Who is this "Gorby" I speak of anyway? Gorby is the nickname that Brock and I have given our child-to-be. It is short for Gorbachev. We are in the process of adopting our first from Russia. And before you feel too sorry for our little one, you must know two things. Number One: This will NOT be his or her name! Number Two: Vladamir Putin has been in charge since Gorbachev has. At least we didn't name this our Pooty Fund!
In December of 2009, we came to a painful crossroad in our family expansion process...dilemna...ordeal. We desperately wanted to be parents but month after month God kept saying no. We were at the point where we had to make a decision to move forward to the next level of horomones, sticks, calendars and thermometers, or bring a child already in the world into our home. Adoption was never our first choice. I am the oldest of five children and all of my sisters have children already. (All their husbands had to do was just look at them and *POOF!*) I figured when Brock and I decided we were ready, fertility would be running in my genes and I would be pregnant by sundown. After three and a half years and one early miscarriage, it was painfully clear that that was not going to be the case. But I am completely confident that this was never God's Plan B for our lives. We picked Russia because, independently, we had always thought of Russia even before we had talked about adoption. We never really talked about it before that heartwrenching day in Decemeber when Brock announced that he couldn't watch my heart break every month any longer. We thought we were "resigning" ourselves, but turns out, this has been the biggest source of joy in our lives. We couldn't be any more pleased to have been called to love and care for one of God's precious children! This was never God's Plan B for our life! He was just preparing us so that we would be ready at the right time for the right child.
In Russia, we are told, there are 3/4 of a million orphans, most of whom are social orphans. Their parents simply don't have the ability to provide for them. There are between 5 to 15 children per caregiver, so you can imagine that there are simply not enough hands to hold babies, not enough food to adequately nourish children, not enough...just not enough. The strangest piece of advice we have thus far received from the adoption agency was when we bring our little one home was that we are to circle our wagons. Lock the doors, turn off the phones. Carry the child everywhere we go in the house. Run to the child when they whimper. Don't let anyone else hold the baby. Institutionalized children are taught early on that their little voices don't matter. It would be physically impossible for one worker to cradle and comfort every single baby when they cry. My child will have learned from the time that he/she is months old, weeks old that his/her little voice isn't important enough to be heard. He/She will have learned that no adult can be counted on to be there. We have the enormous task of retraining their little brain to know they do count! That they are precious! That we will do everything in our power to protect that little one-to provide a safe, clean home where they will never have to want for food. We have to recreate a bonding experience that most children are privileged enough to experience when they are newborns.
When a Russian orphan turns 17, they are pushed out of the orphanage. No education. No skill sets. Just well wishes, if that. Statistically, 25% of them will take their own life within the first year. Half of the ones who make it past that will turn to either prostitution or crime just as a means of survival. We have been called to play a part in changing at least one orphan's life. Not just their life, but their entire legacy. Our child's children will be altered by decisions we are making today. Grandchildren, great-grandchildren and so on until Jesus comes back.
This is our greatest source of joy. As I said before, it was never God's plan B for us. His ways are indeed not our ways. His ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours. Thank you, Father for entrusting us with one of most precious and valuable creations. Your word tells me that when you formed the world, the only creation for which you rolled up your sleeves and formed with your own hands was Adam and Eve. Everything else you spoke into exisitence. But humans...ah humans, these you created for relationship and out of love. We fall so short in so many ways, but time after time, you reveal a love story that wooes us back to you. There's nothing else that you created that you love more than people. And you have chosen us to love and care for one of those people. There's no greater calling. Make us worthy, LORD.