Wednesday, December 2, 2015

International Adoption....handling the realities of child abandonment

The Harsh Realities of Child Abandonment

When we read through Little ¨M´s¨ file all we knew was that she came to her current orphanage at the age of three.  We did not know where she was before this.  I wondered in my mind where she was, she came with her head completely shaved and very frightened.  My mind came up with every potential possibility of where she could have been.....  I was not prepared for the truth.

I shared a very lengthy post last time and most of my readers probably did not get to the end to find the culminating point of the post and so I will offer a shortened version today.

We found out on Monday that Little ¨M¨ was abandoned by her parents at three years old

Little ¨M¨

This is the earliest photo we have of her from the orphanage.  Why was she abandoned?  

Her mother gave birth to a healthy child and so Little ¨M¨ was abandoned because she was blind.  She came into the orphanage because her parents had chosen to keep the healthy child and abandon her.  I do not know the details of her abandonment.  What I do know is that it was heart wrenching to hear that a sweet little toddler would be abandoned because she was blind.

It took me awhile to come to terms with this, at first you feel this sense of anger toward parents who would do such a thing, abandon a helpless little child simply due to being ´imperfect.´  

I prayed to be able to make peace with this, I know the reality is that most children in orphanages have been abandoned for one reason or another.  Depending on the country in which the child lives there are various  reasons that children are abandoned.  In some areas it can be due to extreme poverty, the inability of the parents to provide food and shelter for themselves let alone a child.  In some countries children are often taken from parents due to alcoholism and drug use.  In many cases children are abandoned due to birth defects discovered at birth.

Contemplating the realities of Child Abandonment

Motherhood is a sacred calling and duty that women have been entrusted with.  Unfortunately in our imperfect world there is poverty, cultural attitudes, addiction, immoral attitudes, and all manner of situations that cause mothers to abandon their children.   I will not try to make sense of the complex situations that would cause a woman to abandon her child.  I will say however that I have come to realize very profoundly that we as followers of Christ must be willing to be the Lord´s hands in these children´s lives.

As I began a program of learning how to be mentored by the master this is when I began to see more clearly the true purpose in life.  I had known for years of the plight of children living in orphanages all over the world, some even abandoned because they were born with physical handicaps or illness.  I had a desire to help, I wanted to adopt, but money was a big hurdle I didn´t know how to cross.

Power Hour and Consecrating Our Lives to The Lord

People have told me I was lucky, I only had two children and they are growing up fast and in less than 5 years we would be empty-nesters.....oh how lucky we were!

I started to buy into this belief system, oh yes, a life without children, I am so blessed!  Or am I?

One night as my husband and I were home alone, both teenagers were gone, I started questioning this idea of being ´Lucky.´  I was sitting on the chair knitting and hubby was sitting on the couch on his iPad.  We were casually talking but otherwise the house was eerily silent.  I said, ¨Is this really what we have to look forward to?¨  An empty, silent house?  

Is this really what people consider Blessed or Lucky?

I know society is so focused on ¨self¨ must be rich, you must be stick skinny, you must have the latest fashions, you must buy expensive purses, fancy cars, have a big house and most of all....don´t let having children cramp your style!

As I sat there in an empty home, I did not feel blessed at all.  I felt lonely!  Sure hubby was there and I LOVE spending time with him don´t get me wrong.  

In the following days during my Power hour in the morning I pondered and contemplated on life.  What gives meaning to life?  If I were to dedicate my life to serving the Lord, what would he have me do?  Is being an empty-nester at 43 years old really desirable?

In the wee hours of the morning, my heart was changed.  I realized that NO, a home without children is NOT blessed.  Do I remember sleepless nights with a newborn, changing diapers, temper tantrums, a cell phone that was ´washed´ in the bathtub, broken Christmas tree ornaments, obstinate toddlers, even more obstinate teenagers......  Yes, I remember all of it.  

Is the life of a mother easy...No.  Is life supposed to be easy....No.

When we made the decision to adopt a 5 year old little girl who was blind, this decision was not about me.  I know full well that my life will change dramatically, that my time will be spent helping her learn, helping her adjust to a new life.....  But I realized, life isn´t about ME, life isn´t about being selfish.

What a lonely life it would be if all we did was seek to get gain for ourselves!  I may be only one, but I can make ALL the difference in the life of one little girl.  My life is not my own, and I will not spend it as if it were.  We all can make a difference if we open our hearts, our lives, and our minds to the will of God in serving others instead of seeking our own will and pleasure.

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