My friend, Leah, has said what needs to be said, better than I could have. I'll just link you to it:
One of the saddest things for us as a family has been how some people have eased out of our lives after we committed to adopting Katya. People who were even reasonably supportive of us when we adopted Kristina have walked away, disengaging themselves . I think because we had the "perfect family of two boys and two girls" they couldn't see why we would go on to adopt Katya, felt that we were totally crazy for taking on another child, let alone one with a high level of special needs, and during tough economic times on top of it too! To them it seemed like such a brand of crazy that they didn't want to be associated with it. My guess is that some of the ones who eased out of our lives possibly felt a pricking in their own consciences and it was easier to avoid us than to listen to where God might be calling them. I don't know, because I'm not God, but I'm guessing that some of that could have been involved for some of them.
Even though we have "holes" in our hearts and lives from the ones who walked or eased away, God has been sooo gracious to us to be raising up new friends, and a new support net-work. I love seeing how Katya is being loved by all kinds of people all over who are arising and being God's hands and feet to her and our family! Many of you are long-distance, but you are real friends to our family . . . a real support net-work of prayer and encouragement. And importantly, God is raising up people locally who are standing with us, helping with baby sitting, giving us a hand now and then around the house to catch up on things, praying with us, and doing whatever they can to ease the challenges our family faces. We feel very grateful. We know that many of our adoptive friends do not have this support.
I will be forever grateful to the friends in our homeschool group who have come alongside our family during our journey to Katya, and who are still standing with us. I will be forever grateful to our family Doctor, a homeschooling Dad himself, who lays hands on Katya and prays for her many, many of the times we go in to see him. I will be forever grateful for the family and friends we do have who love Katya deeply and pray for her and our family.
I will be forever grateful for the packages and cards that have been coming in for Katya and our family. They help cheer her days, and ours too! And yesterday, we got to see a new behavior that was so encouraging when a package arrived! Katya began grinning, and jumping up and down with excitement as she watched me opening the package! It was clear that she (finally) realizes that good things can come in plain old brown boxes!! And was there something good in there for her? Oh yes! A online friend that we have not met (yet) who has been extremely supportive of Katya's adoption journey had blessed us with an super fun box full of wonderful things! Look at what greeted us when we popped the top open!
Lots of yummy spices, CHOCOLATE (yes, I have indulged in chocolate heavily the last year--more than I ever have before in my life--it's my "drug of choice" at this point in my life, and it's working, thank you!), Starburst Jelly Beans (made for a VERY happy Katya, Kristina, and Chad!) and white eyelet fabric which I adore and I just know Charity and I will have fun making something beautiful out of it eventually!
So yes, we choose to adopt Katya. Yes, we choose to accept whatever life threw us with her. It doesn't mean that it's not hard. Doesn't mean that it's not exhausting. Doesn't mean that it's not expensive. Doesn't mean that it's not changed our family and what we can involve ourselves in and what we can do as a family dramatically. It's hard, it's exhausting, it's expensive, it's limited our ability to go places and do things that "typical" families can do. But we are DOING IT because we LOVE KATYA and we are GLAD she is alive and GLAD she is no longer being neglected, starved and abused. We are GLAD she has a Mommy to rock her each night, and a Daddy to toss her gently up and catch her, and a Big Brother to give her piggy back rides, a Big Sister who lovingly teaches her how to sign, and another Big Sister who takes pride in helping pick out pretty clothing for her each day, and is teaching her with unfailing patience how to ride a bike, and a Little Brother who still loves Katya each day no matter how many times she pinches or scratches him. Yes, we are glad she is part of our family, and we love her, even though she's throwing yet another tantrum. And we are doing this, even though there are times we sit down and cry together in sadness and exhaustion. And we will continue to do this. Because God called us to do it and we love to obey Him and we love Katya. And you know what?? We are glad that many people are loving God and obeying Him and are loving Katya with us. We are glad that you are being our Aaron's and Hur's, holding up our weary arms before God so that we can continue to do what needs to be done to best meet Katya's needs.
And . . . if you are not called to be one of our "Aaron's and Hur's", find another family who is adopting or has adopted, and be THEIR Aaron and Hur. They will appreciate it. And you will be blessed, I'm pretty sure. Because it just works that way . . . just like we have been blessed by adding Katya to our family. Blessed with her lovely giggle, her beautiful blue eyes and blond hair, blessed by seeing her learning things she never knew before--like plain old brown boxes being a potential treasure trove of goodies! Blessed in so many ways.