- I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother. Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing. Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
One amazing day
You know, sometimes you look forward to something for so long, and then before you know it, it's over. You're somehow let down, as if the day just didn't quite meet all the expectations you had for it. Well, that's exactly what DIDN'T happen yesterday as the STUCK tour made its way through Dallas. I'd have to say it exceeded all my expectations and left me with a great sense of satisfaction.
The day started at Chick-Fil-A for breakfast where we got to meet the rest of the volunteer team (that we'd only ever met through conference calls). We each had a chance to informally tell our stories to each other and to the producer of the film/founder of the movement. We sold merchandise, bought our own t-shirts, held a sign outside, and even got some customers going through the drive-through to sign the petition that's headed to Washington D.C. for the March for Orphans.
After that, we all headed to a local church where they hosted a luncheon for the leaders and volunteers and also held a carnival to celebrate the concept of family. At the luncheon, Mike and I got to join four other families up in front so we could tell our story of how we and our children are stuck, stuck being separated from one another for years now because of a complicated process. Our story held the most hope because Colombia doesn't have the issues in their process that the other countries represented do (we were just one of the few who had such a bad experience). However, "Juan" has been stuck in this system way too long, especially when he knew that there was a family who has loved him and wanted him all along. We just want him home already, and we're so grateful to know we have such a great attorney advocating for these final steps to speed up. Truthfully, after hearing the other stories from the other families up there with us, our story didn't even pale in comparison to how stuck their children really are.
After the luncheon and carnival, we headed to dinner where they had a Celebration of Families "party" and another two couples shared their stories. The best part was just connecting over dinner with so many other people that have a heart and passion for children without families. Over lunch, we sat with a lady who has family that adopted from Bogota', Colombia, and then over dinner we, we sat with a man who works with a local adoption agency that has programs in Colombia.
We pretty much had to race across the street to the theater after dinner in order to make it in time. We're proud to say that Dallas has had pretty much the greatest turnout so far! Thank you, Dallas! Before the film started, Craig gave a bit of the history and passion of how and why the film was made. The actual film was so incredibly moving and heartbreaking at the same time. Of course, I cried throughout most of it because I could relate so well to many of the situations, especially the heartache that you can feel for a child that's forced to be separated from people who love him. When the film was over, Craig did a question and answer session about the film so you could know more of the behind the scenes aspects of how it was made. Then yet another family shared their personal story about their child who has been stuck in process for 7 years.
International adoption is complicated enough, but then when you hit roadblocks, it takes that complication to a whole new level. It is one of the loneliest roads we've ever walked. People all around you think you're crazy for continuing to fight through the process, but they just don't get it. They don't get the love and commitment you have for a child that you know is your child. What the day's events and the film did for Mike and I was just to know we're not alone. There are other families who are fighting for their children and who are refusing to give up. They get it, and we all agreed that we were so encouraged to finally have someone else to truly connect with.
If STUCK has not come through your area yet, please, please, please make arrangements to see it when it does. Having the chance to meet the producer and stay for the question and answer time will make it worth the time. If you missed it, go to www.stuckdocumentary.com and watch it online. If you know anyone who is walking the international adoption road, you will gain so much more understanding and compassion for them and their children. To see the tour schedule, go to www.bothendsburning.com.