It has been two weeks since I've seen Luke and Ray. Two weeks. We don't have a court date yet, and we haven't even been assigned a judge. Who knows how much longer we are going to be here. I have nothing to count down to, no idea when I am going to see L and R again, and I find those two things down right depressing.
I did really well with the homesickness for the kids for the first week. Week number 2 has been off and on. I'll have a rough day(or part of a day), and then I'll do really good for a few days. Now it's like I've hit a wall. I just want to hop on the next plane home. Not knowing how much longer we are going to have to be here feels like too much for me to bear.
I'm tired of orphanages too. The orphanages are even more depressing than missing Luke and Raylen. The kids are all so awesome and cute. Even the ones who aren't cute are cute. When the little ones walk by us with their group, they stare and smile and wave. They break their little necks craning their heads to see us as the nannies lead them away. If they ever do have a chance to break away from the group, they run over to us yelling, "mama!" "papa!" and they are all smiles. One day I was bringing Josslyn back to her groupa and there were no nannies in her room. 2 or 3 of the children had escaped the big playpen where they were supposed to be confined. One spotted me and yelled, "mama!!" They swarmed me like bees on honey. Several more of them immediately scaled the playpen walls and ran over to me too. I squatted down and they all crowded around me. The ones who couldn't escape the play pen all gathered in the corner closest to me reaching their arms out towards me. I as looked at them all, eye to eye, one little girl nudged her way up to the front of the group. She smiled from ear to ear as she layed her head on my shoulder, while whispering, "mama". She is precious. Brown curly hair, chubby cheeks, and a beautiful sweet smile.
As I left Josslyn's room, I was all warm and fuzzy at the sweet attention and affection that had been lavished on me. But those warm fuzzies quickly turned to heartache when I realized that most likely only one or two of the children is Josslyn's groupa will ever know the love of a family. The other 9 or 10 of them will spend the next 13 or so years in an orphanage of some sort, and then they will age out of the system when they turn 16. 90% of those sweet little faces will have to grow up and face the world on their own at 16 years old, with no family to love, support, and guide them. They will be crippled for life by their orphan status. It will be difficult for them to get a job or find housing(can't really get an apartment if you don't have a job, right?). And that is IF they are "healthy". If they have HIV, when they age out of the system at 16 there is really no hope for them. They will NOT be able to get a job(doing anything legal, that is), they will not have access to the medication they need. So the children turn in to prostitutes, drug users, and theives, just to survive. Without their medication the disease runs rampant in their body. Sick children who are sharing needles and having promiscuous sex, contributes to both the spread of HIV and the birth of more babies who will end up as orphans in the system just like their parents. It's all a bit overwhelming, isn't it?
Parker's orphanage doesn't make me feel any better. The children there are older, but just as precious. I wish I could share with you the sweet faces of the kids who we have had the opportunity to meet and talk with. They are precious beyond words, and all so hungry for our attention and love. The chances of any of them being adopted is even slimmer, because of their age. I get such a thrill talking, playing, and spending time with them. But that all comes down to such a crashing low when we leave and I have a chance to think about what their future. So bleak. It is no wonder that about 15% of orphans commit suicide within a year of aging out of the system. Only the most tenacious will survive.
All of that is to say, that even if I had Luke and Ray here with me, I would still be having a very rough time emotionally. Adoption itself is a deeply emotional process. If you combine those emotions with the despair I am feeling about the lost children we will have to leave behind, it's a given that I am going to be a broken hearted mess regardless of whether or not I am missing my kids. But I AM missing Luke and Ray severely, so that only adds to my despair.
I know I am opening myself up to be verbally attacked, by admitting that I am homesick for my children at home. I've seen it happen on the blogs of other adoptive families while they were in country for their adoption. Lucky me that I gave up caring what others think a while back(It's kinda freeing. You ought to try it some time if you haven't already.). So, while I might get attacked for daring to admit that I am incredibly homesick for my kids at home; or that the adoption process is emotionally exhuasting; or that part of me seriously just wants to bust my 3 kiddos out of their orphanages and never look back, I'm admitting those things anyway. Last night I got to a point where I realized that I cannot continue in my own strength. God has been a source of strength since we have been here, but more like a crutch to lean on to help me along. I am completely emotionally spent. From here on out everything I do will be done by the Lord's strength, not my own. I can't do this any more, but God can. HE is the one who started this work in our family, and He will see it through to completion. It will be for His glory.