I've had many, many people tell me, over the last six years of our international adoptions, that they won't consider international adoption because they can't go that far away from their kids. (Please if you have said something along these lines to me, don't think I'm talking just about you - honestly, I've heard it at least from a dozen people and don't have anyone specifically in mind). My thought is REALLY? I am a pretty Mommy-oriented person. JD and my first big fight was due to the fact that I refused to let Gabriel cry himself to sleep as a baby. I breast-fed all my children, a few for two years. I never, never left my infants. I flew my cousin (and part of her children) here to babysit my foster kids when I went to Hawaii so that I didn't have to leave them in the care of people I didn't know or trust. If lines were drawn, I would have to say that I would be on the side of sacrificing myself, and sometimes even my marriage, to put the children first.
I say all that to show that I don't take lightly to the idea of my husband and I boarding a plane and heading overseas while we leave all our children here. In fact, I'd have to say that orphaning my children is probably my greatest fear in life. Here's how I evaluate that "risk" (which isn't really a risk because life and death is only in the hands of God) - My children live a completely privileged life. They have literally never gone to bed hungry (unless they chose it because they were being too picky). They have never had to sleep on the streets because they didn't have a home. They have never slept in fear of being kidnapped by child traffickers or being set on fire by the police that are "cleaning up the streets." My children are being required to stay one to two weeks with grandparents or friends, that may not be Mom and Dad, but are 100% capable of adequately caring for them, so that we can bring home a child that has lived for a long stretch without any of the comforts my children have, including a family! The children I am bringing home could literally have died of starvation or been trafficked by the lowest of humanity for ill gain.
When we look at the balance of our children vs. the international orphan and chose our children...we are saying that them living at 90% of their comfort level for TWO weeks is more important that the other children living at a 0% comfort level for their entire lives! Our children's sacrifice is so small in comparison to the gain of the orphan! How can we consider the children in our home to be so enormously more important than the children waiting for a family? How could we ever justify our reasoning to the God that placed the responsibility of caring for the orphan clearly on us?
Evaluating it like that just makes me realize how absurd the argument or reasoning really is. This is the reason I will kiss my children good-bye and board my flight on Saturday - it's Selah and Bella's turn to have a momma love them for the week!
I'll leave you with a few pictures of our Memorial Day lake pictures -
We took Magnum. He had a blast but isn't convinced that he's a water dog.
My baby boy -
Gabriel, Alayna (Gabriel's girl-friend), Tori and Alyssa -
Julia and Magnum -
Alayna brought crabs - you can just tell how impressed Gabriel was with the process of cracking them!
Ben has never met a sea creature that he didn't love to eat!
Elijah liked them too, he just made his mommy crack them -