Most people would just walk away in defeat by now, I know that. But I think God has used my entire life as preparation for these kinds of insurmountables. The hard lessons of my life - and there are too many to count -- have built a strong faith and trust in a Power greater than myself. You can call Him what you like, I don't think He really cares all that much. You can call Him 'She' or 'It' or 'Higher Power' - I honestly don't think it is important to Him. It's the content of your relationship with Him He cares about, not the FORM. Imagine your Love for God and His Love for you is like water. Do you really think He cares whether you put that water in a plastic cup, a glass, a ceramic bowl or even a cupped hand? I don't. It's the CONTENT in the cup, the glass, the hands that matter.
Anyway, I am sharing this because I know a great many people in this world suffer crises of faith. We don't expected to be pummeled with bad experiences, losses, obstacles, and misdirected hate throughout our lives, without rhyme or reason, but these things happen to people - ALL THE TIME. And when they do, we question why. We cry, we scream, we shake our fists, but mostly we just want an answer. Why, God? Why? And answers do not always come. But --what we do with that big question mark stamped on our heart is most important of all.
To give up is easy, and it's human nature. It's our default setting. But why settle for that? If we can rise above the scary question marks and keep choosing the highest, greatest and most loving responses in every situation, we are LIVING the answer. We must strive to do this even when we fail.
It's hard to see past the rubble of our shattered dreams. It's painful to crawl out of the debris and reach up towards the Light we often cannot see. It's scary to trust. I get that. But the rewards of ever trusting, ever stepping forward into that unknown, instead of collapsing in a heap of 'I give up' - are COLOSSAL.
D's adoption is all but a pile of rubble come tomorrow, when the new law goes into effect. But if I keep the faith and keep taking a step towards him every day, he may still get here. You know how he WON'T get here? If I give up and take 'no' for an answer. You know what MIGHT get him here? Knocking on every figurative and literal door I can think of. And I'm doing that. THat's what I keep doing for Anya and I KNOW someday the right door will open and the answer will be there. I know in my heart someday she will be home, here, where she belongs.
I just spoke to an agency that is willing to go to bat for me with D. It's an agency I've gotten to know quite well over the past 18 months, because they did my homestudy. The amazing head of this agency has offered to send a letter to the DOE in Kemerovo asking permission to handle D's adoption in the region, even though they are not yet registered there. (And those of you in the adoption community know this never happens.) On top of that, I have media connections and professional contacts on the ground in Kemerovo who are willing to go to the DOE and 'encourage' them to push this adoption through. The DOE has the power to bring this boy home. They just need to WANT to do it. And, by God, I will do everything I can to put that pressure on them to help them see the light.
While all this was/is going on, and while I kept moving forward, I also reserved a part of myself for grief. I have grieved HARD over this new loss -- the now extended wait for D, the loss of time with him, the loss of the memories we could be storing up right now, even the loss of the tens of thousands of dollars already poured into his adoption. The money is secondary, obviously, but it is not insignificant. I have to grieve that, too. All that money that could have gone to help others...washed away in bureaucracy and red-tape. Having already experienced this same devastation with Anya did not make this loss any easier, in fact, it made it worse. One failed adoption is horrible. Two feels like a hurt that will never heal.
And here's where the little window opened. While all this confusion and darkness was encircling us, a little girl kept showing up in my newsfeed on facebook. This is the time of year for hosting programs to advertise. For the past two months I've seen my share of postings about various children. But one kept recurring on my newsfeed over and over again. It was like a little bell going off. And so I prayed for that little girl whose name I did not know. I prayed until she found a host family. Then later, she was there on my newsfeed again. The family had fallen through. So I kept her in prayers and soon she was off the list and had a home for Christmas.
And then, last week, she appeared again.
It struck me suddenly that maybe we were her host family. We would actually be home for Christmas this year, and we'd likely be quite lonely without D or Anya there. (Christmas is a hard time for us.) And wouldn't it be great to host again? Hosting Dasha in 2010 had been SUCH a gift. But then again, there was no money. Not a penny. Every bit of my money was tied up in D's adoption and our impending trip to Russia to bring him home. But we were willing to host, so why not ask?
I messaged one of the coordinators whom I know and told her we'd be delighted to host this little girl if someone provided scholarship funds. We had the time, energy, space and love to host - just not the funds. It would even be healing for us, and obviously this little girl needed a host family, and there was only a day left. Sadly they had no funds to cover her hosting costs...maybe a few hundred dollars, but that was it. She suggested I put the word out to my friends and see what happened.
On the heels of learning I could not go bring D home, I posted a status on FB about our desire to host and about this specific little girl. Three hours later there was a total of almost $1,000 in my paypal acct from three very generous friends, with a note attached that it was 'for hosting, and to heal your heart.'
Long story short, I let the hosting program know that I now had some funds but not all. It still didn't look possible, but then last night - a day after the deadline - I got an unexpected email from the hosting organization: they said yes! We could host her! Although all the funds were yet to be there, they were acting on faith, just as I was. between them and me, we could find a way to cover the rest over the next 6 weeks. She needed to come, and so they were taking a leap of faith, too.
Hosting is a GIFT and we now get to spend almost a month nurturing and loving a little girl who needs it. We are SO FORTUNATE.
This post is longer than any one I've ever written, I think. Sorry for that. The words just kept coming. In the weeks and months ahead, I'll post what I can about our hosting experience and our sweet little visitor. I hope it will be an encouragement to others who are on the fence about hosting. Maybe it will lead to others hosting next summer!
Anyway, please don't forget that old adage, because it's true: sometimes when a door closes, a window appears. Just keep an eye out for them, because surely we miss them sometimes when we are distracted with grief and pain. Be ready, because when one appears, God may be waiting for you to open it. I just opened mine:)