I can hardly believe it's been a full week since I last posted. We are working so hard to figure this adoption out. How to get the paperwork done, how to get our house and the boys ready for Lily, and how to make sure that when Lily is ready to come home, we have the rest of the money to get her here.
I've thought a lot about adoption this week, and how/why we said yes to Lily even though this wasn't our plan right now. Lily is only two, she is, by all appearances, pretty healthy. We could easily believe that another family would have been found for her in the coming weeks. We could easily have said, this isn't our place, isn't our time, this isn't our child. This wasn't in our plan.
I came to a very startling realization this week. Sometimes it's not about our plan!
Having adopted before I can realize that how and when my boys came to me was part of a plan larger then me. Larger than my family. That too often in life people are willing to step back and say it's not their "turn" to handle something, that someone else will step in and stand up to a bully. That someone else will make a stand against a wrong. That there are enough people supporting the homeless. Then there comes a time when you realize ALL you have compared to others. That you have not one but TWO cars, while others lack even a house. That you have three meals when others have one...every other day. This isn't to make anyone feel guilty for all they have...not at all, but I think to often people forget to feel pleasure in what they have too.
Mike and I were to this point, where we were realizing all we had. When we were overwhelmed with all we had to do for Christmas, he held me crying. Not because I needed more, but because I was so grateful for all we had. So grateful I had gifts to wrap for my children, even if it stressed me out. So grateful we HAD a Christmas Tree for our boys to pull over everyday, even if it made me want to pull my hair out. So grateful we had a family to visit even if occasionally I'd rather hide from them.
Mike and I were to a point where our stresses meant less than our blessings. Yes our mortgage was high, but we had a house. A house in an amazing school district where we could trust our children would get a wonderful education. We had medical bills, but our children were healthy, Mike and I were doing well, and we had access to health care. Not only do we eat three times a day and have snacks, but we eat quality foods raised locally and organically.
Lily, and the 5 million other orphans where she lives have none of those. They share run down, ill-kept orphanages. An orphanage might have several hundred children per a single caregiver. There is often no overnight care. There might be one meal per day. With the extremely high caregiver to child ratio, the older children are expected to make sure the younger get food to eat. When there is a lack of food and supplies, it's hard to imagine a child of only 8 or 10 learning to sharing the little there is with those younger than them. Children starve to death. It's survival of the fittest at it's worst. Malaria is prevalent and takes lives daily. Simple diseases that in the US are unheard of. 1 in 5 women die in child birth. ONE IN FIVE.
So yes, we could have passed on this unexpected situation. We could have tucked ourselves into our happy home, and said no thanks, we don't want or need this complication right now. We could have banked on the fact that in the coming weeks, they would have found someone else to be a family for Lily. In the coming weeks, Lily could well have been dead.
So we said yes, and although not everyone would, everyone can HELP. You can be part of this amazing journey with us. You can help us reach into Africa and pluck this two year old out to an amazing, loving, crazy family here in the US. You can help give her all the things we have the pleasure to stress over. A home, access to health care, education, three meals a day, a Christmas tree...JOY.
If not you, then who? If not today, then when?