From the beginning of this call to adopt older children we have had a passion for being honest with them.
In those earliest days we said four things:
This is not going to be easy, not for us or for them.
They must own and want this for themselves, we cannot pour it into them.
We cannot and will not fight them.
We have to talk with them honestly about what it will be like in our family and in America.
Throughout these twenty months we have felt that God would have us talk to the children very seriously prior to their agreement to be adopted in court. Much like a marriage they need to know and understand what they are saying “I do” to. Several weeks ago we made a list of things we wanted to cover in “the talk”. The problem has been securing a translator that shared our hearts on these issues that could communicate them effectively to the children.
On Sunday a lady at DCU translated the worship service for me. As I heard her speak and got acquainted with her God spoke clearly, “she’s it”. We both knew that the time was now and she was the one for the job. We talked to her yesterday and she was willing to accompany us to the orphanage today. She came to visit last night and we talked through the things we wanted to share with the children so she was prepared. There is no doubt she was sent to us by God. She talked with us about the children and what they think, the difficulties they will face in this transition and the difference in our two countries. It was priceless to understand more of what the children likely feel and think.
We awoke this morning before 4 am to pray. God was impressing on us the need to talk with the children about salvation in Christ and to approach this time very prayerfully.
We gathered them all together and they knew this was serious business. We began by explaining what is happening with our efforts to get their court accomplished successfully. We also shared with them our desire to adopt their friend, the fourth boy, and I wish I had a photo of their delighted faces!! Those were four happy kids!! We then explained the process of returning to Kiev to get his referral after their court.
We shared with them the story of God calling us to adopt twenty months ago through the photo of the girl in Simferopol and that we began this journey there meeting that sibling group that was not God’s will for our family.
From there we talked about Freedom and that many adopted children think that when they get out of the orphanage and to America they will be totally free. We explained that even as adults we cannot do anything we desire. Nor will that be the case in a family.
We talked about Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness guaranteed by our nation’s constitution. We explained that you have the right the pursue happiness but you are not guaranteed happiness.
From there we talked about the following:
This is going to be hard work. It is not going to be easy. Each of them has to own it for themselves. Each of them has to learn English, they cannot depend on another to do this for them.
Many things are different…food is different…math is done differently…history is told from a different perspective. These new ideas and ways of doing things are very difficult for many older children who are resistant to change.
Attitude…your attitude is going to determine your experience.
Gratefulness for what is given. Having a grateful heart.
You will be as happy as you make up your mind to be.
We talk about our problems. It is always o.k. to be sad, happy, mad, etc. but not to slam doors, throw things, hit people, etc. We talk about what we are feeling and resolve the problem.
We live frugally so we can help others. We shop carefully to make wise choices in what we buy. We spend as little as possible. And we take care of our things so they last. We do not throw bicycles down on the ground and damage them. We take care of our clothes, etc.
They asked us questions about school requirements, etc. They had ideas of what they would like to study and we have written down the high school requirements for a college prep program to take to them tomorrow. One asked us if we believed in creation or evolution. Good question. Creation and we shared Genesis 1:1, God created the heavens and the earth. If you can believe that verse you will have no problem believing the rest of the Bible. They shared the evolution theories they are being taught and each of them said they didn’t think it was true. We shared a story from our former minister, “believing the big bang theory could create anything is like a tornado going through a junkyard and leaving a jet airplane ready for flight.” Explosions have never created or put together anything. They laughed and agreed.
We are trying to get every bit of information we can about their families for their life books. We encouraged them to ask any questions and let us know if there are things they would like to know about their families, past, etc. so we can try to secure it before we leave the country. They have their birth family, their time at Prolisky and now a new season with our family. They are always welcome to talk with us about anything from their earlier years.
We concluded our talk by telling them that Jesus Christ is the reason we are here and the center of our home. We assured them that we love them and are joyful to be here. We told them that many in America and in our church at DCU are praying for their adoption and they all smiled ear to ear to know that so many care for them.
It was such a huge relief to us to have shared this information with them. It is so important for them to see when we arrive home that we were honest with them. Time will tell how they handle “the talk”. The three were a bit shell shocked but the fourth boy talked with us at length after we finished with the group. He has such a tender heart for Christ and so desires a family. Oh, how we would love to be flies on the wall of their rooms tonight to hear the conversation between them.
We cannot wait to board the plane for home with all 4 of these children. We have no idea when that will be but we believe with all our hearts that God called us to these children and He will see them home. We had hoped for a meeting to occur today toward our court hearing but it will be attempted again tomorrow. God has a plan and we love on 45 kids while we wait for His time. We are so blessed!!