This post is one that has been brewing, stewing, soaking … whatever you want to call it … in my head for a LONG time.
I just read the latest update on our agency's blog. Here is an excerpt:
The current wait time from LID to referral is 50-51 months with a trend of increasing approximately a full month each month. Families should read the China Program Newsletter emailed on 3/19/2010 to understand the variety of factors contributing to the wait time and the reasons why it is impossible to predict the referral wait time for each family. Families should continue to anticipate a long wait for a referral.
50 to 51 months. In reality, that is 4 years and 3 months.
4 years and 3 months.
Let that one soak in.
And then this excerpt:
The Waiting Children program is also an excellent option for families who are interested in a boy, an older child, or a child with various types of medical or repaired conditions.
And there are over 1,000 children WAITING.
Does anyone else besides me wonder why there are THOUSANDS of people waiting YEARS for a child they want so badly when there are children WAITING? There are more than 1,000 children waiting on a list who are paper-ready and there are an estimated 30,000 families waiting. What are these families waiting for? Or rather I should say whom?
I know many will say it isn't really that simple. But isn't it?
I can tell you that the VAST majority are waiting for an infant girl, who is deemed healthy, and is under two years old. Is that in and of itself wrong. Of course not.
And yet, is it possible that at least a small percentage of those waiting, particularly those who say they were called to adopt by God … isn't it possible that some of those 30,000 families might actually already have a child waiting … if they would just allow God more room to work?
Is it possible that a couple with no children could be equally blessed to have a SON as much as a daughter?
Yes, I just said that.
The TRUTH sometimes hurts. And the truth is that little boys under two who are listed with the need of cleft lip and palate, just as an example, are waiting on the list sometimes for MONTHS. A little girl, under two with cleft lip and palate … they are FOUGHT OVER by families. And I do mean fought over. Visit forums and boards when a new shared list is released by China once a month if you doubt that. You'll see words like "disappointing", "lacking", "small" and others I won't even type. What people are really trying to convey is there is a lack of young girls available with minor needs.
It really reminds me of supply and demand, and quite frankly it turns my stomach.
Before anyone asks, I will tell you straight up that back in September 2007, the Prez and I filled out a checklist. We marked 12 special needs, two of which were repaired heart disease and unrepaired cleft lip and palate. We later changed heart disease to unrepaired as well.
And we marked another box: GIRL.
But we didn't know … about the boys. And we wanted a girl. And we didn't know about the boys.
Once you know …
I will share that our little girl was NOT fought over. I know that. She waited for weeks on the shared list before we received THE CALL about her. If we ever adopt another little girl or a big girl from China, she WILL BE WAITING. We will never join the "feeding frenzy" (not my words but one you'll see every month if you visit the forums).
But back to the waiting children and our agency … all of the families undergo a stringent process …one aspect of which includes a statement of faith in Christ and a letter recommendation from one's senior pastor. And I am left to wonder: is God REALLY calling such a disproportionate number of families to ONLY be open to a little girl under the age of two?
Or are His people just not listening? Or willing? Or insert any number of words in that blank.
Sometimes the truth (at least as I see it) really, really, really hurts.
If this posts makes you angry and you are a believer and you are waiting YEARS for the *perfect* child for family, PRAY and ask God to reveal to you HIS WILL. Does it mean that you heard wrong years ago when you marked "girl under two" on your application if you now open your home and heart to a little boy?
I don't think so.
Maybe God needed that time to shape you in some particular way. Maybe YOUR child was not ready to be adopted yet. I don't have those kinds of answers, but I'll never believe that there are so many BOYS waiting and so many families waiting for years and that this is God's will.
I just can't believe that.
I could be wrong though. I have been before.
This Thursday, The Prez and I will depart early in the morning for the first of three flights that will take us all the way to China to bring home our TWO SONS. They are 10 years old and 5 years old. They both waited a LONG time on agency lists. As far as I'm concerned, they were waiting for us and us them. And yet I know there are countless other boys just waiting on the shared listing. Your agency could give you the files of countless little and big boys who are just waiting.
Our oldest waiting son has heart disease; it was unrepaired when we sent our letter of intent to China and we found out he had heart surgery in December. Our younger waiting son has heart disease and cleft lip and palate. He has had surgery on his heart and cleft lip.
Our boys fit the description of "harder to place." I'm not sure how I feel about that, but it is the truth. And sometimes, the truth really, really, really hurts.
Maybe your son is just waiting … for you. And you … for him.