So, updates- in list form though, because theres not much to elaborate on.
1. We sent Violet’s paperwork to the USCIS. It took 10 days to get a letter that said that they received our paperwork. Everyday Lev and I run out to the postbox to see if it’s our lucky day. It never is. I think the USCIS likes toying with me. It’ll show up. But I don’t have time lines anymore. I’ve given those up almost entirely. I just tell people that every day that goes by is one day closer to going back.
2. Our Both Hands project is coming along. I had to take a day or two to get over the customary disparaging remarks people like to make, but once I did, I discovered that I’m really excited about this project/fundraiser. It’s going to be a great service day. Our team sent out 250 letters, and I’m still sending a few more out this week. I’ll be writing a better post later this week or next.
3. Violets room is 90% ready. I just need to hang a few last things, and find some curtains, and we’re good to go. I also want to get her a pair of shoes, but I think I’m going to wait to do that until we get there. I forgot to trace her feet in September.
Sidenote: we did not paint the trees. They’re decals. We love them.
Also, here’s the main question people have been asking lately.
Are you going to do this again? This is kind of like the question you get when you graduate from College, or when people ask families with more 3 kids if they are going to have more. Kind of nosy, and not their business, but I usually answer like this.
“I hope so, but not right away.”
I like the idea of adopting an older child maybe between 5 and 7. And definitely from Poland but we need to wait several years for this, and I’m ok with that. This has been a good experience. Except for the part where we had to get a police clearance from Belarus. But I was on a first name basis with Oleg, the consulate general from Belarus, who pretended he didn’t speak English. I don’t hold that against him becuase he was always nice. So it wasn’t all bad.
Also, since we’re not actively adopting again for a while, I’d like to do something in the realm of adoption support and infertility support. I talked to my pastor tonight about having an infertility “Support group”. But support group is not really the phrase I’m looking for. I’m thinking more like doing something along the lines of a short Bible study/discussion group about a response to infertility. THe support aspect is there, but I’m also going for something along the lines of thinking about how the Lord uses intangible losses to shape our faith. I don’t want it to be a “Woe is me” thing as much as I want to it be a group of women who come together to talk about this loss, and be sad about it, but looking for ways to think redemptively (not the word I’m looking for, though) about it.
Another thing I’m thinking about is becoming a court appointed advocate for children in the foster system and court system. I think that working with people from my church in low income communities, and adopting and seeing kids in precarious situations has helped me think through my ideas about justice and children and immigration. And one thing that I’ve seen over and over is that the US citizen children of documented immigrants with limited language skills, migrant workers and undocumented migrant works are often lost in the shuffle, ignored by their social workers, and don’t have equal access to the resources they need to succeed, and their parents aren’t sure how to get them these resources. I don’t like this, and something I pray about (not all the time, honestly, but more now that we’re near the end of this adoption) is ways to help parents advocate for their children. I’ve become more and convinced by Abraham Kuypers quote where he says that people don’t need another government program, they need CHristians to honor their savior. Basically I’m working along the lines of all social justice has to be pursued alongside the Gospel. I can advocate, teach people how to access the resourced their kids need and so on, but at the end of the day, if I’m not pointing them to Jesus, I’ve only done half of what I’m called to do.
Here’s the quote from Kuyper: (NOTE: I’m not suggesting that government programs are bad, and I’m not sure that Kuyper would have argued they are either, but I can’t say for sure. Government programs provide much needed relief and help for people. So please don’t hear me saying that. I think the quote is more for people like me and all Christians to see that 1) we’re all called to work for social justice and 2) social justice can’t be fully realized apart from a relationship with Jesus, which means it has to be part of and result of our endeavors to bring the gospel to places it’s not. )
“the holy art of “giving for Jesus’ sake” ought to be much more strongly developed among us Christians. Never forget that all state relief for the poor is a blot on the honor of your savior. The fact that the government needs a safety net to catch those who would slip between the cracks of our economic system is evidence that I have failed to do God’s work. The government cannot take the place of Christian charity. A loving embrace isn’t given with food stamps. The care of a community isn’t provided with government housing. The face of our Creator can’t be seen on a welfare voucher. What the poor need is not another government program; what they need is for Christians like me to honor our savior.”
― Abraham Kuyper, The Problem of Poverty
I got off topic there. But really, my brain dump is really a sign of how adoption has changed how I think. I don’t think that everyone thinks this way, or comes off a set of almost back to back adoptions with such a dramatic shift in how they think about social issues. I’m not saying that you’re shallow if you’ve adopted and don’t think about this. But however you’re changed, the change occurs. Adoption really does change you. It makes you aware of how fragile life is and yet how resilient people are, and how great our capacity to love is.