"And He took the children in His arms, put His hands on them and blessed them." (Mark 10:16)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Long Distance Parenting

There’s a confusion that sets in – when you have become parents, but not yet “parenting.”  Our children are an ocean away.  We look at their pictures, laugh at the videos, and talk about all the things we’re going to do with them when they’re with us.  We’ve been doing that for 2.5 years.  I have a new found respect for all parents – the ones with their children under their roof, ones with children in other places, or ones who are waiting for children in some way.  There is much confusion about parenting, especially when you have absolutely zero control.  I am guessing this time in our lives is preparing us for the reality that at some point our boys will need to be individuals- facing their own battles, learning their own lessons, making their own decisions.  But at 9 and 13?  Every day I am with them in Haiti, they ask “you leave tomorrow, Mom?”  Every day is a preparation for the most devastating pain of separation.  Each of us psyche ourselves up for the heartache and let down – like when we ask God for that one thing we need really bad, testifying that we’ll stop sinning and cussing if we could just get it NOW (whole-heartedly knowing we won’t get it right away).  That’s where we all are now.  We’re dancing to Michael Jackson songs one minute, singing Dixie Chicks “Godspeed” as we lay our heads down at night, and praying each time that God sees our desperate plea to be together – these boys are Ramey boys. They are Todd and Laura’s boys.

My friends tell me about their biological children and how they exhibit so much of each of them – look like them, act like them, have similar personalilties. Well, our boys don’t look like us, but they are Rameys/Melroses.  Wilnes makes friends with everyone.  He likes to tell people about Jesus.  When he’s sad, he can’t contain it – he’ll find a place away from everyone to get it all out.  And he can’t wait to learn something new. Woody is quiet yet knows exactly when to speak up.  He has the voice of an angel and takes pride in owning his Mama’s Bible.  He sometimes has a slight stutter – his sweet anxious moments are evident of his desire to do something well. Wendy wants to be friends with everyone and be happy all the time.  He wants to dance, sing, eat a lot, put on sunglasses, and laugh. And together, wow, I have never seen brothers be such a team. They work together in such a precious way. They really look out for each other. They are genuinely concerned for each other and their family.

I know we slack on blog posts.  To be honest, we feel discouraged not having any updates – everyone wants to know when they will be home.  We do too.  While we still believe our children will be with us, we are exhausted and frustrated.  We have tried to keep recent posts more about them – so you can get to know them as we do.  However, this post is more about sharing our very desperate and broken hearts.  It may be really more for us than anyone else.  And someday we want our boys to know this part of the story too. 

If you’ve followed our story from the first post, then you know we’ve known our sons for about 2.5 years now and have been in the process of adopting them for almost 2 years.  People keep asking why it’s taking us so long.  It’s complicated to answer, but the short version of the story is we are stuck because of an antiquated law in Haiti that states adoptive parents must be 35 and married 10 years.  We moved forward with our process, first and foremost, because we know these are our sons and are willing to fight for them.  Second, we had knowledge that previous “underage” families made it through the process with Presidential Dispensation as long as they were found fit to adopt.  Third, we were told the law has been on the table to be changed (age 30, married 5 years).  Between those three things the only thing we know for sure is we are still fighting. 

So, what do we do in the meantime? What do we tell our boys? What do we tell people who ask?  We aren’t posting from a place of hopelessness, but more in a place of desperately seeking prayers and support from people who love our children and want them home as much as we do.  We still BELIEVE.  We know the timing will be right, but we also get so tired of hearing that – “It’s all in God’s timing.” We know that.  Yes, we trust God’s timing and His care for them while we wait.  At the same time, we hurt.  We are sad.  We are grieving for our children.  And it dawned on me recently, that’s what God knows most about.  Not only did he sacrifice His son, but he watches all of His children struggle and hurt daily.  He is not physically with us, but He is always present.  I really can trust that He knows our hurting parent hearts.  He knows our boys’ hurting hearts.  He knows all the reasons why we are stuck.   He knows the time when we will be in joyful celebration of bringing our sons home.  So, we put our hope in that.  We keep believing.  We keep going to visit them and reminding them they are our precious sons, but most importantly, they are God’s children.  And so are we.   He does not leave any of us as orphans. 

I am attaching a link to a friend’s blog here.  Their family is in the same situation (under 35) and adopting from the same orphanage as our boys.  She was recently asked, “so when will you give up?”  Her response is beautiful, so I wanted to share it here in case any of you have wondered this about the Rameys.  We share her heart on this.  There will be no giving up.