What do you get when you cross Oprah with Vilele...? You get an unsettling of my heart. Dagnabit!
I can't say that I have ever felt this way about something... and I thought I could snuff it out or settle it with an adoption from the US. And it worked - for a while.
It started at the beginning of this week, when Muffin sprang the news on me that she needed to bring a shoebox of gifts for a child in Slave Lake. Well, thank goodness I prepare my African shoebox's throughout the year as I come across sales. So out of the closet I pull a shoebox that has been lovingly filled with a little boys T-shirt, a box of crayons, a lego automatic car, a race car, a ball and a stuffed bear. On my way to school with the kids, they were asking why the children in Slave Lake need these items. I explained to them about the fires and how they had lost everything. However, I just couldn't help but feeling that they were okay and they would be well looked after. They still had hope and are so very fortunate to be in such a great country. One where friends, family and the government will rally around you and pick you back up. Are those children doing without? Certainly not. I started to feel as though I took from a child that was in greater need of these items - and it still doesn't well with me. The children of Africa to which these gifts were destined to - may have never held a dinky car in their hand before. These are children that have a very bleak future and a there is a good chance they will not survive past the age of 5. They will likely never have the opportunity to sit in a desk, let alone draw a picture with crayons. They are children who don't know how to be children, when at the age of 2 they are already an integral part of the family chore schedule. THESE are the children who are really in need. Then insert the correlation between that shoebox and our adoption! I tried hard not to acknowledge those feelings...
A couple days later - Oprah airs her last show. If you saw it, you will understand how it made me feel unsettled. Am I listening? Do I hear?... and am I answering my calling? Am I doing what I was put on this earth to do? And then little Vilele stole my heart... and I knew that even if we do adopt from the US, my heart will not be still. Adoption from the US will be a little detour from the path, the path of which I will eventually have to decide to take or not. I have this incredible desire and need to help in Africa. No, I have never been there. I am scared to death of how it will impact me, how I will no longer be the same person. I know I will forever be changed, and I'm scared of the unknowns that encompass that. I am afraid that I will no longer be able to enjoy a nice glass of wine on the patio without the thought of have many children could have been saved from malaria with that money - plaguing my mind! But yet... I'm being pulled there and realize that I have been my entire life. It feels like a natural instinct... perhaps like how a goose would feel before he flies south for the winter? Only trouble is I have no one to lead the way! I don't want to make a wrong decision, and I need to think about our children.
So, in a last ditch attempt to give Africa another chance - I emailed Choices and Sunrise and asked them if there was an update on Africa. I was given a no... but we could accept you right away for Kenya from Sunrise, and Choices said Sunrise has a Kenya program. I am really trying to be receptive now - so to me, this sounded like an avenue I should look into. Here are the details - for adoption in Kenya, you have to foster a child for 3 months before you go to court, once you pass court you must wait for the visa to be issued. The entire process takes about 8 months - FAST - But, you have to be living in Kenya for these 8 months!!
I nonchalantly said to my husband, as I read from my iphone - "Oh, there you go - do you want to go live in Kenya for 8 months and adopt a child from there?"
Totally not expecting a positive response, he said "Now your talking - that is how I foresee the path of our adoption!"
Well, as you can imagine, there were a million questions passed back and forth in the minutes that followed that question. Work, house, pets, his ailing Mother etc... etc... We concluded that as long as it was safe for the children, we would figure the rest out. We would have to sell some reality etc. to make it work - but it is possible.
I now await further details from the director of Sunrise... upon which I will post on my blog for anyone else who may be interested in a crazy adventure of a lifetime!