I received a message yesterday afternoon from our adoption case worker that she was working on a referral for us, and wanted to verify the ages and genders of children we are interested in, since our home study is not yet complete. I confirmed that we were interested in siblings, preferably a boy and girl, and one in the preschool age range. We exchanged several emails back and forth until she asked me if I would be interested in a 3 1/2 year old girl and 4 1/2 year old boy who were siblings. I asked if she had more information and pictures, and within a few minutes I got another email containing just that, and more.
In fact, it was an official referral. This wasn’t just a “Hey, would you consider these two?” It was the medical information, a set of pictures of the boy and girl, and their actual names. The email also contained the referral acceptance agreement to print, sign, and have notarized, and instructions to return the packet with payment of $13,000, in addition to $200 per child for this month’s child care payments. In order to move forward, we have to put at least half down, and lay out a plan to pay the rest within 90 days, in addition to paying the other fees that will come due, which include nearly $1000 due in the next couple of weeks to file with immigration, and the remainder of our agency fees ($2000) within about six weeks, as well as $400 each month. In case math isn’t your favorite subject, that’s approximately $17,000 total. This is addition to the $5000 that we have already spent so far in the last 2 months.
Gulp. I don’t know how we can do this. We can’t even come close to what we need. We thought that the money would be due later, after we had a chance to do some fundraising. Are we in over our heads? Should we be doing this? Are we just setting ourselves up for failure? Again? We’ve seen so much disappointment in the last few months. Can our hearts endure trying . . . and failing?
We debated even opening the pictures. Our social worker had warned us these were their intake photos. We weren’t sure what to expect.
We opened the photos.
They broke my heart.
Pictured were a brother and sister. The chubby-cheeked sister was clothed in a too-large purple stained dress, and no shoes. She was clearly upset — folding her arms across her chest in one picture, faking a toothy smile in another, a furrowed brow in another.
Her brother was standing next to her, in a blue track suit. In each picture he was pulling at his clothes with shy tearful eyes that looked tired from crying.
Suddenly it struck me as I flipped through picture after picture that what I was witnessing was likely the most terrifying moment of their lives. It was the moment they were being left. At an orphanage. The pictures clearly captured their tiny hearts breaking. How two preschoolers could comprehend such terrible grief is more than I can imagine. To be left with only each other. Frightened. Overwhelmed. Desperate.
My heart whispered to them tearfully in the moment of their anguish, “Don’t worry, we’re coming. We have a plan. I know your hearts are broken right now, but you have no idea what wonderful things are in store for you if you will just hold out hope. Have faith little ones. Your miracle is on its way.”
As I left my computer to escape the grief — both theirs and mine, I distinctly heard God whisper to me,
“Don’t worry, little one, I’m coming. I have a plan, and you have no idea what miracles I have in store for you if you will just hold out hope. Your miracle is already on its way.”
Yes, Lord. We need a miracle.
So there it is. We’re waiting for a miracle. We need money to rescue these orphans, and we just don’t have it. But God does. And I believe that He has a plan. He has not called us to this adoption alone, because we cannot do it alone. I believe that He has surrounded us with people who are also called to help rescue these orphans.
I feel like I must ask: Has God has been whispering to your heart over the last few weeks as you’ve been reading this blog? Would you help to say yes to these two children, who have already experienced too much grief in their brief years? Are you called to be a part of creating the story now, rather than waiting to see how it ends?
Are you a part of the miracle that is on the way?
*Update: Donations directly to the agency are no longer being accepted because our fees are nearly paid off! (9/15/11)
Our agency has asked that you put our name in a note or on the memo line to make sure it goes to our account, and they will send you a tax-deductible receipt.
Of course, if you’d rather give to us directly, or by one of the means to the right, we would appreciate that too. All donors’ names will go on the picture frame surrounding the puzzles of the children whose faces will hopefully be home in a few short months. We would love to tell our children about the miracle that brought them home.
Are you a part of that miracle?