God is so good. I had an idea of what we would see and do here at Dorie's Promise but God had such better plans. When we arrived, we met two families that are here to visit their children. Two families that have been fighting for 6 years to bring their children home. These are children who they have legally adopted but have been unable to bring home because they hadn't been able to leave the country by December 31, 2007.
A chance meeting with one mother in the kitchen turne into a deep discussion about the tragedy that is the current state of adoptions. All of my emotions about adoption are stirred and I can't contain them. I yearn to walk down to Casa 5, get Alejandra and take her home with us but powers greater than me have decided that can't happen. Here's where I've landed after talking to Ruth.
1. Children need loving homes! First and foremost, all children deserve a loving home. This is non-negotiable. Why have governments decided that it is better for children to live in orphanages with varying degrees of care instead of families who yearn to adopt? I understand that their biological families is the best option but sometimes that isn't possible. No matter what you want to believe, the truth is that some children really are abandoned.
2. It is our social responsibility to share our resources to provide opportunities for social and economic progress for lesser developed countries! So many children find their way into orphanages because their families legitimately could not care for them. Think for a moment about the love and bravery that it takes for a parent to recognize that they cannot afford to care for their child and then to relinquish their rights. What would happen to that family and community if we invested in housing, business development, and education? A family that was financially secure would be less likely to abandon their children.
3. Children are not political pawns! We spend ridiculous amounts of money to fund wars in other countries because they hold the key to our oil source. What would happen if a small amount of our political clout was spent on doing what was right in this world? Finalize their adoptions. Now! It isn't a question. The adoptions were completed by the law at the time, let the children come home. Stop making this an immigration issue. Why is the security of our border more important than a child who is alone, malnourished, and on the brink of death in Africa? We need government officials who care more about doing what is right for the world than getting reelected.
4. The color of a child's skin doesn't determine their worth! The honest truth is that some people just don't want more Hispanics or Blacks in America. Get over it. Unless you are Native American, you are an immigrant too. Truthfully, we don't deserve anything more just because we were born in America or White. I can tell you that I love the little boys from DRC just as much as I love their older siblings, just as much as their sister from Guatemala, as if they are my own. And God help the first person who ever makes a comment about them in my presence because I have quite the speech already in my head.
5. These families have been through enough, let them be whole! Can you imagine not being able to have your child with you for 6 years. You can visit occasionally but you always have to leave. These families have made incredible sacrifices. They have lost their homes and businesses because of the cost. They have spent their life's savings. Some have moved for years to Guatemala until the money ran out, just to be near their children. The stress has taken their health. Yet they keep fighting for their children, just like I would for mine and you would for your's.
So as I promised a mother in a kitchen in Guatemala this afternoon, I will share their stories because everyone needs to know and I will continue to pray for their families.