Where to begin...
Yesterday was the day we finalized our adoptions. They are officially ours. Papers have been signed and we are blessed to call them son and daughter. After lunch we took a bus to a shopping center to buy a few supplies. One of which were some shoes for Nate. The shoes he was brought in were sandals for a girl and very large.
Today we headed over to Nate’s orphanage and Maria’s Big House of Hope. The bus ride was long, but it was fun to see the country side. Nate was constantly asking to go to the bathroom. We tried a couple times and then decided he must just want some attention. Either that or he was bored. No more potty stops for him.
Upon entering the orphanage you are bombarded with the smell of urine. It is considered a good orphanage, but it is still an orphanage. Paint is chipping on the walls, things look dirty, and there are children alone without families. It is heartbreaking. I was blessed to check in on two children who will be going to homes within the next 6 months or so. I was not able to hold back the tears as I laid my hand on their heads and prayed for them. It does not seem right to leave them when they have loving homes waiting for them.
The visit was a blur. They do not show you much. Just a few rooms down one hall. It makes me wonder what the rest of the orphanage is like. Maybe I do not want to know. I truly believe that they put their best foot forward on that first floor. Hopefully I am wrong about that. After just 20 minutes we were leaving.
The next stop was Maria’s Big House of Hope. This facility was named after Steven Curtis Chapman’s adopted Chinese daughter who tragically died a few years ago. This place is amazing! It is clean, smells great, and there are many American volunteers roaming the halls. They take in children with more severe needs until the age of five. What a great ministry here in Zhengzhou.
Overshadowing it all is the fact that a family in our group has disrupted their adoption. Out of respect for the family, I will not go into any detail. I share because it has affected me deeply. I grieve for the boy and the family. I would love to just go put a band aid on the situation and make it all better. I want to see them whole as a family. I want to see this boy taken from an orphanage and placed into a loving home. I will never understand the decision, but I do need to trust God that He will work through all the pain and heartbreak.
Overall, Jon, Nate, Mae, and I are doing well. We are very tired, but ready to keep putting one foot in front of another. It is no easy thing to adopt two children at once. Others contemplating this need to realize that it is no walk in the park. Jon and I are constantly “on”. We cannot relieve each other. Mae is attached to me and Nate is attached to Jon. While this is good, it makes it difficult for us to attach to the other child. Nate wants little to do with me and Mae does not want Jon. We are not concerned about this, just stating the facts. It is not easy or ideal. Will it work out ok? Yes. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat! One just needs to be prepared.
Please pray for me that I will start sleeping better. I am attempting at staying up later tonight in the hopes that I will sleep for longer than three hours. We will see.