Frankly, I'd rather bury my child than leave her in "the home for invalids" where she currently resides. Let that soak in for a moment...the home for invalids.
You see, my daughter is 5 1/2 years old. She knows me as her Momma. She loves me and I love her. But she doesn't know the love I have for her as her mother. She doesn't know unconditional love. In fact, she was told by her caregivers more than once that I wouldn't bring her home if she acted certain ways. She believed that.
And now, after promising her I would be back for her in a month and I would bring her to the home I showed her in pictures to meet her brother and be a member of our family, I might not be able to. She might be left to believe that I didn't come get her because she spoke in a disrespectful tone.
I might have to leave her in a Russian orphanage where she will never know the love of a family because of a "tit-for-tat" law that is going to President Putin's desk today.
I sat in a court hearing where I listened to the letter her mother wrote..."I refuse to care for my daughter" it said. "I refuse to take her home." Twice more, "I refuse."
Her only known relative said the same. And the letters from the local agency again rang out again with the word "refuse" in reference to Russian families interested in adoption. Documents from the baby house and the "home of invalids" both confirmed no one had ever visited her or called to check on her welfare. No one...except for us.
"Why do you want to adopt a child with such massive needs," the judge asked numerous times. "Do you understand her profound disabilities?" "Don't you know that your life will not be easy? You will not be able to come home and relax!" "I know you say you understand, but I must ask again, are you sure you understand and are willing to care for her?"
Yes judge, we understand. Yes, we want her. Yes, we know it will not be easy. Yes, we still want her.
We understand that if we don't adopt her, with her needs, she will not be adopted into a Russian family and at her age, the chances of another American family choosing her dwindle daily. We know that when you read the list of disabilities, it sounds daunting, but she is a very capable child and has great potential to be a productive citizen if give the chance of a family and the care she can receive in America. Besides all of that, we love her and she is already our daughter in our hearts. I wear a necklace and a bracelet everyday with charms representing our son, and her, our daughter.
And so, on Christmas Eve, the judge granted our adoption petition. Her birth record would be changed to show me as her mother, my husband as her father, and her name Polina Joy Skaggs.
But we couldn't bring her home yet. There is a 30 day waiting period for all parties involved to change their mind...for that biological family that has never visited or called to check on her to protest. I have all confidence that's not going to happen. We will return to Russia on Jan. 28th and pick her up on the 29th. She will be an orphan no more, and never again referred to as an invalid.
Or will she?
If Putin signs this law, it is unclear if they will allow our (and others') already approved adoption(s) to go through.
We might have to leave her, with no explanation as to why we didn't come back for her - not that an explanation would matter.
And while the thought of never holding my daughter again brings me pain, the agony I feel is in what that means for her.
There's the simple basic things - she's never had a bath beyond a sponge and shower head.
There's the things you wish you could give her like taking her to the beach and to Disneyland.
There's the medical care she will never get to reach her full potential.
And then there's the daunting future. No love of a family. Even worse, wondering why her Momma and Papa never came back for her.
Worse than that, it's an extremely slim chance she would ever come to know the love of Jesus. She will never know that she is not "in-valid," but that she is the creation of God himself, made in his image!
There would be no one to care for her beyond her childhood years. The Russian government graciously provides a room in a flat for orphans when they age out of the orphanage. But with the corruption in the country, most do not ever get that room. They live on the streets.
Think for a moment of the harsh Moscow winter. My prayer beyond food would be that she could find 56 rubles (just under $2) a day to ride the Metro where she's protected from the elements. But even if she had the money, she couldn't get into the subway. There is no handicapped entrance. Just long stairways that require two people to take a stroller in & out. And so, as you might imagine, even someone without a disability can't survive long in that environment.
So you see, it's not so morbid after all. Death, instead of all of that suffering, would really be grace.
It would be grace for me not to wonder forever who is caring for her, what she is feeling, if she is suffering.
More importantly, it would be grace for her. She would enter into the kingdom of Heaven as a child to learn the love of her Heavenly Father and sing & dance with the angels in streets of gold - after all, she loves music.
I have no control. I'm on the other side of the world and I can't hold and comfort my daughter as I wait to hear if we will forever be separated. I have no choice but to surrender all to Jesus. All I can do is pray - not just for her, but for all of the orphans - and hopefully bring awareness of the problem to the world. I do not , can not & will not ever understand the evils of this world. I can only pray and encourage Christians as the hands and feet of Jesus to be involved in the world's orphan crisis in some way - foster care, adoption, sponsorship, financial and/or prayer support of those doing these things. Let your heart be broken for what breaks His. Visit http://www.klove.com/music/artists/matthew-west/songs/my-own-little-world-lyrics.aspx and really think about those lyrics.
In the meantime, I will pray, come Lord Jesus, come!