Well, it is middle of the night and I can't sleep. I just have too much on my mind. Imagine that!!! So, I thought I would post on the blog and finish the story I started last time, but from a different perspective. If you see lots of mistakes, please forgive me. I am not usually up at this time of night (morning) and my brain may not be quite up to speed. I hope you will be able to get my point by the time I finish.
Before I start with the story, I just want to let you know that I have reserved tickets to fly out on the 23rd of April and will arrive in Kiev on the 24th. It is a long trip and I appreciate your prayers for safe and smooth travels. When Josh and I went to Ukraine this past summer the airlines lost our luggage on the way over. We spent two weeks in Ukraine with two outfits each. That was not fun at all!!! I really don't want to lose my luggage again, so I would appreciate your prayers that my luggage will also have a safe and smooth trip, and will be reconnected with me when I disembark in Kiev.
Now for the story. We did not tell our son that he was being adopted until we got to Ukraine and had the referral papers on hand. So he did not know anything about us starting the process in 2006 and being turned down for adoption in the spring of 2007. Josh told me later, after our communication had improved, that he knew he had not been a good boy and didn't deserve to be adopted so he didn't think anybody would ever come for him. Can you imagine thinking that you were so bad as child that nobody would ever want you?? That just breaks my heart. Needless to say, he was totally blown away when we said that we were there to adopt him in 2009. Initially Josh very unsure about it all. He really had to think on it for a while and talk to his aunt before he would say yes or no. Finally, he made the decision that he wanted to be adopted by us and move to America to live with our family. I simply can't imagine life without him in our family. I believe he made the right choice. :)
After Josh learned enough English to communicate more easily with us, we talked to him about his adoption. He told us that he and his family were very suspicious of our motives for adopting a child when we already had three children. It was frightening to hear all of those horror stories about people adopting children and abusing them, locking them up, or even selling them in the sex trafficking trade. But, since he had met me in 2008 and felt that I had a good heart and would have good intentions for him, he thought it would be good to come with us. Josh also asked why we did not tell him in advance that we were adopting him. I explained to him about how we had submitted an application for him and was turned down by the old agency for adoptions so we did not want to disappoint him if we were turned down again. In fact, up until the day we boarded the plane there were rumors that the Ukrainian government was going to stop international adoptions again and restructure and improve the agencies in the government that handled orphan care and adoptions. The restructuring did occur, but not by completely stopping adoptions. We can only Praise Jesus that the adoption processes remained intact so that we could complete the adoption and bring him home.
Josh understood our point and could agree that it might be difficult to think you are being adopted by a family to then be told that they were not approved to adopt. He then told us that if we had been approved on our original application and arrived in Ukraine in the spring of 2007, he would not have agreed to be adopted. He was still young and would have been too scared to accept, and his family would have fought hard to prevent his adoption. We were stunned. If we had forced the adoption back then, resubmitting and continuing with the process, we might not have Josh with us now. My mind and heart just can't go there.
Being able to look back on it all now, we clearly see how God worked it all out. What we thought were stumbling blocks or closed doors turned out to be critical positioning points to put us, as individuals and as a family, in the right position to succeed in reaching the goal God had placed before us. God called us to adopt and we followed through. It took us two tries, but we did do what God called us to. God taught us so much about just saying "YES" to His call throughout the adoption process. It was not easy at all. Adoption is like a huge roller coaster with very steep inclines with high peaks and very steep and fast declines. We had to grow strong enough in our faith to withstand the challenges that go along with that kind of a ride. God didn't permanently close the door of adoption, he only kept it closed long enough for everybody to be ready. Josh had to reach a point where he could look forward enough to see (or hope for) the future that lay before him with a family to call his own forever. Our family had to grow enough to accept someone completely different from us living in our home. God showed himself faithful to us and gave us peace and strength through it all. There have been many challenges along the way; adjustment issues, personality conflicts, misunderstandings, hurts and pains throwing kinks into things we thought would be easier, and all kinds of things that we all had to face head on. On the flip side of that, there have been many wonderful times filled with laughter and joy. We have been able to watch (in awe most of the time) as our son is blossoming and becoming the man that God intended him to be. God has walked us through it all!!! Only He can orchestrate as complex as putting our family together the way he has.
Now, here we are, riding the adoption roller coaster all over again. We have said "Yes", as long as God is the one doing the driving.