreaking. Simply heartbreaking. I can't imagine having to watch that and remain silent, uninvolved. How hard for both of you. But thank you for sharing it. For letting us know the realities even in the "good" orphanages.

    Prayers for your court and your travels home. Can't wait to learn Blake's new name.

  4. Anna - I just went to "friend" you on Facebook, and your profile was public - I could see everything on your wall. Not sure if you were aware of that.

  5. Oh Anna,

    My heart is breaking and I am crying tears of sadness. You are so right once you experience what you see over there your are forever changed. I think people look at me like I have green horns coming out of my head when I talk about helping orphans all the time but, I can't stop they need our voice.
    Praying for court and your travels.

  6. Wow. I love it. Such truth in that. That's exactly where my husband and I are at right now. We're going to Ukraine for the month of April to see firsthand what orphan care is being done and how He might be asking our family to respond. Your post was just the encouragement I needed to hear today.

    I know you don't know me, but thanks!

  7. Wow this is a story that would pull at anyones heart strings... it sure was tugging at mine!!

  8. Praying over you and those sweet children.

  9. what a beautiful heartfelt post...

  10. anna, we are praying for you and for blake!
    may God bless you!

  11. praying for you fervently. thank you so much for this post and for these beautiful words.

  12. Thank you for sharing your story. It is so moving, it is a wonderful reminder to all of us to move. You are right, it is easy to get caught up in the world's "fluff".
    Praying for the orphans, praying for your family, praying court goes smoothly. Soon we will be on our own journey to our little girl. We will try to bring home a second child as well. We pray that more and more families will adopt these beautiful children.

  13. If you're still interested in coming to church with us on Saturday night, shoot me an email at gibsons15 (at) sbcglobal (dot) net! We'll set something up!

  14. My heart is breaking, knowing that what these children went through is what our daughter and her two brothers went through. Not abandoned at birth, but having time with their family and then losing them. Knowing the horrific story behind our own daughter's history and entrance into the orphanage I can't even begin to imagine what happened to have these children taken away from their family and brought to the orphanage. Will be praying for your court date and also for these two children, that there is a family out there that God has chosen for these children already, a family that is already working towards adopting.