Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Tuesday--true to form

Yesterday was one for the books.

Let me try to situate this story. Saturday brought with it hope that it was the beginning of the end of the Exit Letter Suspension. Our Embassy reported that DGM had called them Saturday morning to request information for medically fragile adopted children. Our Embassy needed that info by 11 am our time. I scrambled to send an email for Clementine, since she had TB that was untreated for some time along with a few other issues since being brought into care as an infant. (I took the opinions and situations of others into consideration when submitting her info and was given the green light. I did not want to take time and consideration away from children who were deathly ill.)

We hoped this request from DGM was the beginning of a turnaround to get children home in some way. We hoped the medically fragile children would be considered and brought home, then the next batch of homecomings would occur.

Monday came, and with it came AMAZING news. 72 children from around the world will be granted Exit Letters, thus allowing them to join their families very soon. We rejoiced. This was great news. (Article here.)

But the article in which we read the amazing news also contained some concerning news: Around 1,000 children will remain stuck in DRC until new adoption laws are drafted, approved and implemented.

We have been told for over a year that they are working on new adoption laws. We have also been told that those new laws will not be retroactive, meaning they will not affect adoptions that have already been finalized. It can take YEARS to created and implement new laws. YEARS. And we have already waited two years. (Some have known of and been waiting for their children for 3-4 years.)

Senator Blunt's amazing staffer held an informal conference call with us Monday evening. Brad and I listened while driving to Arkansas. The news was not good. DRC does not want to hear about adoption anymore. They have dissolved the commission that was supposed to be reviewing over 1,000 dossiers of finalized adoptions (after only reviewing 99 and telling us since June that they were working on it and then telling us later that they had reviewed all of them).

They are shutting the door on us and sending the problem to Parliament, where they will supposedly vote on new adoption laws.

We hopped off the conference call to attend a meeting in Arkansas. The timing could not have been better (or worse) for our reeling emotions. We stuffed those aside to be present with this huge community of people is coming together to serve DRC well. Our new friends are banding with others as a tribe to do BIG AMAZING THINGS for Congolese people. (I hope to return soon to describe this in greater detail.) We placed our concerns behind us as we learned about everything these people are doing to help others in DRC. It was a healing salve over our hurting hearts.

Tuesday morning came, and with it, a conference call with our State Department. I didn't listen to the call because those calls often feel futile, but I watched as comments flew onto a Facebook wall of the group of parents who are working to get our kids home. It wasn't good.

NO HOPE. There was no hope.

Our Department of State basically feels as if it has been sucker punched. They didn't answer our questions well. They are going to work with DRC's Parliament to create the new laws, which tells me we have a VERY LONG TIME to wait for our children. At times, it seems possible that we will not be bringing Clementine home--EVER--despite the fact that she is our daughter, legally and otherwise.

Needless to say, I spent much of yesterday crying (in true Tuesday form). Bawling, really. My despair was palpable in our home. My kids felt it. They were difficult to handle. They were emotional. They were on edge. (All three of these also described me.) We were all out of sorts, including Oaklee who has been, until yesterday, the easiest Lotz baby ever.

I listened to music that reminded me of God's promises for His people. Of His love for His people. Of the beauty in the mess. Of hurts that are part of His greater plan. Friends and family rallied to send encouragement my way, reminding me of God's love for orphans and His promises to set the lonely in families and His ability to turn impossible situations around in mere moments. (I am SO incredibly thankful for these people--MY PEOPLE--who, at one point, I didn't even think I needed. I used to think I could be the only person on Earth who could be an island.)

He has a plan. I don't necessarily love what He's doing right now, but I love how He loves us. He has us in this valley for a reason and He is teaching us moment by moment to trust Him. (I'll be back tomorrow with some of the verses, songs and reminders that are helping to turn my broken heart around.)

Later in the evening, as I was thinking it was time to give up on the day and turn in for the night (at 7:30 PM because of the horrendous day), God literally brought a teenaged orphan of another sort to my doorstep.

(Oh, Lord, your timing...)

Oh sure, he has family members in the area, but they are not FOR him the way a family should be supporting a member. Brad brought him into our home to meet me and tell him he was welcome here any time he needed help, an escape from his situation, a clean and comfy bed, or a warm meal. (I don't cook well. We would order him a nice hot pizza.) I won't tell you his whole situation, but suffice it to say he has it much worse than we do and he isn't crying in his kitchen floor about it.

He needs a family just badly as Clementine needs a family. Just as Clementine needs a family to fight for her and cry over her and lavish her with love, he needs a family to fight for him, cry over him, and lavish him with love.

I'm not certain what will happen with him in the future, nor am I certain how long it will be before Clementine can physically join our family. However, we will approach the throne on his behalf, just as many are doing for our daughter across the world. They are both worth it, and today that seems like all we can do.