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happy birthday lubov!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

I first posted this blog on my family website last October...and since the adoption process is at a halt right now, (I'm having a hard time finding someone to do our home-study), I thought I would share it with you.

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A few weeks ago I was talking with a dear friend about international adoption. She and her husband are in the middle of the process. They've done the paperwork, raced all over creation tracking down original documents, notarizations and apostilles. They've opened their home up to a stranger and invited them in to judge their qualifications as parents and then forked over enough money in 'fees' to make you sick.
Now they've reached the hardest part...the wait.
They don't have a name. They don't have a medical. They don't even have a picture. They don't have any information at all. But if they think about it too long they realize - this child has more than likely already been born and is sitting in an orphanage...waiting.
I don't think anyone can imagine how hard it is. Unless you've been there you can't understand the anxiety involved. You're ready, at a moments notice, to jump on the next plane to go pick up your baby, but instead you have to wait with your arms empty all the while imagining the worst. Is your child warm enough, is he dry, did he eat enough or is he starving, is he sick, is he in pain, is he getting rocked to sleep at night or is he having to rock himself, is anyone loving him, is anyone caring at all...and what in the world is taking so long?!
To ease that anxiety I suggested she start praying. It was something that S and I did over 10 years ago...and it helped...A LOT!
Before we even met our oldest son...before we even picked out a name... we prayed for him. Praying he would be safe, warm and dry. Praying that one of his caretakers would hold him a little longer, comfort him when he was sick or hurt, give him a little bit more food so he wasn't literally starving, make him feel loved and safe. Praying that someone would rock him to sleep...just until we could get there.
And then God opened my eyes.
It was the word 'Lubov'. A strange word hand-written on our soon-to-be son's medical sheet. It was a word I had never seen before, but it's one I will never forget.
It was his biological mother's name.
On that sheet I learned about a woman who was only six years younger than I, but who had a lifetime of more experiences. She was married...but was living alone...possibly on the street. She didn't have a job, didn't have a home, didn't have enough food to feed herself, let alone a little boy.
And that's when I began to think of her as more than just a 'birth mother,' and started doing the hardest thing I have ever done. I prayed for Lubov. As I started praying, I realized I was jealous. She was able to do the one thing I couldn't, the one thing I wanted more than anything in this world. She was able to have a baby.
And then He changed me.
God made me see her as an incredibly self-less person, who had given me, a complete stranger, a beautiful gift.
She could have very easily walked into one of the Russian government's many medical clinics and had an abortion - free of charge. Hundreds of women do it every day. Instead she decided to carry this child to term and then hand that child over to the authorities in a hope that he would have a better life.
I'm not sure why, but I was thinking about how incredible that gift was again this morning. And since I'm still running on daylight savings time and had an hour to spare, I decided to take a few minutes to sift through Q's paperwork.
That's when He showed it to me.
There, written on his original birth certificate, next to her name, was her birthdate. She turned 30 today.
So in honor of her birthday, I would like to ask you to give Lubov a very special gift. Your prayers.
Please pray for her safety. Living alone and possibly on the street is a recipe for disaster. The Russian winters are not easy, no matter where you are on the continent. The area Q was from is about the same latitude as Minnesota. Not exactly warm. Please pray she finds a place she can call home.
Please pray for her health. So many Russian women die at a young age and it's often from completely preventable diseases like AIDS and TB or from the effects of drug and alcohol addiction. The average life expectancy of a Russian is around 63...a testiment to just how hard their life can be.
And please pray that she'll find peace. I've been praying for that for a long time. I can't imagine what it must have been like to hand her child over to the Russian government and to hope he wouldn't turn out like the 90% of other orphans in the system, who either die in an orphanage or make it to 18 only to end up on the street, in jail, on drugs or all of the above. Only God can give her that peace. I trust He already has.
But the most important thing I'd like you to pray for is her salvation.
I would love nothing more than someday to be able to meet her and thank her for her amazing gift. She gave me something no one else could. She gave me a family. And for that I am eternally grateful. I know I will never be able to thank her on this earth, but someday I'd really like to tell her in person...in Heaven.
Happy Birthday Lubov.

4 salty messages:

Kim May 21, 2007 at 6:47 PM  

I read this post after finding it on the "adoption roundup". This is such a beautifully written post. I love how you really let go and put your feelings out there for us all to read.

After our Dmitrii got home a little over a week ago I was reading through his paperwork. Included in all of this there was a letter written by Dmitrii's birth mother (translated to English). In it she explained how she had no job, no home and no way to care for her baby. Her letter was to express her approval of our adopting this wonderful baby boy and to sign over her rights to him.

When I read that letter I had much the same feelings as you. I am forever grateful that she had enough love and respect for this child, that she carried and delivered, to give him the opportunity to have the life she could never give him.

Rachael May 21, 2007 at 10:14 PM  

What a sweet gracious sentiment.

For Katya's birthmother, I mostly feel sad that she has no idea what she is missing out on.

Suzanne May 22, 2007 at 5:10 PM  

What a beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing it.

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