Thursday, January 17, 2013

Modern Day Pioneers

Throughout the last year, I have been fortunate to become friends with the Bonner's and Preece's.  These are two courageous couples who set out on a journey to adopt two children from Russia.  Nobody could have prepared them for what they are experiencing.

Over the last 30 days the Russian government has made international headlines with their decision to ban all American's from adopting Russian children.  For the Bonner's and Preece's, this headline couldn't have come at a worse time.  Both families were scheduled to travel to Russia this week to bring their children home for good. 

Despite the recent news, both families have traveled to Russia with the hopes that somehow, someway, a miracle will happen.  Just reading their BLOGS makes you think you are reading a novel or a Hollywood movie script. 

My emotions are on the surface as I write this.  Throughout the week each time I have a free moment my thoughts take me to my dear friends who are currently in Russia desperately trying to find a way to bring their children home.  I battle between anger, sadness, and frustration as I contemplate their situation. 

Over the last year, they have jumped through every hoop asked of them to try and make this distant dream of giving a life to an orphaned child a reality.  These children have been tucked away and almost forgotten in an orphanage in a far away land but because of these selfless individuals they have hope.  These families have sacrificed both time and money but nothing compares to their emotional sacrifice that has been like a roller coaster that is filled will exhilarating highs and desperate lows as news and updates trickle out a little at a time.

Their biggest challenge at the moment is simply not knowing what the future holds and not really being able to do anything about it.  Fortunately the press has been a tremendous help in getting their story out to the world.  There is hope...

Even though the current situation provides a great deal of anxiety, I believe there is a silver lining.  Life has taught me that much good can come from bad situations and that everything truly happens for a reason.  Could it be that the Preece's and Bonner's are placed in this very situation at this very time for a purpose even deeper than giving life to a child in need?  Absolutely!!!

A huge obstacle for these orphaned children, in particular those who have disabilities, is the fact that nobody is aware of their situation.  In the past, they have had no voice.  They now have a voice!  This is just the surface of the problem however.  The root of the problem is not children in orphanages but the reason why they are there in the first place.  Many cultures are simply not equipped to provide the necessary resources to help a family and child when a disability is present.  There are no early intervention programs or special ed teachers in their schools.  Nobody is educated in how to help these children reach their potential so the parents only choice is to place them in an orphanage and try to forget about their child they had so many hopes for. 

This will eventually change!  Right now there is light being shed on the situation.  Lots of light in fact!  Local, national, and international media are doing so much good in telling the world about these children.  Russians are rising together to put a stop to the desperate situation that so many have faced.  An evolution is beginning.  It will take some time, but eventually I believe the culture will change and children will grow up in happy homes reaching their fullest potential.

In the meantime, there are two families in Russia praying for a miracle.  They are holding true to those feelings that urged them to take this leap of faith down the adoption path.  Their willingness to follow these promptings are moving mountains...
I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I CAN do. ~Edward Everett Hale

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