Monday, January 9, 2012

So....what are we thinking???

This whole hosting process has brought up a lot of questions from people....

What's the point of hosting?

Are we going to adopt Laura (and Inese)?

What happens if no one decides to adopt her?

How do we feel about her?

These are all questions I struggle to answer, mainly because there are a lot of unknowns and the answers to these questions sometimes change on a daily basis. The reason WE decided to host, is because we felt the Lord was calling us to step out in faith and make a difference in Laura's life by showing her love, showing her that she is worth more than she has experienced, and hopefully, one day, to find her a family (and her sister of course). As our hosting coordinator wrote in an email to everyone regarding hosting,

The bottom line is that people who host take risks... with their money and with their hearts. There are no guarantees. But the gift that you have given your host child in taking those risks for her cannot be measured. You have said... "You are worth risking for". You have given her an opportunity to be loved, accepted, and to see something other than the (mostly ugly?) view of the world she has previously seen.
These children often don't have much that is solid in their lives... dependable people, stable homes that will always be that way, "love" that isn't based on their behavior/performance. In giving her a different view of family, I believe you have made a permanent imprint on her heart.

Legally, Laura and Inese are not available to adopt right now. Since their parents are still alive, the process to get them completely denied custody is a long one. The next court hearing to completely deny their parental rights is this May, then the Orphan Courts will decide if they are available to adopt or not. Apparently the girls' Orphanage Director and Social Worker are both very positive and hopeful about the girls being available for adoption soon. Probably this summer or fall, but there are no guarantees. Latvian adoption rules are very strict, and currently it is very difficult to adopt a child or sibling group under the age of 9. I have been told that Laura and Inese are an exception to this rule, which is why they were chosen for this host program, but again, there are no guarantees and it's just a waiting game at this point.

We do love Laura. I am very protective of her and am forever invested in her life. However, I don't feel like we are supposed to adopt her and Inese right now. Even if we wanted to, we couldn't pursue them yet anyway. There is an amazing family from our church (you know who you are if you are reading this :)) who is possibly going to pursue adoption of these precious girls. Because of adoption rules in Latvia, we are all unsure and on edge about the future of these girls and if adoption will even be possible, should someone decide to take those steps. We do rejoice in the fact that we have two families who will make sure Laura is taken care of, whether she is adopted or not.

ALL the children that are a part of this hosting program must return to Latvia. The ones flying out of Atlanta leave this Thursday. The children do not believe they are here to be adopted (although I'm sure the older ones aren't naive enough to believe that). They are here on "vacation", to live with a family and have a good time. We are not to mention the word adoption to Laura while she is here.....and we haven't. After this program, I assume Laura, and Inese if she cooperates, will be hosted again this summer. This summer we will have a better idea of when/if they can be adopted.

For now, pray for us as we send Laura back on Thursday. Pray for the unknowns. We know our God is Sovereign over orphan courts, adoption laws, financial situations, and any other barrier to giving these girls a forever home. Pray for Laura's heart. Pray that it is the Lord's will for Laura and Inese to be adopted.

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