I have a friend, an amazing woman and mother, Kara. About 4 years ago she and her husband were in process to adopt a cute little Ginger (that's a compliment, not a back handed slap!) from Russia. It is hard to remember just how far along they were, but it was a decent way into the paperwork and the fundraising and All The Feels for that little man when suddenly, Putin pulled the plug on American Adoptions in Russia. Now, this is in no way a political post, but gosh darn it.... he sucks for that. Kara and this kiddo are important to us because she is how we found out about RR and special needs adoption.
So with this devastating blow to her and Hubby she recouped and re-committed to a little boy in Ukraine and I was able to watch her process from start to finish. Soon after she brought him home I joined the RR Facebook group and saw all these Momma's and Dad's who had made the journey, were in the process or who were already home. Some hadn't even adopted, but they have a serious heart for this devastation, and want to show these children to the world. Obviously I had knowledge of adoption and I had always wanted to adopt, but I never had the resources or support to do so. By joining this group my eyes were opened to something I never knew much about.... the special needs children in orphanages.
Now when I was younger and thought about adoption I didn't think there could be such a separation between orphans and special needs orphans. Maybe it is just a fine line....barely visible to some, but once you know it is there it is like a totally different world. In my younger years when I thought adoption I thought, "baby"...newborn, one year, two year's old. I didn't think about children who were eight, nine or ten, or with Down Syndrome or Limb differences. It is hard to explain these thoughts and I truly hope they make sense. A lot of international orphans and largely those with special needs are treated unfairly...disgustingly infact. The lack of love, attention, hugs, nutrition, food and everything else you can imagine is heart wrenching. So much so that most of the world would rather not give it a second thought. It is a well known fact that in countries like Ukraine, children who are "different" are viewed as a curse. A curse on the Parent for some wrong doing in their time and are given a child that is different to shame them. Now, I believe a child is a blessing, not a shame or a burden, and I know a lot of people who would agree with me. In these countries the thought of abortion is frowned upon (that is not something to debate here- I am just giving you facts) so in lieu of that option, the next best thing is to place them in an orphanage where they will wait. What are they waiting for? They wait for a family to find them and provide, love and cherish them. They wait to die- depending on their conditions and care or lack of. They wait to be thrown onto the street at 16 when they are expected to care for themselves or they are placed in an institution for their remaining life. Could you imagine? Do you even want to imagine?
After joining RR I browsed the photos of waiting children and said a little prayer for them knowing I can not help them all. At the time I didn't think I could help any. I came across a certain photo and felt like I had seen that little face before. Stared and stared and then moved on. A few days passed and I couldn't shake this feeling. Where had I seen this kid before? A couple nights later I had a dream, but not just any dream. You know how you can sometimes tell when you are having a dream that you've already had? Tell me I am not the only one! :) It was a dream of a little boy running around playing in a big field. He was wearing a light blue sweater and a crooked smile. It felt so real and it just consumed me. It was like I was there and I was watching him. I was seeing them dream in real life. It was crazy!
I woke up the next morning and starting researching. I asked questions in the RR group.. What do I have to do? Well first thing was first-- I needed a husband. Hmmmmmm-- good thing I was already engaged. I looked at him and said, "we should adopt this little boy" and he said, "no". He slammed the brakes, HARD! This was sometimes in March and we were set to be married in October. I was heartbroken, but I gave him some space and time to think about it. Maybe a month later I asked again and this time he said, "do you really think we could do this?" and I responded with a solid, "YES!". We moved up our date and were married in May 2015 and started our adoption journey together. I believe in a BIG GOD. There is no way we could have made through each aspect of this journey without him. God had our back and close to 10 months later he was home with us. Close to 11 months after that we have committed to a new sweetie pie and we feel great. I honestly did not think we would go back. It is almost like a covert operation. Such care and detail go into every aspect.... being positive you can/want to commit again, working out fundraiser details, knowing down to the penny what amount of money you need, having a support system behind you. It is emotional, it is stressful, it is psychotic, it is WORTH it. Even if you are not religious or spiritual. If you believe in God or if you believe in nothing-- You are believing in something right? Something is telling you to go for it. Something is calling. Listen to it. What is it telling you?