Visiting Lalibela

Visiting Lalibela

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Older child adoption

My friend, Kristi, just described seeing all of the older orphans on the streets in Addis Ababa. They are in country right now and are seeing what we saw 9 months ago. The reality is this: If a child is over the legal age to be in an orphange (12), they end up on the streets with the 400,000+ other children who are orphaned and can't be in an orphanage, with no hopes of having a Mom and a Dad. My triplets are almost 12 and I can't imagine them living on the streets if something happened to really brings it home.

Alot of people are concerned with older child adoption, concerned with bonding, concerned with behaviors, etc. Our experience (granted, Gavin is only 6), is just the opposite. He bonded immediately to us. His behaviors have usually been similar to my other kids. He wants to be good, he is such a sweet hearted boy. Whenever he misbehaves (granted these incidents are SO minor) he cries, saying, "I didn't mean to do it." You see, he fights his flesh every day, just like we do. BUT he is so sweet and WANTS to behave all the time!!

This next time around, the children we hope to adopt are older than Gavin. They are beautiful, inside and out, as we know because Mike and the kids met them 9 months ago. We know, because when families come back from Ethiopia, they write things about them specifically, not using their names, but using descriptors of them that lets us konw that they really KNEW them. They all say the same thing.."They are KIND. They are beautiful on the inside and out."

Being an older orphaned child is tough. Being an orphaned older child in a sibling group is tougher...I'm sure they think all the time that no one will come for them. They see the babies being adopted around them (bonding is supposedly easier and who doesn't love a baby). I'm sure they wonder..why not me?

I love how Heidi Weimer says,"My life is not my own." I've learned so much this past year how that saying is true. My life should be for the glory of God and there is nothing more glorious to HIM than to give an orphan a hope, a hope for a future and for LOVE. We may not love perfectly, but we can still LOVE. That's what these kids need. That's what we all need.

We appreciate all of your prayers as we continue on this journey. We're getting this done very quickly this time, but there are still some hold-ups. We need to finalize Gavin's adoption here before we can complete our homestudy. We hope to do that next week. We need to complete our homestudy before we can let those kids know that they have a family who is doing everything we can to come get them...We look forward to that day!!

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