Monday, November 14, 2011

Realities and Misconceptions

Must admit we’ve been on cloud nine and our feet haven’t touched the ground in a few weeks.
We’ve seen Zoey and she’s seen us (through pictures)! 
She has our pictures and will only let people hold them for “one minute.” Thank you Lord for Al Gore and the invention of email! 
She sees airplanes, points and tells her friends, “That is taking me to my family in America!”
She knows a little bit of English and loves dancing, singing, picture books and writing! 
We know her favorite foods and have even purchased a cookbook that our contact in Ghana recommended!  Thank you Lord for and a used 1960’s copy of Ghanaians’ Favourite Foods.
Though we are on a mountaintop now I must admit that there is a valley full of misconceptions about international adoption constantly swirling around us and some harsh realities we are preparing for in our immediate family.  Here are a few.
Realities and preparation:  So many things could and will happen.  Many we can’t plan for regardless of how many blogs and books we read or trainings we go through with the adoption agency.  We are trying to educate ourselves for the worst and hoping for the best.  
We know Zoey will get frustrated by the communication gap.  Heck, we’ll be frustrated too! 
She will likely only bond with one parent at first, and it probably won't be be me. We are faithfully praying that she does bond with at least one of us quickly!
We don’t know what she has seen in her life, so what frightens her or sends her into a shell is unknown to us. 
Our food is going to upset her stomach. And we won’t be able to cook like grandma no matter how hard we try.  Yet at subpar she’s still going to hide bits and pieces  of food, in her pockets and under her bed until she’s sure she can have it every single day.
What about some other hurdles, like: fear induced vomiting, night terrors, panic attacks and our first taste of racism.  Yes, I said racism.  It’s still alive and well no matter how hard we’ve tried to turn our blind eyes to it. 
These are just a few of the realities our family is trying to educate ourselves on and prepare for.  These are areas our family would love you to specifically be praying for us as well.
Misconception 1: Some think Christy and I have pursued this calling based on the false assumption that since we are American that we can bring her back here and all these luxuries will “fix” her.  Let me be very clear when I say, America cannot, does not and will not fix her!  Don’t fool yourself into believing this or think that we believe this.  It is true that God, by His will, has chosen us to be born and live in this great country. America has given us opportunities and has provided us a means to be a loving forever family to a fatherless child half a world away.  But America does not fix her! She does not need fixed!! She is not broken!! She is perfect!  What’s broken is the fact that she’s going through life without a mother and father!!  And that we can fix!  We can give her a forever family.  And if we won’t who will??
 Misconception 2:  I’ve heard these phrases from people, “How could she possibly be happy when our worlds are so different?”  “How could she possibly be happy when you are uprooting her from her friends and everything she knows?”  “How could she possibly be happy leaving with two strangers who don’t speak the same language and aren’t even the same skin color?”  I must answer by saying; we aren’t blind to the fact that we are going to have HUGE culture, language and abandonment issues we’ll have to deal with. Some of those possibilities I addressed earlier and some of the realities will always be kept private within our family. Maybe a better way to answer the “How could she possibly be happy…” question is this way - God created something special within each of us humans that knows we should not be an orphan.  This yearning has no social, racial or geographical boundary. We weren’t made to be fatherless.  If we were meant to be alone then the Bible would not say time, after time, after time to defend and care for the orphan.  It’s not the way God made us and we know it even as a child, even if fatherless is all we’ve ever known. 
So, “how could she possibly be happy?”  I ask you to focus less on where she’s from, how she’s lived, what her skin color is and what ours is.  Focus more on our family answering God’s call to care for the orphan through adoption; though there are many other ways people can help, this is path we have felt God leading us.  And more specifically leading us to Ghana, Africa.  Try to understand that since we are honoring Him in this way, by providing Zoey with a loving family, we “believe and don’t doubt” (James 1:6) He’ll take care of her happiness, when He’s ready. This is a big God we serve! To quote a person from our adoption agency, “this journey you’re about to take is as much about your faith as it is your love.” We have faith God will take care of her happiness, He’s pretty good at the life change business you know.
 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!  His mercies never cease.
 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning
. - Lamentations 3:22-23


1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you all have some very realistic expectations in place. I am SO EXCITED for you guys! And I'll be praying, praying that God's hand of mercy and grace covers you ALL in the months and years to come.



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