I just received an email a few minutes ago from a missionary who spends time in Aliza's orphanage telling us that the doctors there have just finished their medical evaluation of her, and she is literally hours (or in a best case scenarios, few short days) away from being transferred to a "laying room" location. To the reader uneducated in adoption "lingo", this sounds like a quiet little church nursery room where you can let your sleeping baby rest peacefully, away from the commotion of all the other children with the noisy toys and demands for snacks.
In the case of any orphan with physical or mental limitations, this is certainly NOT the type of situation we are speaking about. This is a matter of life and death to a child like Aliza. This means she goes from her life as she knows it now... with semi-frequent stimulation outside her crib,
watching other children play around her,
laughing and smiling,
having the privilege of going outside
for stroller rides,
blowing bubbles with caregivers,
being held in someone's arms,
and scooting around in a walker...
to a life I cannot fathom...
BEING CONFINED TO HER CRIB
24 HOURS A DAY,
7 DAYS A WEEK,
365 DAYS A YEAR,
IF SHE SURVIVES THAT LONG,
WITH ABSOLUTELY ZERO STIMULATION!!
Not all orphanages treat their children without affection and love, please don't misunderstand me, but from everything we've heard, if our precious Aliza is sent to any of the less-than-best "laying room" locations, or what we'd call in America, a "mental institution" (which is what she faces any hour now), she will likely be sedated, strapped by her limbs to her bed rails, laying in her own waste, suffering from bedsores, without any toys or books, or physical human contact with anyone. By no means to we want to make her country's people sound like heartless, inhumane folks. They are simply operating on extremely limited resources, and do not always have the means to give the children with physical and/or mental limitations the same kind of family type care that we think of for children waiting in our American foster system. Without a miracle, which we are praying for, Aliza is already scheduled to begin lying there alone, yet in the midst of a sea of dozens of bedridden orphans, all waiting to die, yet hoping desperately within their souls to be rescued. I have read in many blogs how statistics consistently indicate that most children sent to these living conditions will not survive their first full year there. I believe that breaks God's heart! Not one ounce of me believes that is the purpose in which He gave these children breath in their lungs. Yes, this is part of their story, and He wants to use the best and worst of each of our stories for His glory, but His purpose for them was not to be born into an orphanage and end up dying there too. He gave them life, and He gave it abundantly. He does not intend for these children to be strapped to a bed so they can wither away and die because His other children have a hundred and one excuses why we couldn't, shouldn't, wouldn't be able to play a part in their rescue.
Can you imagine spending the remainder of your life like that? I cannot. It's hard enough to be isolated away from the love of my family and confined to my bed with the flu for a few days. I cannot even begin to identify with or comprehend the sheer boredom and loneliness followed by the mental, emotional, and physical regression Aliza will experience wasting away in these conditions she faces in the coming hours.
I am in tears. I cannot sleep. My heart is grieved that any child should have to face that possibility. Especially OUR child. Rick and I fully believe God has destined both Aliza and Olivia to be a part of our family, and although we have not met them face to face yet, we love them wholeheartedly.
We are doing all we can behind the scenes to request an informal delay in Aliza's transfer until we can get to her country to bring both girls home with us, but we desperately need both your prayers and your financial help!!! Every single dollar is more helpful than you'd think! Please don't assume that you have to give thousands upon thousands of dollars to make a difference. (Although that would be awesome too!) Look how God provided miraculously for the widow who gave Him her last two mites. We can never out-give God!
Ask anyone who knows me... I am not one to ask for help usually, even in desperate times. I rarely ask. And when I do, I'm not very direct about it. But this time, I am beyond just hinting at the need, or sheepishly asking for your help.
I am on my knees pleading with our readers to help us with the ransom expenses wrapped up in "red tape" to bring these girls home to our family as quickly as possible. This adoption is NOT about us. It's not about us wanting more children, although we would gladly welcome them. It's not about being a "hero" to a child, or gaining recognition for rescuing an orphan from their plight. If I could do it without the fanfare and publicity of the bloggy world, I would. I do not like center stage at all!! Give me the job without the lights and cameras shining on me!
This is also not about "we couldn't get pregnant again, so we'll adopt instead". This is about giving a child who faces certain death a chance to live. And not just live physically, but to have a life. A life with love, and touch, and stimulation, and interaction. A life with purpose and meaning. A life most orphans will never know. It's about giving orphans the opportunity to see God with skin on. It's about giving them a chance to know who Jesus Christ is, to accept Him as their personal Savior and Rescuer, the ultimate Redeemer, the only One who can ransom their soul from eternity in hell. This is not about us my friends! It's about HIM! It's about fulfilling God's commands to bring justice into the life of the fatherless.
We knew our girls were in danger of being transferred out of their baby orphanages soon, but we hoped it wouldn't be until next summer when their next birthdays rolled around again. If we could have finalized these adoptions before our move south, we most certainly would have. But God made it pretty clear that we were to be in Texas during this crazy adventure. There are certain portions of our adoption process that we cannot move forward with until our move to Texas is complete next month, but we still face the hurdle of financial provision for each step of the journey. If the financial hurdle is already out of the way when our homestudy in TX is finalized, we can eliminate a significant portion of the waiting time that most families spend working on their fundraising efforts. Having the funding already in place allows us to travel to meet our girls almost immediately after receiving approval from their government to come pick them up. We simply cannot express how urgent this situation is. Unless you've been there and seen a "laying room" for yourself, or like us, you've read blog after blog describing what Aliza likely faces in the coming hours, you'll just have to take our word for it. It's not for the faint of heart. Your generous contribution to the legal expenses ahead of us is so critical right now! PLEASE help us get to our daughters as quickly as possible. I know God is able to provide exceedingly, abundantly, beyond all that we could possibly ask, pray, dream of, or hope for.
I'm sorry if I come across like I'm begging. I lack the experience of asking for help in a politically correct way without offending anyone! All I know is that God says repeatedly in His Word to "Give justice to the orphan, uphold the rights of the oppressed and destitute, defend the orphan, plead for the cause of the fatherless and widows..." That's all I'm doing now... Pleading for the lives of two little orphan girls that have stolen our hearts right out from under our chins. We refuse to sit idly by and watch either of them die alone in a crib without a mother or father's loving touch because we didn't plead for their precious lives to be spared. Maybe you've said in the past that you were never called to adopt an orphan. Maybe not. But God called all of us to pursue justice for these little ones without parents. And that calling looks different for each person. That doesn't always mean adoption is in God's plan for each family. For some families, pleading for justice in the life of an orphan is just as easily accomplished with those wads of green paper thrown on the dresser when you empty your pockets at night. That's why we urgently plead for your financial support right now in addition to your prayer support. Our family was "called" to adopt. That's our part in defending the fatherless. What part can you play in bringing justice to the life of an orphan?
As a wealthy American nation, we think nothing of plunking hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars down every December to give gifts to those around us. I am no different than the rest of you at Christmas time when the funds are there to spend. I cannot trade places with our girls in a "laying room", but I would trade a lifetime of Christmas gifts to give these girls a place in our home and in our lives this very minute. There is so much more I'd be willing to "lay down" for them to prevent them from spending a single day in a "laying room". What could you "lay down" for them? All it takes is clicking on that "Chip In" or "Donate" button at the top of the right side column on this page. You can be a part of rescuing these children from a lonely death in a "laying room". They need each and everyone of us to pray for them, first and foremost, but also to plead for justice for them. Please pray for protection over our girls, favor with the orphanage staff, and ask God to show you if there is any other way you can help Olivia and Aliza.
You'll never regret it.
Do not withhold good
from those to whom it is due
when it is within the power
of your hand to do so.
of your hand to do so.
Update: Because both "Olivia" and "Aliza" are no longer available for adoption, we felt it was best to remove the photos we had posted of them from our blog.