Thursday, May 28, 2009
We have had extremely disappointing news this morning. In the midst of a merger of our original agency with another agency, their Thailand Program is closing today. Because the program with Thailand was run through the original agency, the new agency doesn't have an agreement with the country as yet, or something along those lines. I have been informed that they will try and begin a new Thailand program, but they do not know if it will be approved and how long it will take, etc. Here are our options as of right now:
Wait to see if a Thailand program starts up again with this agency.
Or go ahead and begin the China program and wait over 3 years for a referral.
Or consider the Taiwan or Ethiopia programs.
All are viable options. There are so many reasons, however, why the program we chose/qualified for originally seemed just perfect, and why these other programs have some individual difficulties for us. However, we will continue on with our adoption and make a decision in the next few weeks as to exactly where we'll be going. I know it's just a big setback in a long journey, which I know will have a beautiful ending.
We've just completed so much of our Thailand dossier- Dr.s forms, paperwork, notarized letters, our friends did their notarized letters of reference for Thailand, etc. Now what?
My heart is broken today.
I know there is a child waiting for us and we just have to keep going.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
As a volunteer Guardian Ad Litem, I represent abused and neglected kids in court who are currently in Foster Care. Confidentiality is important, but I can tell you that I currently represent a young teen boy who resides in a group home. His past is one of countless deeply disappointing stories, but whenever I visit with him (usually weekly), he brightens up my day immediately! In fact, I can honestly say that he has made me a better and more sensitive person and has done me more good than any good that I have possibly done for him. His smile lights up when I come in. He tells me I can come over anytime. All I do is sit and talk with him or watch him skateboard out front. He yearns for that attention. He is so precious and valuable, I can't imagine how anyone could not appreciate and treasure him everyday of his life. As a GAL, my job is to make sure his general needs are being met- i.e.- food, shelter, clothing, safety, kind treatment, medical care, counseling, education. Then beyond that, I try to advocate and facilitate opportunities that "normal" kids have, such as sports, activities, outings, visitation with separated siblings, socializing, etc, although sadly, I myself, am not allowed to take him on outings according to the Court Program. This is where it gets really tough. If the first list is met, we can breath a sigh of relief, they are safe and being fed, and most people in charge just kind of forget about the child and check in once a month. But it's that second list of needs that makes my heart ache as well. A child can have all of his basic needs met, but what about one on one time? What about someone talking to them as an individual and asking them, how was your day? Do you have any friends at this newest of many schools you've been moved to? Do you want to talk about anything? What are your hopes and dreams? Do you need help with your homework? Would you like to go to lunch? To the park? See a ball game? Do you go to church? To Synagogue? Would you like to? Would you like me to come to your school program or field trip?
These are all the things that are own children just assume will happen. But MANY of these children NEVER have anyone take this interest in them. In fact, I can't even imagine my kids making it through school without us staying "on top" of their work everyday! They will soon grow up, "age out" of the system and be unprepared adults with no sense of attachment or guidance.
Here's the problem...thousands of kids...not enough people who care.
Consider being a mentor. You don't have to sign you life away. It can be as simple as one outing a month or more if you'd like. There are many programs in your area. You can even google a children's home or group home near you and call and ask if they need someone to stop over and help with homework or take kids for outings. There will be an application, a background check and clearance obviously for their safety, but it will only take a teeny tiny bit of effort on your part and in the long run will make all the difference to an child who needs someone to care about them as an individual!
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."
Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?"
Then the King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Every now and then a piece of poetry will catch my mind and I will keep going over it in my head for awhile, picking it apart. This sonnet I came across the other day is one of those. I am captured by the way Donne speaks of needing God to literally take over and relieve his heart as he drifts away and disappoints himself by his own actions. We don't know what he has done to disappoint himself... in this particular poem, it sounds quite serious, the reason that causes the author to cry out to God for help and for relief. We may not be living a life that could compare to what John Donne is expressing here, but don't we all at times drift away toward that place of disappointment? Even if it is just an unkind word or judgement. How hopeful it is for me to know I can call on God anytime, and He is there immediately with love and mercy.
Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breath, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to'another due,
Labor to'admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly'I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me,'untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprision me, for I,
Except you'enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.