“Every year I live I am more convinced that the waste of life lies in the love we have not given, the powers we have not used, the selfish prudence that will risk nothing, and which shirking pain, misses happiness as well. No one ever yet was the poorer in the long run for having once in a lifetime ‘let out all the length of the reins.” – Mary Cholmondeley
Plane tickets are purchased… again.
And, on May 3rd, we are scheduled to leave for Ukraine which is still in the midst of… hmmm, let’s just say instability. We are headed ultimately to an orphanage which is just north of Donetsk which, if you are watching the news, is the part of Ukraine that they keep shading in bright “danger-like” colors. We are going to meet a little boy, Dima, who we only know through the words of our facilitator and some photographs. And we are going to submit papers to bring him back to the U.S. and become his forever family.
So, I don’t know Mary Cholmondeley… but I’m feeling like we are pretty close to letting out “all the length of the reins” – or the length of my personal reins anyway.
Now… to catch you up.
When last I posted, we had gotten disappointing news about Max… but had not given up. That following week, we had a conference call with our facilitator, Angelina, and our placement agency. I had come up with every possible solution… but to no avail. The answer was simply “no, we will not make him available for adoption” – with no reason, no recourse. I learned the hard way that not every country is like the U.S. — you cannot fix every problem because they really don’t give you anything to fix. They just say “NYET.”
And this was all kind of heartbreaking – no, not “kind of” – it was heartbreaking and it was another loss for each of us.
Then came a new boy. Now it might sound strange to read this blog which seems to showcase a different boy with each post. And I assure you, that it feels very weird… and somehow wrong. It is almost as if we are talking about cars on a used car lot. But it seems that this is the reality of international adoption. In fact, our placement person, Karen, told me that her daughter was her 9th referral and each one seemed like a “sure thing.” So, it is something that you have to learn to get over. And, truthfully, there are a lot of kids out there hoping that people can “get over” our expectation of guaranteed results.
So… meet Dima
Dima is a couple of months younger than Max, turning 10 in September. He is in an orphanage called Mykolaivka Internat and he’s got nobody. Well, he’s got nobody yet. In about 14 days he’s going to find out that he not only has somebody… he’s got 3 somebodies, a dog, 2 cats and a lizard… not to mention a whole lot of somebodies in the form of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends all around the world. Imagine that day!
You know, sometimes, after a really good night’s sleep, when I wake up in the morning before the alarm and it’s still a little dark outside, I crack my eyes open… and while everything is coming into focus I wonder… could this all have been a really bad dream? Maybe it is March 16th, 2009 and my 3 kids are about to get up. But, then my room comes into focus and I see the things that indicate that time has indeed gone on and all that has happened, has indeed happened… some new article of clothing, something on the nightstand… and I breathe in this reality for yet another day. And over these past months I have wondered if these boys that we have thought about and prayed about wake up sometimes thinking the same thing… only different. Maybe Dima finds himself in the early morning wondering if when the haze clears, he will be in a room of his own, with his own toys, his own family and breakfast waiting. And, while no one can come in and change our reality… we have this most amazing opportunity to change his. And maybe, this is as my friend Mary Cholmondeley mentions above… “power we have not used” and “love we have not given.”
Now this all sounds so righteous and amazing… but I would be lying if I didn’t say that there are times when I wonder… “what the he*! are you thinking?” and “why complicate things?” But then I try to remember back when this was such a strong calling and I wasn’t feeling tired from the process… and that wins out.
So, in closing, despite how obvious it might seem… you may be wondering (or perhaps not) why I chose the title that I did for this entry. Well, it was not random and I think it is worth mentioning. For those of you who come to this blog from the Caring Bridge pages… you might remember that on the first Sunday after New Year’s our minister passes a basket around our congregation and we are each invited to blindly select a paper star which has a word on it. This is our word for the year. Now, in years past, I would put my star somewhere in the house where it wouldn’t necessarily draw attention, but where I would regularly see it… tucked behind the corner of a picture frame on the wall, peeking out from a lamp base… that type of thing. But, to confess, I lost my star this year and I couldn’t exactly remember what my word was… but I knew 2 things… 1) I hadn’t thrown it away and 2) it was a word that I couldn’t immediately figure out how I would be able to implement. You know… like the word could have been something like “generosity” and that is an action word… perhaps not always easy to do… but easy to imagine doing. This word was different.
And then, at the beginning of last week. I was doing something in my room… perhaps getting an article of clothing out that I hadn’t worn for awhile… and out floated my star. And… as I’m sure you have already guessed… I picked it up and the word was “risk.”
I’m not sure there’s much more to say… but a lot can happen in 10 days, so we’ll see where we are next Saturday. Please do send good thoughts for calm skies and good flying… because you know, I’m not a big fan of flying.
And really really really finally… I would just like you each to stop for one minute and send a prayer to a mom, Terri Clapp, who is a Faith’s Lodge mom (which is self-explanatory) and who just lost her husband, Terry. Sometimes it is just unfair how much heartache one person must take on and I pray that she can feel all of us trying to lift that weight off her heart.
more to come from Eastern Europe