When we first started talking about adopting seriously I spent a lot of time on the internet researching stuff and looking for listings. One day I ended up on a site for Uzbekistan with a listing of waiting children. No names or pictures of the kids, just numbers. I was reading through when one little boy's story grabbed my heart. He was 7. And the little blurb said that he was in remission from leukemia. And that he had watched all of his friends being adopted one by one. But he was hard to place because of his medical history and the fact that he is Roma heritage. (Romanian gypsy and very discriminated against in that part of the world). One sweet little boy who had already been through so much more than any child should have to suffer. I sat on the floor in my kitchen and cried for an hour. Up until that point I had taken for granted that any child we adopted would be healthy and beautiful and brilliant like Aidan and Chloe. (possibly I'm a bit biased =)) It didn't really occur to me to think otherwise. And here I was, on the kitchen floor, my heart breaking for a little boy that I had never met. And I wrestled with the idea. Would I be willing to love someone knowing on the outset that their life may end or be a struggle? What if they had cancer or a sickness or a disease? What if opening our hearts to love was going to bring us unimaginable suffering and heartbreak through the suffering of our child? Wouldn't it be easier not to? And yet...my heart says that no child should have to go through that kind of pain alone. And if that was the only thing that we could give, that you will be loved and not alone, than the gift is worth the cost.
PS, this could have just as easily been written by Chris. (minus the crying on the floor, as he responded in just the same way. In fact, with less hesitation than me) And secondly, I started praying for the little guy that God would give him a home and when I checked back the next week his listing was gone.
PPS, through the whole experience, I felt like I came away with a more sobering view of adoption. I am a bit of a romantic and prone to imagine only the most beautiful scenarios (think Anne of Green Gables). I felt like I was asked, 'Would you be willing, even if it was hard? Harder than anything you could imagine. Would you still be willing?' My answer is yes. Yes, I'm scared, but still, yes.