Friday, January 23, 2009

Uncut Diamonds

"Orphans are like uncut diamonds. They are rough on the outside, but precious on the inside." Pastor Annabi--Volta Home for Children

Today my day was full of uncut diamonds. I traveled to three orphanages in Volta Region, as well as Bright's home village. This stuff cuts deep. These children cut deep. They leave scars on your heart, for all that you hope for them and all that you can never do for them. I can never erase the pasts that brought them to be an "orphan." I can never heal their wounds. I can only hope that some of them are able to heal over time, once they have the love of an adoptive family.

As we pulled into the drive of Bright's old orphanage he was sitting there on the porch. Bright. At least that's who I saw for a split second. I know that doesn't make sense. It only took a second to remember that Bright was home and safe. It was Bright's brother, Wise. He's two or three years older than Bright. Tears came to my eyes as I imagined Bright in Wise's place--stuck at an orphanage. And then my heart broke a little more, because although this child wasn't Bright, he is Bright's brother. His precious brother. Bright's spitting image--2-3 years older. Oh how I HURT for this child.

Then there is Steven--Bright's 8-9 year old brother. Steven too, is "stuck." He's getting set in his ways. How much longer does he have before he could no longer assimilate into an American family? How long until he is like Promise? Promise is Bright's eldest brother (maybe 12-14 years old). When I look at Promise I see a broken child. He is angry, and defiant, and lost. He will continue to grow up in the village, without much hope for a good (by our standards) future. There are many very poor Ghanaian children who seem happy and loved. But Promise isn't one of them.

My mind twists and turns with questions of how I can help. What can I do? What is my responsibility? If we would have known Bright had brothers before we adopted him, we would have not separated them. We weren't given a choice. Now it's after the fact and 3 brothers have been left behind. There is still time for two of them to be adopted--if only certain decisions were made on their behalf. If we would have known about Wise we could have at least adopted him and Bright together. It's because of that that my burden is most heavy for Wise. I see him as the child that should have been a Gillispie, but isn't because of some cruel twist of fate. And the honest truth is, even IF he is made referable now for adoption, it will likely be with Steven. Steven is much older and because of that the two boys will likely wait a long time, if they are ever adopted at all. [I don't mean to imply that anything is wrong with Steven. He is a precious child as well.]

Do you "save" 2 out of 4 if that's all you can do? Do you separate brothers twice (first Bright, and then Wise) in order to get two "out?" Or do you try to "save" 3 and hope that someone will come along that's willing to adopt 2 older boys? If only Wise became available for adoption, are Eric and I obligated to adopt him? Do we owe that to Bright, even if it might be a difficult placement for Samren? I'm just being honest here. These are the questions going through my head. They aren't pretty questions and the answers don't fit into nice tidy boxes. These are messy, ugly, gritty questions. [BTW, when I say "save" I am not implying that we adopt to rescue children out of their circumstances. We adopt because we want to be parents! And when I say "out" I'm not saying out of Ghana. I'm saying "out" of the horrible circumstance these children are in.]

Wise. Steven. Promise. Uncut diamonds. I saw so many of them today. Some--like Wise and Christopher and Wisdom and Paulina--have a glint of shine coming through with no work at all. Some--like Steven and Ernestina and Juliet and Emmanuel--are rough but can be cut beautifully with a bit of hard work. Some--like Promise--are still precious inside, but so rough that others may never be able to see it.

I wish I could gather these uncut diamonds up and place them before God. I want to see them through His eyes. I am sure he sees cut diamonds more beautiful than we can imagine. This old ugly world tosses them out as if they were pebbles. Oh, if only we could see them through His eyes.



mary grace 2:19 PM  

Your posts are pulling at my heart, Anita. Thank you so much for sharing.

SupermomE11 5:37 PM  

Love you Anita! i sure wish there was more we could do for all of the uncut diamonds that life has cast aside as worthless....

hang in there.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy 8:37 PM  

This post made me cry... Oh Anita. I just love you. May you feel God's arms wrap around you tonight.