This week, in China, new rules for prospective adoptive parents were implemented immediately. There were several changes, but I will highlight the major ones.
- Adoptive families can have no more than 5 children in the home
- Adoptive families can have no children less then 3 years of age in the home
- Adoptive families can no longer adopt 2 children at once
- Adoptive families have to wait 1 year in between adoptions
To an outsider reading this, you may not think these new rules sound harsh. In fact, you may be even thinking they are beneficial or positive. But, let me tell you, this week, I mourned over these changes. Like, I shed tears. I cried for the families that are no longer able to adopt a child they saw as their son or daughter. I cried for our family, as the reality of Ri being our daughter would not exist had these rules been in effect 1 year ago. And mostly, I cried for all the children that wait.
It may not seem that there are many families that will be disqualified from these new rules, but oh friends, that is just not true. I cannot even begin to count the number of families who plan to return to China who have 5 or more children, who have a child less than 3, who planned on adopting more than one child, or have only been home less than a year.
Every family that is now denied = one more child that waits. There are families that were ready to say "Yes".... who now are being told "No".
I am haunted by the images of children who were ready to be placed, had families ready to move and fight for them, who now are back...waiting.
And let me be very clear and open on my opinion on a few things. Do not tell me, that one particular child will "find another family". Do not tell me "there is another family out there for them." The facts are very very clear. There are more children WAITING then there are families. Period. So, eliminating a large pool of families mathematically leads to only one result...more waiting children.
And friends...these are NOT just faces. These are lives. These are lives, that if not brought home, will either sit in an orphanage until they "age out" at 14. Or they will die. There is no sugar coating it. All of these children, regardless of the health condition, deserve a chance at life, they deserve a family. They did not choose their circumstances. But we, can ACT. We can speak and act on behalf of those who cannot.
Let me also be very clear an another misconception. You cannot sit here and tell me, that a large family or a family with a child less then 3, is automatically not capable or qualified to raise another child. Do not tell me that it would be better for them to sit...in an orphanage with 800 other children, when they could be in a FOREVER home with a large family or a family with a younger child. I know it may look crazy to some. I know you may think it would be crazy to come home from China and turn around and run back. But you know what...so what if it is crazy? What if that craziness led to one more child getting a chance at life? Or let's flip it around...the other scary horrific side. What if our lack of "craziness" led to a loss of a chance at life? What if our fear kept us from doing one of the most beautiful things God had planned for us?
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline" 2 Timothy 1:7
So, tonight, I truly plead with you. Will you consider where you and your family fit into this? Does your family still qualify? Could you, possibly be a forever family to a child who is waiting? Do you have room at your table? Do you have room in your hearts to say Yes? Maybe it's not China...that's totally OK!! The need friends....spans the east to the west, in all countries including our own. But please, would you pray? Would you consider where you can help? Would you take that first step?
As long as there are children waiting, our hearts should be burdened. May we not let new rules stop us from being their voice. May they not stop us from fighting...because these children deserve our fight.