How fantastic is the internet? An endless supply of information at our fingertips 24 hours a day. Communication possibilities that would have staggered the imagination just twenty years ago. A virtual yard sale of unprecedented proportions. The ability to donate money instantly to Haitian earthquake relief or cancer research or whatever cause might be near and dear to your heart. My personal belief is that God watches over us and that some of those "serendipity" moments are less chance than a nudge in the right direction from a loving Father who wants the best for His children. As with any other great invention or discovery, the potential for misuse abounds, and we must be cautious in our use of this now-indispensable tool. But when we use it appropriately, what vast good can come of it.
I am, obviously, a bit biased, but I can't really see a more beautiful effect of the internet than the ability to look into the eyes of abandoned children throughout the world. I am not a cat lover. In fact, you might say I am a cat-despiser:) Yet despite my allergies and dislike of felines, I could not turn away an unfortunate kitten that recently showed up on our doorstep. When I came face-to-face with this little lost creature, I invited it into our home, gave it a chance to warm up and even gave it a drink. Encounters on such a personal level move people to action. So it has been with me and with thousands of others who have opened their hearts and homes to adoption.
In January, we were looking at some of the precious children on one of the many waiting children lists available on the internet. At that time, we were certainly not looking to add to our already large family. And yet, the feelings of love and endearment started to penetrate my heart again. Here were more innocent, deserving children yearning for a father and a mother. Our home was full to bursting, and we certainly couldn't take on the challenges and burdens that come with this major-life-altering decision. Yet we truly hoped that others would find a place in their lives for the blessings that come with these darling children of God. And then...one of the great miracles of the internet once again worked in our lives. We kept looking at those children. We looked into their eyes. We read of their hopes and dreams for a family. We read of the prayers offered by many of them to be adopted. And our hearts were softened. We started thinking about how another one could fit. We could adjust the sleeping arrangements just so. It could work. And then, as our hearts began to fill with love for two specific kids, it went further. Our home isn't at all equipped for a wheelchair, but surely, having a mom and a dad and loving siblings is worth the adaptations Cali (and we) will have to make! With 10 of us living here, it's already hard enough to keep the floors clear for our blind children. With two more, including another one who can't see, won't that challenge skyrocket? But surely, Conner will be happier tripping on toys from his younger brothers and sisters than shuffling over a clean tile floor from his huge group bedroom to the the community toilet in the orphanage! (Guess you could argue the group bedroom and community toilet apply to us, too:)
And so, this miracle of the internet has launched us on the beautiful journey once again. When people ask how many we plan on adopting, I honestly say we never plan on it. When it's right, we do it. It's that simple. But without the internet, I don't know how we would have found the beauty that lies down this road.
Taylor and Parker, my valiant, good, even majestic sons whom I hope to emulate someday, were similarly touched by the ability to look at these potential siblings half a word away. When we called the two boys into our bedroom to let them know that we were considering adopting again, their first response was one of concern and fear. Christi and I saw their faces drop as they thought of the logic and logistics of this decision. Cramped quarters would become even more cramped. Busy schedules even more busy. And yet they didn't protest outright. They listened as we described our experiences leading up to our consideration of these two new children. After talking to them for awhile, we showed them the pictures and video we had of both Cali and Conner. And that was basically it. They melted. They went to bed that night with a promise to think it over and pray. Both boys came to us the next morning with huge smiles and an urgent plea to let the orphanages know that WE wanted to adopt Cali and Conner. Don't waste any time, in case some other family calls first! (By the way, it's easier to get the younger kids to buy into these things, and it took about zero effort to convince Graci that an 11-year-old, Chinese speaking girl would be a good addition to our family:)
A few weeks ago, I was talking with one of the boys. We were discussing how some people might think (or even tell us!) that we're crazy. I had a brief stroke of inspiration, and asked, "Thinking about the pictures, videos and write-ups of these two kids, would we be crazier to adopt them...or NOT to adopt them?" His thoughtful response? "Not to adopt them!" And so we look forward with great anticipation to all of the happiness, craziness, disorganization, lack-of-sleep, culture shock, hugs, tears and everything else that we know is in store for us over the coming years.
Grateful always for the road we have chosen and for all those who continue to support us on it!