Determination, energy, and courage appear spontaneously when we care deeply about something. We take risks that are unimaginable in any other context. Margaret J. Wheatley
Well, that is a sentiment that is near and dear here in the hearts of the Osman family. And today we find ourselves in just such a position… and… we’ve decided to dig out determination, energy and (most of all) courage. Here’s the story…
When last I wrote we had just said goodbye to our summer visitors and were resting from the “experience.” Our few weeks with Mariya brought some very important questions to the table…. some of which we had answers for and some of which we didn’t. As I saw it, these were the big questions…
1 – Is adoption really for us? While I don’t think anyone actually asked this particular question aloud… I have to presume that each of us contemplated this at some point during the month of August. I certainly wondered if I really had just been delusional about the whole thing and despite the anguish of saying goodbye to Aleksei, I cannot imagine that Rachel didn’t wonder if it really was better learning to be an only child vs. potentially ending up with another Mariya. But, the bottom line is that this decision was bigger than Mariya and we remained determined to keep our hearts open.
2 – Is Eastern Europe the right part of the world for our family? This was definitely a conversation. Bob actually raised it first… pointing out that tantrums aside, there were other things that were a little off-putting and perhaps that was really just a cultural thing. For example… just the tone in which they said “no” or “nyet” was a little harsh sometimes. When he raised this idea… I glommed onto it immediately. We had been so focused on Eastern Europe because of Bob’s ancestry – so now… I widened the view. I put more energy into other parts of the world and even made a couple of serious inquiries about boys in China. Bob, meanwhile, hadn’t completely given up on Ukraine… and pointed out that we really shouldn’t nix a whole country because of one girl. Now, of course he was right… but seriously… I was ready to nix the continent!
3 – What specifics did we learn from this experience? Despite the frustrations… we did learn a lot from Mariya and Aleksei. We learned that it will be better for our family to adopt a single child rather than siblings… totally because of the language barrier. We learned that it will likely be a better (or perhaps easier) experience for Rachel if we look at boys, which she is used to. It was a bit of a challenge having someone dropped into your world that is all of a sudden very interested in everything that you have. And it didn’t help to have someone dropped into your world who decided to draw on your American Girl doll with a purple Sharpie and then take her (and her cloth body) for a swim. Oh, and for all you mothers out there who have daughters with American Girl dolls and who are now reading this with a horrified look on your face about the Sharpie incident… Oxy10 and sun takes Sharpie off American Girl dolls… Google it! We also learned to watch for buzz words in profiles. Now, we never had a profile on Mariya or Aleksei because they were not available for adoption. But, we will always be on the lookout for any terminology that infers that there might be anger issues – “can be physical” “tends to frustrate easily” “likes weapons”… and last, but not least, we have learned that it is better to just go ahead and hide the garlic ahead of time!
4 – Are we willing to adopt a child without hosting them first? Other than #1 above… this was, by far, the biggest question. Because really, the hosting program is not designed to be a trial period. It works out to be that for many families… but that is not its intention. And this folks… is where the courage part comes in – testing you. And, each time that this question was raised… we had no answer.
a little over a week ago we received notice from Good Hope Adoption that they had a little boy (6 years old) who needs a family. Because of his age he cannot be hosted. And because he will turn 7 in October he is slated to be moved from his current orphanage to a Boarding School. His name is Samuel. He is an avid reader… he likes Legos… he plays with other kids and, while he’s quiet… his vocabulary is good. And he is healthy. And that is pretty much all we know about Sam – other than the fact that we had to make a decision immediately.
and we did…
and Sam is scheduled to join our family as soon as the paperwork is completed… God willing.
and this, of course, leads to yet another question?
Are we completely out of our minds? And the answer to this is yes… because this decision isn’t really coming from our heads. It is coming from our hearts. Let’s face it… all our best laid plans haven’t panned out so well over the last 4 years… so perhaps it is time to take a bigger leap of faith… or, a risk that is “unimaginable in any other context.”
and so, here is Sam… and he is from Ukraine