I’ve been messaged about Zorey, and asked about how we came to find this little one. The story actually starts two years ago. It starts when we picked up Israel in an orphanage in Eastern Europe and I met another family adopting from the same orphanage. This mother brought home a little boy, but she also brought home a horrifying story that made me sick when I read the words. She told the story of an infant girl and the words and images floated around in my memory for months. As horrifying as the story was, I knew it was true because I had seen far worse within the orphanage and I had also brought home a child who bore the same medical maltreatment.
“She was just an infant. She had some sort of wound bandaged on her foot so the doctor laid her on the cold metal table and just began ripping the gauze out of her foot. Dry dressing change, no pain medication. Some of the gauze was REALLY stuffed in her foot and he couldn’t rip it out so he got out a scalpel and started cutting it out….of her flesh. Blood pooled onto the floor, her screams were unlike anything I’ve ever heard, I squeezed my eyes closed, and wished that she would pass out from the pain; so she wouldn’t feel it anymore. I asked to hold her to comfort her, they said no, she wasn’t in pain, she was just crying because she was cold. I’m not exaggerating in the least when I say if I could have grabbed both the kids and ran, I would have.” Alexandria – adoptive mom
I filed the story away with the things I wanted to forget. Because truly I knew I could not save them all.
As that first year home with Israel rolled by, I came me to realize that even though I was not in Eastern Europe, I indeed left a piece of myself there. I left that orphanage, but the sounds, smells, and silence will cling to my mind forever. The children that remain locked away are not so easily forgotten or dismissed by the daily minutiae. And not a single day goes by without something reminding me of the priceless treasures I left caged in a cold, stone building.
A year ago my husband brought up adopting one more child. My children joined in the chorus, but I remained stolid in my belief that we were finished, we had given enough. So, I flung a quick prayer skyward for these forgotten orphans and I went about my days. It’s not like I can save them all. We had settled into life, found our new normal and I believed that it was now my job to advocate. I could fund-raise for others, I could go on medical trips and help in the orphanages, and my heart and perhaps my mind would be settled as time passed. I reasoned with myself saying we have already sacrificed time and money to help. But each day I looked at a reminder living in my own home of the children left behind, and what love and family can do. How our tiny sacrifice has given us so much more than we had given.
And then one day my friend Alexandria posted this…
And I burst into tears because I knew we were supposed to go back. The crazy thing is this. I prayed to God that I would not need to step into that orphanage again. Yes, I have gone back since picking up Israel and stepped into other orphanages, but I begged God that I would not have to return to his orphanage. I prayed that I wouldn’t have to sit across from the staff that neglected and hurt my son. I felt sick to my stomach to return to that building and this is where I see God in the details of my life and in the lives of these children. When we said ‘yes’, to this little girl, God moved her from the orphanage into a foster home.
What is incredible about this, is that foster homes don’t typically take special needs children. Upon meeting the foster mom, she said she would not do a special needs baby again, but a social worker had convinced her to take in this baby. And the baby was hard. She banged her head with her fist and she rocked all hours of the day. She had lived for over a year in that orphanage, and it had marked her. But through the care and love of her foster mom, she is slowly healing.
So when is enough, enough? I think about that. And honestly it is kind of embarrassing as I try to explain my 7 children and all their needs. I know that we sound kind of crazy and hard. However, had I listened to general opinion and naysayers, we would have never adopted in the first place. We would have listened to the scary adoption stories or thought about the cost. And I would have missed out.
The truth is this, God does not need me to adopt. God does not need me to give children a family. However, he has offered me the opportunity to do this and He has also provided the means. So when I look down my table and see my children, I think that it has cost us everything and that is good. Because I don’t want to hold onto things that won’t last. My life on this earth will never be measured by things, collections or career. And it’s interesting as I look back on this path we have chosen and see the things we have willingly discarded. Things that at the time seemed so important, and now I see as extra baggage I should never have been carrying in the first place. So maybe what I am carrying is lighter than the load that I originally planned for myself. Maybe the things discarded were causing the misuse of my talents and time.
We are so excited to be bring our little Star (ZOREY) home in early January! I’m sure she will be our last…because enough is enough.