• The Reason Why

    Date: 2013.04.05 | Category: Adoption, Cassie, Thoughts to ponder, Videos | Tags:

    Disclaimer:  Everything I am writing about in regard to orphanages and what children go through – I have read about in another mother’s blog or in a book or had personal experience from.  Granted people could exaggerate or make things up altogether but these blogs have many, many followers.  You would think someone would call their bluff if they were out and out lying.  The truth of the matter is, there are just so many people saying exactly the same thing over and over and over again.   I tend to believe most of it.  Plus, I’ve seen the effects of an orphanage on a child firsthand.  It’s not pretty! It will tear your heart out and change every perspective you’ve ever had about what is and isn’t important.

    Have you ever wondered why so many people are moved to adopt over and over again?  Why they come home, talk about it, and pray that others will hear their message?  Did you ever think  “Why in the world would someone do what they are doing, spend the time and money that they do, just to bring a child home?”  The truth is it is estimated that the average adoption will cost $28,000 and take close to three years* (Ours took a year.).   (*Please watch the video below!)  Why would anyone do that?  Why would anyone sign up to do that and especially why would they do that more than once?

    (If you want to know more, STUCK will be playing in Des Moines on April 22nd at 7 p.m.)

    I’ve watched Cassie come home upset because people question why in the world would her parents adopt four children at a time.   I’ve listened to her explain what her answers were and why she said what she said.  Last night I told her, the truth is, she has three options.

    One, she can not answer at all.  Just let it drop, because she will never be able to truly make someone understand why we are doing this if they don’t understand what an orphanage is like. If they’ve never read the stories about “dying rooms” or children that are 14 that weigh 24 pounds.  If they haven’t heard that children freeze to death, or are chained to the walls, or are sent to mental institutions when they hit the age of 6.   It’s beyond their comprehension if they don’t know that a disability will label you as cursed for life.  In many places your last name means orphan and you will not be allowed an education, you barely have enough food to survive, you don’t have even the barest of necessities.  They will never understand if their only idea of an orphanage is from watching the movie Annie.

    When we got Ben (3 1/2) and Maisey (2), they wouldn’t play with any of the toys we brought them.  Why?  Because their first thought was for food.  They didn’t care about a book, or a blanket, or a toy that made noise.  Their cherished possession was a spoon. Who cares about toys when you are starving?   Ben walked funny because he was confined to a play pen or a high chair through most of the day.    They were afraid of a bath.  We later learned it’s because some orphanages give one bath a week or they hose them down with cold water.  There are no bubble baths and cute terry cloth robes.  Ben needs major dental work because six of his teeth are in such terrible decay.  There can be 40 kids sharing two toothbrushes.  Ben and Maisey couldn’t even hold a spoon and feed themselves.  Why?  Because when they are fed they are all fed out of the same bowl with the same spoon because the nanny doesn’t have time to give each child their own bowl and clean up after them.   It’s an assembly line.  There is no good night kiss and being tucked in to a nice cozy bed.  Many times the mattress is a piece of plywood with a blanket because it cuts down on the lice problem.

    Two, she can try to explain all about our family and all the people we have just waiting to love these four new children.  She can explain that our family has chosen this to be their mission and children are where our passion lies. She can explain her dad’s job, his expertise in caring for sick babies, his love for children, and how he’s home during the week.  She can explain how much I love children and how my dream as a little girl was to have 12.  But if they don’t understand that children need rescued and it’s not about having “quality time” or “more one on one time”, they still won’t understand.

    Oh, but if they could see what we, as a family, have seen this past year.  If they could see how a child blossoms and grows with the love of a family.  If they could see what we’ve seen, the physical, emotional and spiritual growth.  It’s about giving them love, food, an education, some more love, and hope for a future that doesn’t include sex trafficking or living on the street.  It’s about saving a life. If they could see what we have seen, they’d more than understand.

    Three, she can tell them to jump in a lake. (Probably not the nicest or the best option!)  The reality is it’s none of their business.  They have no right to judge.  They have no right to question whether it is or is not the right thing.  They don’t know anything about our family or where our hearts lie.   We’ve been through home studies.  You read that right – studie”S“.  When you adopt from China, you have initial home studies, and a follow-up home study when you come home, one at 6 months, one at a year, one at two years, and the last one at five years.  There are safe guards in place.  Plus, I’ve pretty much made our lives public by putting it all out there in picture and blog.  I’m not trying to hide anything.  I’m trying to prove you can do more than you think you can.  You can love more than you think possible.  You can show the love of God through taking a child in.  You can change their lives and their eternity.   All of this is a pretty amazing, mind-blowing, heart changing, life altering, thing.

    Maybe that is all she needs to say “God brought us to these four children and our family feels overwhelming blessed to be able to bring them home!”  Because that is the truth!  We are blessed.  We may be tired.  The house may never be perfectly clean.  Our mid-life crisis car may now be a 15 passenger van.  But the overall running theme in our home is love and that God has blessed us in immeasurable ways.  What a gift to us.  What a gift to them.