I now understand, first hand, how adoptive parents can say that when they left their child(ren)'s orphanage, they left part of their heart there, and just wanted to take every one of those orphans home.
Today, our whole family, along with other church friends, spent the afternoon at an American orphanage, just interacting with children in transition... playing games, doing crafts projects, and eating pizza with them, being there to brighten their day. When we first walked in, our teenage children initially felt awkward, wondering what to say, and how to act. I just told them to interact with the children like it's just Sunday School or VBS, except that these children might express stronger emotions in a given situation due to the circumstances of their life stories.
It wasn't long until our children realized that children in transition are no different than them, they've just missed out on stable family life like our children have grown up with. But they still laugh and giggle. They still cry. They still get their feelings hurt. They still have the same questions and curiosities. They still want to give and receive hugs (or maybe not). They still want to give and receive love, even if they aren't sure how to express that.
At some point in the day, each of our children shared with me how much fun they were having, how they hoped we could come back again to spend more time there with these children, and even pointing out which children they'd really clicked with and wanted to tuck in their back pocket to bring home with us.
We had ten extra seat belts in the van we could have filled when we left, had the adoption process been that easy. The hard part would have been choosing which ten to bring home. Leaving behind children who were crying that we had to leave, asking us if they could come home with us, asking if we could pick them up tomorrow to take them to church with us... Oh the heartbreak!!! So hard not to just lose it right there and bawl my eyes out in front of the children!!
We could not take photos to document our day (understandably, but such a disappointment for someone like me who hardly goes anywhere without a camera in hand), and I can't share more specific details about our day than I have here, but I can tell you this much... We WILL be back!! And thankfully, we won't even have to raise thousands of dollars in funds to make the trip each time, like a trip to an international orphanage would cost! I can honestly say, I think today was incredibly bittersweet; the most torturous day, and yet the happiest and very best day I've had since we moved to Texas. Today was truly life-changing for our whole family.
And now I know what they meant when they said they left part of their heart in an orphanage when they walked out, and they just want to go back again to bring home more children.
If you don't know what they meant, you should find the opportunity to understand it too. It will change your life!
You won't ever be the same!
I dare you!!
Kings and Queens ~ By Audio Adrenaline
This blog is a small peek inside our family's first adventure into the world of adoption. We welcome your encouragement & financial support, but most importantly we appreciate your prayer covering as we climb the mountains & wander the valleys of this incredibly crazy, yet exciting journey God is leading our family on. We also ask for your prayer covering over our new children, wherever & whoever they are, that they will sense God's loving presence as He snuggles them for us, & for protection from satan's evil schemes toward each of us. Though we may be on opposite sides of the globe, or just a few miles apart, we trust God has already been preparing all of us for each other as our family grows again. May all the Glory in this journey go to our Heavenly Father, who adopted each of us as His own beloved sons & daughters.