Your faithfulness to our adoption never ceases to amaze me. We received enough donations this past week to pay off our remaining balance to America World with about $300. more to start towards our cost of stay at the orphanage and Airline costs. Someone suggested I ask if anyone had airline miles they weren’t using as that would be another way to help our costs. If you do, let us know. So we thank the Lord for each of you for your gifts of money, notes, and especially your prayers that are literally holding us up. Each gift large and small has been used to encourage us that God will provide for each part of this journey.
I would be lying though to not share with you my discouragement. It is hard to watch other families who have traveled after you for their bonding trip to move ahead and be bringing their children home. This is part of our American entitlement mentality. We think we “deserve” to be next. This is not how most of the world works. Nonetheless I realized I can no longer pretend I am ok. I am not ok. I am really struggling. We had told the boys that we would be there by Christmas. In retrospect, that probably was not a good idea. But, at the time we told them that it was a very realistic and actually long estimate. Now with the Haitian passport booklet issue, we have an estimate of we don’t know when. There are rumors that the booklets are on back order from Germany until January. For me logically that means that it could be until spring that the boys are home. This is because there will be a backlog of a 1/2 of a year on passports and the passport stage will return us to Haiti where there is not a rhyme or reason for the order of which things are done. It is not like when you go to the secretary of state and take a number to be served in the order in which you arrived. It is more like you take a number and sit down and watch 100 people who’s number is after yours go ahead of you. I have to deal with this realistically so I can protect my my emotional state right now.
What this means practically is you suck it up and deal with it. You cannot change the system. But, this does not mean you can help the fact that there are four sons who have entwined their little souls around your heart. I can longer pretend that this is easy. It is not. It is so hard. We are so weary and honestly believe the enemy is fighting hard for our sons to not come home. I know that many be saying it is in God’s perfect time. But, honestly I struggle with that thought. It is hard to come to an understanding of this when you see the brokenness in a country like Haiti. Like the perfect plan would be that there would not be orphans, child slaves. sex trafficking, starvation or pain. So, I believe that God giving man free will, that the presence of sin and evil in the world is also a factor in delays and that God desires for our sons to be home. And so I lament. I mourn. I pray. I put my hope in Him, when I cannot see the end. Our family is past weary. We are past being strong. I am not strong. I am weak. I am needy. I am broken. I am so needing of Jesus of every minute of every day. I am so thankful for the beautiful children in my home each day to keep my focus off the hardness of this. But, there are days that I can tell they are weary too. Ella asks about the boys every day. Mom, do they have toys? Do they eat eggs? Do they have pillows? Do they have someone to watch them? Do they have pajamas? How sweet of her little soul! And poor Joshua. He so loves them and his heart is so big and since he has met them he knows how wonderful it will be when they come home.
And then to top all of this off is the current climate in our country with racism. It is something we have had to ponder deeply and pray sincerely about.
How is it that there are things that have always been in the Bible and I miss them? Is it the combination of my own sin, always there cropping back up? Is it the enemy blinding me to these things? Is it the world pushing so many other things in my view that I miss the things Jesus cares about? This is what I have always heard: my sin, the enemy and the love of the world.
The first blind spot in my life the Lord gradually revealed. It was seeing the poor. Jesus words had always been there, right there in God’s word. These are the words of Jesus explaining his purpose for coming to earth:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,”
It is interesting that this scripture is entitled “Jesus’ rejection at Nazareth.” Jesus was rejected because he was not the messiah the people wanted. He hadn’t come to make the rich richer. He hadn’t come to make lives comfortable. He had come to be broken bread and poured out wine. He had come for the poor, for those imprisoned, literally or in their spirit, and he had come to set the oppressed free. He peacefully shook things up wherever he went.
Now, it is seeing the oppressed in any form: most recently the black and minorities in America and the refugee. It has taken the fact that we are adopting four precious Haitian sons who one day will be black men in America to make me really look at and try to understand systemic racism and white privilege. My love for them runs deep. And if it runs as deep as it should then I must pray and live out a life that fights for their right to be seen equally with my white sons. My prayer is from Martin Luther King Jr. :
” I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
I hope and pray that people would be willing to see that things are not always cut and dry. Just because someone takes a knee during an anthem does not mean they are anti-American, or not patriotic or disrespecting our men in blue and the men and women who have fought for our country. Kaiti recently had me read and then watch the movie, Unbroken, which I highly recommend. I can’t imagine the hard things that both our police men and women and our soldiers have endured. We also recently watched Selma and The Butler, both movies depicting what blacks in America have endured through racism. These have been eye opening to me. My American History classes seemed to miss a lot in teaching the real history of our country, so I am trying to educate myself. And I must lament my sin in racism,
Dear Black America, I seek your forgiveness for not seeing systemic racism and white privilege. I am sorry for all that you have endured. Please forgive me. Michelle
And to our soldiers and police men and women: Thank you for putting your lives on the line every day for our freedom. Forgive me for not appreciating that more.
Praying that this day we would choose to seek the Lord and ask if we are all created equal in His eyes, are all people treated equal?
A blog post to ponder:
Some of you have asked to give to our adoption:
- Write a check: Please make checks payable to “Lifesong for Orphans.” In the memo, note “Schaffner #4451” to assure it goes to the right account. Please mail to: Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL. 61744. Lifesong has been blessed with a partner that underwrites all U.S. administrative and fund-raising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). This means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption. Lifesong is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and your gift is tax deductible.
- The other way is to give online using this link:https://www.lifesongfororphans.org/give/donate/ and direct your donation to adoption, enter our family account #4451, and our family name: Schaffner Family. This method is also tax deductible.
Miracle of 4 passports to bring our sons home and no RFE ‘s in USCIS
Pray for Robenson, Samson, Jimmy and Ricardo as their friends leave and for the Lord to comfort them while they wait.
This is the first pictures we received of the boys almost 3 years ago January. I can remember the day the email came and I first saw these precious faces. We said yes sight unseen and I saw these precious faces and thanked God for the privilege to be their mom and dad!
Blessings in the Love and Grace of Christ,
The Schaffner family