Can We Do More?
My wife and I are up to no good again. This is the beginning of a new chapter in our story.
We adopted two children from China the summer before last, returning home in August of 2012. Adoption is easily the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. The last fifteen months have been filled with fatigue, frustration, yelling, selfishness, surgeries, and therapy. And they have been filled with forgiveness, growth, and love.
With time life settled down. Somewhat. Either the constant craziness died down or we simply got used to it. But with the cycles of the moon, life became doable again.
Around the same time, I took a trip to Uganda with Bob Goff. My wife and I joked with each other that I should bring a kid home with me. Hide a small child in my suitcase. Of course we were only kidding. We both felt we couldn’t possibly do more.
While we were both being silly, we also knew the idea was true and good, like undefiled religion.
Can we do more?
And so we found ourselves asking, “Can we do more?”
I can give you a million reasons why we can’t. Well, maybe a million minus one. We traded our minivan for a van big enough to hold a soccer team, so transportation is no longer a reason. But I can give you many others.
- Our lives are out of control. Just spend 2 seconds with us and you will no doubt agree.
- Dave Ramsey would not approve. Adopting is expensive, and while we can “afford” it, adopting wreaks havoc on what most would consider sound financial planning.
- We do not feel we have as much time as we would like to give to the six kids we already have, much less for each other.
- I don’t think we can cram anymore food into our refrigerator.
- We are tired.
- We only have 3 bedrooms. They are big bedrooms, but there are only 3 of them.
- Adopting is hard.
We are all limited.
I don’t know how much we can do. We are human, and we have limits.
We are limited by time. We are limited by energy. We are limited by our finances. We are limited by our bodies. No matter how hard I try or how loud the demands of life yell at me, I can only jump so high.
But is our love limited? And if it is, who decides what that limit is? Who says we can’t love more?
The greatest obstacle to doing more isn’t our human limitations. The greatest obstacle is ourselves.
We can’t do everything for everyone, this is true. But I bet we can all do more than we think we can.
I bet we can all do more than we are.
And then the email came.
My wife subscribes to the rainbowkids.com newsletter. Featured one day was a thirteen year old boy from China. I don’t know what it was about him that grabbed us. I don’t know why we focused on him. But we did.
Sometimes we need no explanations for why. We just need to know that the answer is yes.
The reason this boy was featured on a national newsletter is because his chances of being adopted were dwindling. He was running out of time. He needed someone to step forward and say yes. When you turn fourteen in China, your name is removed from the list. You are no longer eligible to be adopted. Then, at the age of eighteen, they open the front door and wave good bye.
This young man turns fourteen in January.
So we asked ourselves again, can we do more? And we were unable to come up with a reason to say no that we could live with for the rest of our lives.
We inquired. We waited to see if anybody else would try to adopt him, since we weren’t very far along in the process. Time was short. There is still a chance we don’t get all of the paperwork done in time. But it turns out, we are it. There is nobody else.
For this boy, we are his only hope to have a family. To be embraced. To be known and accepted. To be loved unconditionally.
So here we are. In a frantic paper chase. Waiting. Doing the best we can at more.
Can you do more?
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