Monday, May 4, 2009

Promised Thoughts...

I mentioned that I'm teaching the Sunbeams (3 yr olds) in church on Sundays. It's a lot of work, but so fun. They have the most sincere thoughts about things. It's been fun to listen to them and learn from them.

I didn't mention that one of my Sunbeams has a lot of struggles. They think he has some form of autism, but are still doing testing. He's definitely in his own little world. He doesn't really verbally communicate and he doesn't respond if you speak to him. He seems to be oblivious about what's going on around him. Sometimes he wants to run around and, given that our class sits on the floor, it's a bit like watching Godzilla trample Tokyo. The other kids don't like being stepped on, obviously, and it's always a challenge to get him redirected as he often doesn't like to be touched.

Sometimes my autistic Sunbeam will actually let me pick him up. Sometimes it seems like he's aware that I'm someone who cares about him. Most of the time when you pick him up, he goes ballistic. He's freakishly strong. He starts kicking and he panics. You have to try to minimize the impact - no one likes to be kicked, but little Sunbeams cry when they get kicked. I've been kicked in the head a few times. I'm honestly not sure that he's always aware that you're not going to hurt him. It's been an interesting few weeks, but we're figuring each other out.

While all this has been going on in Sunbeams and my work has been wrapping up this large project, we've also had to acknowledge that we really have no idea when our babies will be home. I wrote that post about realizing we would never need the nursery in our home. The next day we got an updated time line for Haitian adoption from our agency.

See, every time a new director of one of their offices comes into play, they have to assert their power and add a few steps to things. They never "grandfather" in the existing files - they send every file back to get whatever is now missing. And the US side, in the interest of supporting Haiti's right to govern how they see fit, also send back pending files to get the new steps Haiti inserts. That's a high level explanation, but you get the general idea.

This isn't anything official, but the agency let us know that based on what they're seeing it looks like the average adoption is taking up to 28 months. They gave an outline of the current time averages it takes to process paperwork in each of the respective Haitian government offices, etc.

We know that our papers are still in the first office. We've known this for some months. Yes, we've been at this forever and yes, we got our referral Oct 1, 2007. You have to remember we lost our kids a couple of times and had to start over again. But basically, eighteen months into this the way things line up, we are on month 5 in a process that could possibly take 28 months. After all this time, we're still not any closer to getting them home. If I go off their ages now and add 23 more months as my possible time line, then my little Nathan, who was just 2 months old when we got his referral, would be nearly 4 before we got him home.

So I spent some time trying to process that and trying to deal with it (you could call it "having a pity party" if you'd like). You go through all the frustration at processes beyond your control and grief that your children are being raised by rotating orphanage caregivers - their formative years are forming in such conditions - and OURS is a GOOD orphanage. It's just still not where I would have them be.

A couple of days later, I was talking with a friend who is also grieving over some heartbreaking things in her own life. We were exchanging emails and discussing the situation. We started talking about what it means to have faith and to 'become as a little child', specifically

"becometh as a child,submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."

and wondered together about what it means to submit to God's will on something so painful to you personally.

As we were talking (this isn't going to come out correctly), I could clearly see that sometimes, in many ways, I'm the autistic Sunbeam. I had this little image in my mind of the Lord trying to communicate to me and I'm so caught up in my little world that I miss it- completely oblivious to what He's trying to get me to learn. Sometimes I'm sure He's trying to comfort me and I'll bet that I've kicked him in the face a few times (if you know what I mean). I'm sure there have been moments where I'm a whirling dervish of "This adoption is never going to end" emotions, and God must be looking at me, rather like I was looking at my Sunbeam, with one eyebrow raised and wondering if I'll ever stop spinning long enough for Him to reach in and give some comfort.

We have such a limited view of things. I don't see what's going on in Haiti, but He's trying to help them answer their prayers as well. There are so many lives intertwined in this process. My perspective on this whole thing, when compared with God's eternal perspective.... I might as well be an autistic Sunbeam.

I know this is painful and I know it's an awful ordeal, but at the end of the day, the Lord Never Cheats Anyone. Those who seek, find. To those who knock, it will be opened. I have to trust that this is going to work out. Even if the process is being run by a bunch of us autistic Sunbeams, the Lord is still in charge.


mlg said...

Yeah I've been having an autistic week too! Thanks for always typing out how I am feeling as well! You just say it so much better than I can!

David and Candice said...

I pray that the process will somehow work it out. But for know we will all have our fits and try to stay strong.-Candice

Pete and Mare said...

Oh your autistic Sunbeamhe has such a great teacher! Thanks Lori! I am an autistic Sunbeam too. I have been thinking a lot about that this spring. Have you seen the movie faith like potatoes? It's a true story. Anyhow, thank you! Have a great week! Great big hug ~Mare

P.s.You reminded me that Anthonie was like your autistic Sunbeam. One wrong move...head butt or pulling hair. He loved walks and so did I. We would have the best time exploring every detail until we turned in the direction of the house and it was all over. I got to the point where I stoped going out in public unless we had to go. All the rules... all the blow ups! A month or so ago we found the key...still have ups and downs, but it feels like heaven. thanks again

The Brown's said...

First of all this little boy is so blessed to have you as his teacher! As sad as I am that you are not Prestons's teacher this little boy needs you:O)

Second- I am so amazed at your ability to be experiencing such an emotional and difficult event and see the big picture. Your an inspiration and a great example to me. Your right, Heavenly Father is in charge and He wants your babies to come home as much as you want them to. I am POSTITVE that He is keeping a watchful eye on them and everyone else in this process. P.S. If YOU ever need a sumbeam teacher to kick I am always available:O)

Teri said...

Oh Lori. I'm so sorry to hear that you have to be patient for so much longer. You are in my prayers.
As the mom of a severely autistic, non-verbal child, I hope you are giving yourself credit for doing a great job. I can't even begin to explain what a blessing it is to have such wonderful Primary teachers. We still love and keep in touch with Brayden's sunbeam teachers from 5 years ago. They were a big turning point in our lives.
Love ya!

Salzwedel Family said...

This was a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing your heart.

Anonymous said...

I'm on month #25, and I REALLY appreciated your post today. You made me laugh & cry - both good. Hang in there. You will make it!


Me said...

I was blog hopping tonight and happened upon yours. So glad I did-I'll be adding it to my favorites. Hugs to you-the Haitian adoption process is so very difficult.


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