Last night, when I had a moment of down time, I flopped onto facebook for a few moments of quiet time. Instead of the normal humdrummy chumminess, my inbox was bursting with urgent-feeling messages; people were asking for prayers, for guidance, reaching out to sympathize with me….and I had no clue what was going on.
People were asking if I could tell them more about sweet Emmaline because perhaps, for the fist time ever, they may, just this once, be considering adoption. This couldn’t be right. Emmaline has a family coming for her. Or she did 8 hours ago. oh.
Emmaline, Emmaline, Emmaline – the girl I held as she cried snotty tears in my hair, the girl I promised I’d search the wide world for her mama. She isn’t “my” Emmaline, I am not her mama, but all the same, there is a part of her in my heart. The day a family committed to her my heart was fit to burst with joy.
For reasons entirely unrelated to adoption, yesterday was a hard day and the day before was harder. I read the messages, gave tidbits of quick advice, sent out prayers, and messaged her almost-mama to make sure everyone was okay. I know it was not an easy decision for them to make, I know because I made the same decision not to turn around as soon as we landed in America, not to start the process again to adopt one more children. I know because I’ve been there. I am there. Adoption is a choice, choosing not to adopt is also a choice. Both choices hold heartbreak, both choices need to made by every family individually.
Then the messages about Jeffery began. Do not search for him among the living waiting children, he is now in the quiet place. He was in the same country as Emmaline, a chilling immediate reminder that children die while waiting for families. I didn’t think about crying. I didn’t try to console others. I closed my computer screen. I flipped through a magazine. I went to bed. I thought I had nothing left to say, nothing left to give. It was all too much.
Today Roman responded to his name consistently for the first time. Angelina and Della spent hours playing happily together. Friends dropped by with apples and apple cider. Rain drizzled outside, windchimes maintained a constant ringing, and I had a cup of tea. Today I did not walk away, today I found what I could give.
There are days to walk away, to say it is too much, to not have any tears left to cry. There are those days. But after you have a day like that, walk back, pick things up, and do what you can do. Although I feel as though I can’t do all that much, I can advocate in this blog, and you can share the stories. The stories here have been pebbles tossed into a calm water, they have rippled and spread in ways I could not foresee. The stories have changed hearts which in turn have changed lives.
Emmaline’s story is back on track towards an adult mental institution when she ages out of her current location. It is a terrible story, a story in which over 90% of children, once transferred, die within the first year from abuse and neglect. Terrible, made more awful because it is true. And what can you do?
Angelina was on that same track, that was going to be the story of her life, until someone advocated for her, someone shared the truth of her situation, someone shared her face and her story, someone reached out to answer my questions when I started the very hesitant first steps of adoption when I was still saying perhaps, just this once, I’ll consider adopting.
These are things you can do:
- Pray for Emmaline’s continued health and safety.
- If you want to know more about the adoption process because perhaps, maybe, you are considering adopting this sweet girl, email me your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Share her story, help her family find her.