Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Length of Adoption--A Time to Rise Up

Many of my posts have somehow referred to the length of our adoption process.  Whether it be walking you through the actual steps involved in adopting from Haiti, suggestions of things to do during the "wait", my emotions and frustrations with being "stuck", or how much I just want to be DONE with it all...they all have to do with the fact adoptions (generally speaking) take a lot of time to get through.  One of the more frequently asked questions I hear is "Why does it have to take soooo long???"  Back in October I even dedicated a post solely to that very question entitled "The Dreaded Question".

I'm delighted to say since writing that post, I have come to a very peace-filled decision as to what my response to that question should be.  As I explained in that post, what made that question so "dreaded" was the fact I never knew how to answer it and it didn't seem to reflect a genuine care for where I was IN the process.  I never knew if the person asking wanted the long version of why it takes so long, the short version, or if they were just trying to sympathize with me.  I never felt peace about any of the answers I felt gave, so I came to the conclusion it would just be better easier to encourage others to not even ask that question unless they wanted the long version of an answer.  Well, as much as I do want others to care about me in the process, I'm not sure that was the best approach either.  It was a creative way, I think, for me to subtly avoid the topic, or fact, that adoptions (and international adoptions more specifically) just take an agonizingly long time.

So, I find myself thankful for hearing, what I believe was, a direct word from God about this "dreaded question".  The words were so clear in my head it was as if He spoke them to me face-to-face.  I can't quite remember where the conversation in my head started from, but somehow the idea of a person asking me why it takes so long to get Nora out of Haiti was placed in my mind.  Instead of my general eye-roll with hearing that question, I immediately had a response that could only come from God.  My gut level response was, "You are asking the wrong question!  The question you should be asking is: WHY ARE THERE NOT MORE PEOPLE WILLING TO TAKE THAT LONG TO GIVE A FAMILY TO THESE CHILDREN WHO NEED ONE?

Let that sink in a bit.  I had to.

Yes, God, yes.  This was the "answer" I had been searching for through this whole adoption.  The "answer" that turns the negativity of the original question into motivation for change.  Instead of feeling like I was some sort of a freak of nature for wanting to put myself and my family through a very long, hard ordeal to get Nora into our family, it was creating a sense of challenge for more people to jump into the same boat.  And why?  Why would I want or encourage anyone else to go on a similar road we have gone on this past year and a half?  Well, two reasons come to my mind.  1) Because God told us all to look after the orphans in their distress and 2) because there are still over 10 million children who need you to.

There is an epidemic in our world, friends, that most people are willing to look blindly past.  An epidemic where children are literally dying in masses because they have no one to love them and make sure they have the basic essentials for human life.  Children who have no one to call Mommy or Daddy.  Children who have one meal a day at best.  Children who share a bed with as many other children they can fit into it.  Children who don't even have a bed.  Children who are silently waiting, hoping, and praying for you someone to consider them WORTH the long journey it will take.  Children wondering not "Why does it take sooooo long?" but rather "Why doesn't anyone want me?"

All of these thoughts of mine were confirmed a few days ago in the release of a trailer for a new documentary film set to be released across a US tour in March-May.  Did you know that the stats prove over the last 5 years adoptions have decreased by 50%!  50%.  In 5 years.  That means 50% of children who were asking the question of "Why doesn't anyone want me?" got their one did.  It is time, friends, for this trend to change.  It is time for others to rise up and decide enough is enough.  It is time for our focus to NOT be on the long wait, but on the children who need people to be willing to go through it for them.  It is time for others to say, these children ARE worth the long wait.  These children ARE worth the work I will have to do to get them here.

The movie I am referring to is entitled "STUCK".  It is a documentary exposing some of the issues causing the long wait for international adoptions and the desire to see these issues addressed so more and more children can find families.  It is a film I will encourage each and every person to watch.  If you are anywhere near a theater on their tour (see tour itinerary here) I simply ask for you to attend the event and allow God to open your eyes and ears to the desperate need in this world...the need for love.

Until then, may I simply leave you with the trailer to watch...

I'm excited about this new direction my heart has taken regarding "the dreaded question" .  I am thrilled it is not a question I dread anymore.  I am actually quite looking forward to people asking me now.  Just the other day I had a person ask and I beamed as I answered his question with a question of my own.  To hear the question catch him off-guard and have him pause an extra moment was encouraging to me.  Encouraging to me, not because my question caught him off-guard, but because I believe God can use these "pauses" and "extra moments" of silence within our discussions to awaken more hearts towards His desire for us to take care of the orphans of the world.  I enjoyed walking alongside this man for a few moments as he gave the idea of adoption a second thought.  I hope and pray as more people do this, the "second thoughts" will turn into actions and we will see a HUGE, God-made upswing in the stats of adoption this year.  May we all work together to get these beautiful, precious children into the families they deserve and were meant to have no matter how long it takes.


  1. Thanks for this is heartbreaking and true. We are all the called. :)

  2. Great post! I believe this same question could apply in response to the enormous financial cost of international adoption. Our family has adopted twice... 2 girls from Ukraine and 2 girls from China. Waiting times are all different. :) The costs are comparable, though, and I meet alot of people who are afraid of the financial part. I am excited to see the movie STUCK and plan to have a showing of it in our small community. :) Again, great post and let's find these children some families!

  3. Hi Angie. I'm a STUCK parent as well, but my son is in Russia. Thank you fro this post and reminding me I'm not alone. Dani B. has been keeping me up on your story and I pray your little angel comes home SOON! (STUCK is amazing! I saw the movie last month and am volunteering in Livonia, MI)