Neither of us slept well last night. Seems we both had a lot on our minds. I would love to tell that you that Chris was thinking about video games and I was awake thinking about mission stuff, but it wouldn’t be true. We were both tossing and turning because of adoption thoughts. Lots of them. Probably crazy ones. Or maybe not.
Yesterday Chris phoned John McHoul to find out if we could get together to go over some stuff. John (and we appreciate this) was honest right up front and told Chris that adoptions have sort of ground to a halt because the new director is trying to enforce the 35/10 law. This law states that a couple must be married for at least 10 years before they can adopt in Haiti. If they haven’t been then one of them must be 35 or older. We, are neither. I just turned 29 and Chris will be 33 in December. We got married last summer. We knew this might be an issue, but were hoping that like many other families that have applied and been approved, that small fact would be overlooked and not an issue.
John told us to wait it out for two weeks, then call him back. John knows Haiti like we know Haiti – that what is happening today may not be what’s happening tomorrow. That the people that are trying to use their power today may have come to their senses tomorrow. That nothing here is ever constant. There are never sure things and you will always have hoops to jump through.
I was already having an emotional day yesterday so the news was the icing on the cake. I cried. I cried a lot. I realized just how badly I want this. How much I have been emotionally and mentally preparing myself for this baby.
I am angry about a lot of things right now. Things like knowing that one individual is more concerned about exerting new power than the fact that Haiti’s orphanages are over-flowing and that there are parents all over the world that could and want to give these kids loving homes, they just can’t because they don’t have enough years under their belt. I am angry because I know that a decision like this not only hurts the kids, it hurts the country and so many people are working so hard to move Haiti forward. I am angry because this reeks of corruption. I am angry because if we weren’t married I would be able to adopt a child on my own within the next 9 months, simply because I would be a single woman over the age of 30.
Mostly I am angry because a law that is over 30 years old, and granted was maybe needed and applicable at the time, is trying to be enforced in a time when it is no longer applicable. The fact is, most people don’t meet the 35/10 requirements. Most people are getting married later in life. If people are adopting because of infertility reasons, how many years should they have to suffer through the pain of not being able to have children before they’re allowed to start a family? For those, like us, that are choosing to adopt to start or add to their families, are we going to be lesser parents simply because we aren’t 35 years old or haven’t been married for 10 years? What about the fact that we waited to get married because we both believe that marriage and family are very serious things, that we wanted to make sure we were going to do it for life, that we both wanted to finish our education and get some life experience before we stepped into such a serious commitment. I have to many “What about’s” running through my head right now. I feel like someone is saying, “Sorry, it doesn’t really matter who you are or that you might end up being the best parents or that you’re wonderful people that can definitely give a child a loving home, you just don’t have the right age or anniversary celebrations under your belt. Try again in another 3-9 years.”
I have a lot of fear too. I know that’s a normal thing for adoptive parents. I was reading a great book the other night called Secret Fears of An Adoptive Mother. It basically told me that I was normal. Thank goodness! I worry about things like bonding with our baby then hitting a road block and being rejected by the government. I worry that we might not ever be able to finish it legally and that our adopted child won’t know who it belongs to. I worry that this process is going to take a long time and that my ovaries are going to dry up and that I won’t be able to have a biological child, assuming that I already have that ability. I am so afraid of being completely vulnerably and being at the mercy of people who have never met me that have the ability to rip this thing right out from underneath me. I fear having people give me pat answers and “I told you so’s.”
I know that we are just starting this journey and that many of you that are reading this have either gone through it or are in the midst of it. I know what I’m feeling isn’t new or special, it’s just new and hard for me right now. I know that many of you have probably heard news like this several times over in the time that you’ve been in process. I know that many of you have had your hearts broken because of it and have still picked up and held on. I applaud you. I knew this was going to be hard and many times asked myself if I really thought I had what it takes to go through it. I don’t know the answer to that yet. Maybe it’s just about taking it one hurdle at a time and trusting that you’ll get through it. We know that we are incredibly blessed because we actually live in country while we’re doing this, unlike many that have to wait and be so far away from what’s going on.
Last night we had a quiet night on the couch. Chris attempted to read. I couldn’t even do that. All I wanted was to cuddle into him and just be. I know we’re going to need to hold onto each other a lot over the coming months. I know we need to hold onto and trust God through it too. This morning, as we’ve talked in bits and pieces and I’ve searched my heart there is one thing that is surfacing – the will to fight. Not in a “stick ’em up” sort of way, but in a way that says “We’re going to do whatever we have the power to do to make this a reality.”
John said wait two weeks. Can I do that, the whole time thinking that it could end up with one big crushed dream? Maybe. I don’t know. It’s only the first day. What I do know is that we will keep going. We are going to continue to compile our dossier. We are going to believe that things will change and open up. I am going to trust that God has plans to open doors where others only see walls. Not just for our family, but for everyone else that is being led down this route. I believe that God has the ability to change the hearts and minds of people. I believe that he has the ability to work around those that think they hold the power. I believe that he does continue to do miracles. I am believing him for this and am going to trust that two weeks from now, whatever news we receive, that we will continue to move forward from there. If you feel led we would love it if you would pray along with us about this and for all the families, both present, and future that will be affected by this.