Fundraising. I hate it. I hate everything about asking money from people. I hate inviting people to things where there is an expectation that they spend money on our behalf. I hate asking people to buy coffee that is probably a bit more expensive than what they’re used to spending. I hate (and God, please forgive me) reading blogs about people who have made thousands of dollars in a few weeks, and then me sitting there thinking…does God not want me to do this? Is this some sort of sign? What’s wrong with us?
I hate how even writing about this feels like a plea for money. I feel like there’s a large weight on my shoulders, and it’s been sitting there about a week. I look up airfare and I start to panic. Have I gotten myself in over my head?
I looked up typical judge requirements for adopting from Uganda.Like the fact that a Ugandan judge MAY require us to visit Uganda every 5 years until our child turns 18. Now I can’t see into the future, but what if something happens? What if Rich loses his job? What if we can’t afford to go, for whatever reason? What happens then? Why am I even worrying about this? Why am I worrying about things I can’t control? But I am. I can’t help it. And the worries don’t end there. I worry about his health. About bonding. About what’s happening to him now. About my kids and how they’ll adjust. And because children in Uganda are not required to be relinquished to an orphanage before being “put up for adoption,” I worry that our child will be separated from a foster care situation that they love, despite poverty or sickness.
Some people tell us that what we’re doing is great, but I sit there and think…is it? We are going to be taking a child from their culture, their land, their language, and from people who not only look like them, but people who potentially love them. I have called our coordinator and basically begged for reassurance that they ALWAYS put the child’s interests above anything else. Adoption is about fixing a broken road, so let’s not forget- the road is broken. So much tragedy has already happened by the time a child is put up for adoption. When my son makes it to America, will he be really be “lucky?” He has already lost so much, and has such a large mountain to climb. We are not out to save a child. We are adopting a child. A child that has already suffered more in his 2-4 years than I have suffered in 30. And this child needs prayer and needs a mother who has thought of all of these things. And so I think about them sometimes. And I worry.
I worry about how people will see our family when it’s no longer “the norm.” I worry about our new son always feeling separate from the rest of us- and that thought makes me want to think about adopting another child from Africa someday, but that would require us getting a bigger house. Then I worry about getting a bigger house. I worry about our ability to sell this one. And the list goes on and on…and on.
But, despite these worries, sometimes hope breaks through the clouds over my head. Abi will be talking to a friend about how she wants 7 kids, and her friend says “You’re going to have seven babies?!” And Abi says, “Well, no. Most of them will be adopted.” I love how she sees adoption as just a normal thing. I love how one of her closest friends has a brother from China and a sister from Ethiopia, and my kids see nothing weird or different about that. I love how my kids don’t define families by what people look like.
Despite all my worries, I love the assurance I have that I was born to do this. That God put these desires in my heart for a reason, from the time I was a little girl. That I happened to become pen pals with a guy half a world away who would be down with this whole adoption thing too. Which, by the way, I’ve realized is rare.
I love all the little ways that God has pointed me to Uganda. I love how easily it has been for us to fall in love with a country without stepping foot in it. I love how my world view has changed, just in the past few months. I love how just starting this adoption has made me a better person- not because we’re “saving a child,” but because the process has taken our focus off of ourselves. It has made us less comfortable and complacent. And that’s a good thing.
I love how, as I type and give these worries over to something greater than myself, they already seem small. Not insignificant, but small compared to the joy I feel in doing something I’ve felt led to do for years.
This is our story. It’s in the process of being written, and I just need to remember that it gets a lot better when I stop having a monopoly on the pen. Thanks for reading this and being a part of it, if you’ve gotten this far.
Sometimes I just need to type it all out.
(btw- all story analogies come from the book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, by Don Miller. Awesome book. I recommend.)
Wow, I feel better. Thanks.