Sunday, August 15, 2010
The thing about faith is that it's hard. This week was hard. Fighting negative thoughts was hard. Trying to stay positive was hard. Struggling against doubt was hard. This week was a roller coaster ride of moments of feeling very confident that God is going to work it out to moments of feeling complete desperation. About midway through the week I stumbled upon this verse:
"Oh, please help us against our enemies, for all human help is useless. With God's help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes." - Psalm 108:12-13
It was a reminder to me that I have to completely surrender this adoption to the Lord. I feel like I do, then I will find myself stressing out and worrying and I realize that I have not surrendered it. I can honestly say that this has been the most challenging thing I have ever faced in my life. This situation is completely out of my control and all I can do is hope.
The yahoo group I belong to has taken the bull by the horns in advocating for these Nepali orphans. I posted a plea on facebook for my friends to write letters to the Joint Council and the Secretary of State. Thanks to the many who responded!! Many of the group members have done the same so here is a list of people and organizations who have been contacted about this situation:
Hillary Clinton - Secretary of State
Former President Jimmy Carter (he has done humanitarian work in Nepal)
The head producer of the Oprah Winfrey Show
State Senators from across the country
Joint Council on International Children's Services (JCICS) (They are a HUGE organization to have on our side)
Justice for Immigrants (founded and run by the Catholic Church)
EACH - Equality for Adopted Children
Various people at the US Embassy and USCIS
We are hoping that we make enough noise to get this situation resolved and the babies in their forever families! The main problem is that the US government thinks there are too many similar stories with the reports of the abandoned babies. Here is some background info so that you can understand fully why all of the stories are so similar. First, it is illegal to have premarital sex in Nepal. A pregnancy is an obvious indicator that someone has engaged in this crime. The women go to great lengths to hide their pregnancies since if found out, they will be deemed "unmarriageable" for life. This is a harsh punishment since the Nepali culture is a Patriarchal society. Therefore, once the babies are born, the women or someone they trust, puts the baby in a place where it will be found. Usually, these babies are days old. By Nepali law, the babies have to stay in the orphanage for 3 months before being able to be considered "adoptable." During this 3 month time period, the government runs ads in the local newspapers about the babies so that the birth parents can come claim them. The women go to great lengths to stay anonymous, therefore; the babies are never claimed. The US government thinks it's odd that the stories are all similar: found baby in textile factory, brought it to the orphanage. Or, found baby in pile of bricks, brought to police station. The US government doesn't have anyone trained in the Nepali culture in place to review these cases. This is very frustrating. So, any reports or information that the orphanage has about the babies is now considered "false" by the US and the investigation starts from scratch. The US is having a hard time not only tracking down the people who found the babies and turned them in but if found, getting them to give information about the baby. Our hope is that the US government will implement a plan that takes into consideration the Nepali culture and the sensitive nature of this problem.
Just this morning, I was praying asking God what I am supposed to do. Is it his will for me to adopt from Nepal? Is this a sign that it's a closed door? Should I continue holding out hope? I can't explain this incredible bond I feel for this baby I have never met. This adds to my confusion. So, I was praying asking that God would make it clear to me if I should continue on this path. This is the verse he gave me, no joke:
"He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump... He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother." Psalm 113:7, 9
I started to cry and felt an overwhelming sense of peace. I am sure that in the days, weeks, months, who knows how long, ahead that I will have moments of doubt. But, I can look back on this, surrender my fear and trust that He is going to come through.
Posted by Kristen at 9:00 AM
Monday, August 9, 2010
This weekend was rough but I have emerged with a sense of peace. Obviously, Friday was a disaster. After receiving the DOS announcement for the suspension of adoptions from Nepal, my mind went into overdrive. I belong to a Yahoo group that is only for potential adoptive parents with the Nepal program. There are about 400 members, from both 2009 and 2010. As you can imagine, the website started blowing up immediately with everyone's comments and information that someone heard through someone else that someone blah blah blah. According to what people have posted, they are jumping ship and trying to switch to a different country to complete their adoption. They are saying that Nepal is completely closed to intercountry adoptions and basically those who have not received a referral yet are S.O.L.
This did/does not sit well with me. I talked to my agency briefly on Friday but they were on the phone with the DOS trying to ascertain the situation and possible ramifications so they did not have many answers for me. My big mistake was tuning in to all of the hubbub on the yahoo group. Everything people were posting conflicted with what my journey has been so far. In response to all of this uncertainty, I went back through my journal starting in February from day 1 of when I started praying about specifically adopting from Nepal. I saw how God has had his hand in this from the very beginning. So many things have fallen perfectly into place, perfectly timed. I know that adoption is God's will for any believer. Throughout the bible, he commands that we take care of the orphan and widow. I believe that it is our responsibility to be involved whether through adoption, sponsorship or volunteering our time and resources. So on this front, I believe that my pursuing an adoption is God's will for my life. Now, how he is going to bring this to fruition is in his hands. Two verses smacked me in the face as I went back through my journal:
"So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised." - Hebrews 10:35-36
"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." - Hebrews 11:1
Everything I have been reading in the old testament has shown me that God provides for his children- but he also challenges their faith. His provision required that they took a step of faith. I am taking a step of faith in believing that I know God is working to bring this adoption to completion. I know it is God's will for me to adopt. I know that it was God who brought everything together in perfect timing so that my dossier was submitted by the deadline. Even though I don't have any answers or understand everything that is going on, I am believing with the patient endurance that somehow, God is going to work all of this out. I spoke with my agency today and they said that the suspension is for orphans classified as "abandoned." Those who were relinquished are still able to be processed through the normal adoption procedures. Presently, all of the referrals are for children who are classified as "abandoned." My prayer is that the Nepali government will implement thorough and sufficient documentation of those children who have been abandoned so that they may experience life with their forever family instead of life in an orphanage.
Finally- I would like to thank everyone who has been praying for me and sending me messages of encouragement. I can't begin to even tell you how much your love and prayers supported me this weekend. One dear friend told me to not give up hope, that Sofía's story just got more interesting:) You have no idea how incredibly, amazing that moment is going to be for me when I finally get to hold her in my arms. That is the hope that I am setting my sights on; the promise for which I will patiently endure.
Posted by Kristen at 8:36 AM