Thursday, February 2, 2012

Are You Afraid?

In my brief stint in the adoption community, I’ve noticed a sad truth.  Almost every facebook post about a waiting child is met with… crickets.  There might be a couple responses from the usual responders – established adoption advocates or adoptive parents.  But for the most part… crickets - an awkward social networking silence.  While a post about the delicious (insert favorite food here) so-and-so ate for dinner might have 10 responses, a post about someone’s child sick with a cold might have 20, or a post about what happened in last night’s episode of The Bachelor might have 30, a post about a child desperate for love will be met with… one.  Or even… none. 

I want to be clear that this is not intended as a call-out post to belittle others for not doing enough for the orphans of this world.  I am no better than you, and I know nothing about the daily hardships that others may face or whether they’re even in a place where adoption is an option.

The question I want to answer is why?  Why are there so few responses from those outside the adoption community?  Are people just selfish and apathetic?  Maybe some of them.  Are they cruel and cold-hearted?  Surely not all of them!  No, I don’t think that’s the answer.   

I think what we’re up against is FEAR.

Fear… that screaming voice in your head that tells you – “Don’t try that, you might fail!  Don’t look at that child’s picture.  It’s too hard!  You might cry. God might ask you to help!  You’re too busy.  You’ll only disappoint them.  If you plan that event, no one will come.  No one will want to help you.  You’re not a good enough mother to do that.  You’re not a good enough father to do that.  You’re not a good enough Christian to do that.  You’ll probably die on the plane ride over there.  What are you thinking?  Who do you think you are?  You could NEVER meet that child’s needs.  You’re not rich enough, pretty enough, smart enough, good enough, Godly enough.  So don’t even try!”

Have you heard this voice?  I know I have.  And not just in relation to adoption but pretty much any time I think about doing something that’s out of my comfort zone.

That’s the voice that’s trying to drown out the other voice – the still, soft voice - the one who is speaking Truth instead of trying to paralyze you with lies.

And the Truth is, if we allow the screaming voice to take control of our lives, what kind of life are we living?  We are in chains.  We might as well be living in a jail cell with good internet speed, DVR, and occasional trips to Walmart.

What blessings will we miss out on because we allowed fear to rule our lives?  What children will we leave alone and waiting, looking wistfully toward a door for parents who never come?  What empty place at our table will remain unfilled, what joyous laughter and sweet whispers of “I love you” never heard because we were too scared to say yes?

When I first thought about saying yes, just the mere thought, I was paralyzed by fear.  PARALYZED.  I spent days on my knees, praying to God, saying over and over, “I can’t do this. I can’t do this.  I’m not a good enough mother.  I’m not holy enough.  I’m not even nice enough!  Are you sure you really want me to do this?  Are you sure?”

But over and over the still, small voice said YES.  I want you to do this.  You.  No, you’re not perfect.  But I AM.  And I will be with you every step of the way.  I promise.
"I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34:4

And now, you know what scares me the most?  What if I said no?  What if I never got to meet Ella, got to look into her lash fringed brown eyes, got to hear her squeal while reaching for a bubble as extravagant snowflakes drifted quietly down outside the orphanage window?  What if I never even looked at her picture because I was too scared to see the pain that was there?

Whatever it is that God is asking you to do with your talents, your money, your LIFE, I pray that you say yes.  Yes, Lord.  Ok.  I’ll do it.  I’m scared out of my mind, but I’ll do it anyway because you told me to.

"Blessed are those who persevere under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12

Please don’t miss out on the beautiful things God has in store for you.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Pics of Our Girl

We got new pics of our sweet Ella today!  When I opened the email, I instantly burst into tears. It's wonderful to see her doing so well.  It's bittersweet because while I'm thankful that she's growing, it also reminds me how long it has been since we've seen her.  She's gained weight, and she's even holding a cookie in the picture!  I know it seems like a strange thing to be excited about, but when we were visiting her in the orphanage, her caregivers wouldn't let her have a birthday cookie because they said she was 'too young'.  All of her meals were spoon-fed to her.  She didn't even try to grab the spoon out of my hand; it was clear that she had never been allowed to try to feed herself.  So whether she's eating the cookie or just holding it, I'm overjoyed that she's being given the opportunity to learn to self-feed.

Isn't she adorable in her little yellow shoes???

Georgia and Colvin were excited to see more pictures of Sissy Ella.  Can't wait for them to meet her in person!

We are still waiting on our last form from Tarrant County, but we're being told that it should come through sometime in the next week.  We had a huge answer to prayer yesterday.  One of my friends from church agreed to accompany me on our 3rd trip to bring Ella home!  I am so thankful that she is willing to join me on this journey so that Ryan can stay home with Georgia and Colvin.  Thank you!  You know who you are!  ;-)