Growing up, I remember various times when our family would come together to pray for a friend who was in the process of growing their family through adoption. We prayed for patience. We prayed for that little boy or girl’s health and hope and happiness. We prayed for the family as they transitioned. We prayed for God’s blessings to cover every step of the way. Working at Hogar de Vida has given me the opportunity to see what it’s like on the other side of adoption, spending time with a waiting child.
At Hogar de Vida we use an analogy to talk with kids about their “padres de corazón” (parents of their heart). The “tías” or “tíos” (meaning aunt or uncle, but what they call their caretakers) explain to them that right now they are crossing a bridge and when they get to the other side their padres de corazón will be there waiting for them. The government system here (and it seems everywhere) is complicated and sometimes seems illogical. Some children are able to be adopted only a few months after being abandoned while others will wait years to become eligible for adoption. As they wait, they watch so many others go with their forever families and they wonder (and sometimes get angry wondering) when their family will ever come for them. Their tías talk to them about some people’s bridges being longer and some people’s being shorter. They talk about that bridges are scary and sometimes there is a slat of wood missing that they having to jump over. That’s why they have tías. We walk the bridge with them, carry them over missing slats, and go every step of the way until they are in the arms of their padres de corazón.
It’s hard and confusing for the kids. But it’s also hard for the tías and tíos. They care for these kids day in and day out, feed them, bathe them, take them to the doctor, sit up with them when they are sick. They try to balance teaching these little ones what love looks like, how to give it and receive it without allowing them to get so attached that they will not be ready to leave with their forever family. They try to bring happiness, but at the same time foster hope for an even better future. They try to help them see that even though leaving what they know can be overwhelming, they don’t want to live on the bridge forever. They love them like their own children knowing that they will one day watch all of them leave. And they do it joyfully and with so much love.
I know that the forever families waiting would give anything to be the ones caring for, teaching, and loving their kids. The process is long and frustrating and I imagine some days heartbreaking. But while you wait and pray, remember the tías and tíos in your prayers. Pray for them as they do everything they can to get these little guys ready to go home with their forever family. Pray that God would fill their hearts with His love for these children again and again. And if you were already doing that, props to you for having a broader perspective than I previously did 🙂
In other news, AN UPDATE ON OUR VISA STATUS:
We were informed this morning that one document is missing from both my file and James’s. We are meeting with the school’s lawyer sometime over the next week to determine next steps…which will probably look like going into the immigration office and requesting to see our files. If the documents are actually there and not missing, we can proceed with our current applications. If the documents truly are missing, the creative solutions will commence. One of the documents they claim is missing we can no longer get and we will have to request a change of visa status from “religious worker” to “volunteer.” We will pay a fee and essentially start over, BUT if we do that we will be able to use a private company to process our visas and that will make the process a whole lot faster. This company processes volunteer visas, but not religious worker visas so they haven’t been able to help us in the past. So we are trying to see the bright side…If the documents are not missing, we get to continue the waiting game and do not have to apply for new documents. If the documents are missing, we replace the document that can be replaced and begin working towards volunteer visas through this private company, which may turn out to be an even faster process than the track we are on now. Win win? Kind of 🙂