Monday, June 22, 2015

Why do we have so many adoption experts and still so many orphans?

As I was walking around the camp today in Ecuador the question hit me: why do we have so many "adoption specialist" and still so many orphans?

There are 154 million orphans.  Every day children age out of the system....and their futures are bleak at best.  Every day children feel abandoned, unloved and worthless because no one wants them as part of their family.

James 1:27- Religon that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

God calls us to take care of the orphan.

Preston and I prayed for 2 years before we started the adoption process.  We knew God called us to adoption. We spent countless hours filling out paperwork, having our fingers printed, saving thousands upon thousands of dollars, learning Russian, reading adoption books, attending pre-adoption educational weekends, reading all The Hague regulations, etc.

God led us specifically to our daughter.  She had a really tough past.  She is very emotionally traumatized and wounded.  We attend therapy with her twice a week and took her to Colorado to see the best experts in the world to help her.  We have learned so much on how to care for our daughter and give her the best environment for healing.  We have no guarantee that she will be able to progress past her wounds, but Preston and I are called to do our very best to help her.

The hardest part for us right now is all the "adoption specialists" we encounter multiple times a day. These "adoption specialists" have not attended a single adoption class or read a single adoption book, they did not save rigorously for a year, learn a new language, travel halfway around the world to a country that was experiencing war. They have not sat with my daughter in countless therapy sessions or held her when she was crying.  They did not give up weeks of their other kids' school, baseball games, gymnastics and art exhibitions, graduation and birthday parties to go with her to intense therapy in Colorado. They don't know her past or the best thing to do for her future.

I ask that if you don't know every detail of our daughter's life and have not attended our therapy sessions to learn the best way to parent her, then please respect our parenting techniques by trusting the uniqueness of it.  It looks different from typical parenting, we know, but we are willing to look different for her future.  We have compassion for her past but do not pity her.  She WAS an orphan but now she has a loving family who is committed to help her overcome her past and flourish into a great young lady.  So, please do not have pity on her because she WAS an orphan.  Rather, in compassion, join us in helping her grow past the survival games that worked for her in her previous situations, but aren't helpful for her to grow in a healthy family. She deserves attention, just like every child, but always ask yourself if the kind of attention you are giving her is consistent with what you would give to a healthy nine-year-old, or if it is enabling her to continue her past patterns that don't work well for her anymore.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Friday late morning we started our month long journey in Ecuador.  We flew from Atlanta to Quito.

Our first two nights we stayed at a hacienda that was built in the 1700s.  It was a beautiful place.  Our room had three bunk beds, a twin bed and a loft bed.  Logan immediately claimed the loft and loved how it was so much taller than the others.

We enjoyed a delicious pizza lunch.  Logan loved sitting with Nathalie and Anna.

We had the neat opportunity to take a boat ride on a lake that is in the crater if an active volcano.  The volcano blew itself apart several years ago.  All the snow from the top made a lake approx 600 feet deep.

After the lake we headed to Camp Chacauco, where we will be doing all our work this month.  It is so great to be back here after 12 1/2 years.
(This is Preston and his students - in front of the building they spent the last semester designing the renovations.)

That evening Preston was asked to share the story of our family.  Logan and Nathan also made it up on to the stage.

We are working this week on demolishing the old interior of the colecium.

As I am blogging, this is my view.