I will never forget the day I walked into a crowded market in India. The taxi dropped us off on the side of the road and as we began to walk down the street, a mob of young street children bombarded us. "Sir, mum...please, may I have some money. Please."
We were strongly urged to not give money to any children in the streets because the money never actually went to them. With tears in my eyes, I looked at this one little girl who couldn't have been more than five. I said, "I'm sorry, I have no money".
As I walked away, I suddenly felt this little girl literally jump onto my back. "Please mum, please." I gently pulled her off my back and as I looked into her eyes, all I saw was vacancy. Her dark hair was matted to her dirtied skin. Her clothes tattered and torn with a faded out image of a sunshine on the front of her too small tshirt. Her soul had been ravished by the injustices of this world. She was no longer her own, she belonged to another. And as she walked away, I watched her turn the corner and face an angry looking man who was obviously expecting a return.
My heart broke. I could do nothing for that girl.
Amidst the busyness of the marketplace, my mind stood still. There was no category in my brain to explain this away. I had just stared in the eyes of the reality of injustice. And my life changed.
Even if I had all the money in the world to give her, it would leave her hands and she would be sent back to the streets. In that moment I pleaded with God to give me the strength and ability to do something. For years, that meant prayer and encouraging those who were able to act. Praying for the courageous Indians who were literally dying on behalf of freedom and justice for their people. And now, I feel God is stirring our hearts to move us into more action.
When we were starting our second adoption we considered India as an option, but since the country was not open to international adoption at the time we felt compelled towards Russia again. Once we made that decision we really didn't think twice about any other countries, until a month ago when the Russian adoption ban became a reality for our family.
We have been praying, seeking counsel, talking with international adoption specialists and social workers and have been trying to make the best possible choice for our family.
We first had to take a step back and ask ourselves, why do we desire international adoption? The first reason is because we desire another child. The second reason is because we want to give a child a family who otherwise would have no hope without the reality of adoption.
As we thought and prayed through that statement, there became no greater option in our lives than to adopt our daughter from India.
So we take this step forward towards an Indian adoption. We are nervous. This is new and uncharted waters. This has unique implications on even what our family is going to look like. But we believe that God's love covers all - including skin color and culture. And the bond that He will give to us as we call ourselves "family" will be unbreakable with His love at the core.
As an affirming sign of God's provision, the agency we had been using for our Russian adoption also works in India. This is actually pretty unbelievable considering there are not many agencies who work in India. Financially speaking, we will not lose any of our agency money or donations and almost everything will transfer.
Unfortunately, we will have to start from the beginning with our paper work. This means a new home study, as well as new government approval. Hopefully we will be able to move through it quickly since we just went through it, but it is starting over.
Once our paperwork gets completed, it will be sent to India and then begins the waiting process (similar to Russia). It seems like our wait time will be around a year. India requires two trips: the first to meet our daughter, the second to bring her home.
Seven years ago, God began planting a seed into our hearts. It was a seed that grew from visiting India, to sponsoring a child in India, to praying for the people of India. God is continuing to water that seed by giving us the unbelievable opportunity to bring a daughter into our lives from this amazing country.
We are thankful that you are taking this journey with us. The bumps and the turns can be nauseating at times, but we keep our eyes on Him and continue to trust in His goodness and faithfulness.
Until next Monday,
love: Kate, Steve & Dima